Note added on Tuesday 4th March: The wine recommended in this post was also mentioned in my Telegraph column this weekend. Such is the thirst of Planet Victoria and Telegraph readers that, despite high stocks, it has now sold out online. Apologies to those who have been disappointed – it’s still possible to pick up bottles in some stores.
My dad is coming to stay for the weekend. I’m not sure what to expect. He’s been a bit of a let-down so far on the Travel Doom front at which he normally excels. Even forecasts of snow for the day on which he voyages south from Yorkshire were waved away with a gruff, “It’ll be all right. Ground’s warm.” This is not in character. If he asks me to turn the central heating up or open a second bottle of wine then I will really be worried. Speaking of wine…from now until 9th M&S are running a save 25% on ANY six bottles of wine (though you seem to have to buy 12 online) offer so if you have any favourites then this is a great time to stock up. I was reminded of one of my M&S favourites while doing an aubergine parmigiana recipe-test and wine-match-taste for Olive Magazine the other day. It’s this one:
Valpolicella Ripasso 2011 Italy (13.5%, M&S, £8.99 or buy six save 25% until 9th March, equivalent to £6.74 but you have to buy two cases of six, ie 12 bottles, to achieve the same discount online)
The sour cherry warmth of this Venetian Italian red has won a huge following amongst my friends who stock up every time they see an offer like this. Ripasso wines are passed over either the fermented skins of grapes used to make amarone, or dried grapes, to give them extra richness and bolster. Did I say sour cherries? It’s also like sackfuls of dried cherries and cranberries, spilling open in a dusty farmhouse filled with old wooden furniture. Very very good. Pass me a slice of pizza.