A phone call from American Express about potentially fraudulent activity on my account – right after I’d bought a pair of dove grey over-the-knee boots from Kurt Geiger online – suggested I may have been overdoing it on the January sales. Oh dear. For me, sales shopping is all about clothes. For some it is about wine (I like Fiona Beckett’s piece in today’s Guardian for tips on how to navigate wine sales). For a friend who bought a new flat last year, it is about furniture. He had been ordering from made.com and was keen to do a show and tell (of the sales buys) over dinner this week.
Me: Wait! Don’t tell me which bin you bought. Let’s play, “I’ll look at all the kitchen bins on the site and say which I think is the most disgusting and then you can tell me if it’s the one you bought.”
Him: OK, ok, but you’ve got to look carefully and do it properly.
Reader, there were 11 bins to choose from.
I picked this.
Him [crestfallen]: I don’t believe it.
Him: I don’t believe it [again].
Him: And you’re not the first. Someone in the office said she didn’t like it too. Actually, she said, ‘Every woman will hate that bin.’
I am now slightly concerned that, having basically bought what looks like a giant beer can to put in his kitchen, my friend – who is trying to do a dry January – may end up so desperate he tries to drink the bin in the middle of the night.
Happily I am not doing a dry January although I have just completed a dry week (well, nearly. If you don’t count the tiny mouthful of whisky on New Year’s Eve. Or the half glass of wine last Sunday. I did say nearly.) And as American Express will tell you, I’ve hammered my bank card so hard there will be no fancy wines this month.
What would see me (if the card ever works again) or anyone else through a month of cosy dark nights without busting the budget is a case of the Dogliani Dolcetto Clavesana 2011 Italy (The Wine Society, £6.95). I’ve already mentioned it in the Telegraph and my tasting note still stands: “Pure joy, bottled. Perfumed like black cherries, and bright, light-bodied and refreshing to taste, this snappy dolcetto from north-west Italy goes with pretty much anything but is particularly good with plain risotto, tagliata and rocket, can pull together a table full of cold meats and other leftovers, and, of course, it is brilliant with pizza and pasta.” One of the best reds out there for under £7.