I turned the heating on. It is August. This gives me guilt twinges. In my twenties Putting The Heating On In Summer wasn’t a big issue. I relished the freedom to heat my small flat to Caribbean temperatures so I could wear actual summer clothes not jumpers. Now I find myself canvassing friends, “Is it OK to put the heating on yet?” like this is some sort of major moral dilemma, or measure of fortitude and mettle, not just a question of responding to unseasonal climatic changes. My parents, in Yorkshire where everyone knows it is always *at least* 3 degrees colder than it is here in London, used to compete with a Scottish bloke in dad’s office on who could hold out the longest and would sometimes make it to the end of October before the radiator pipes began their welcome creaking-and-hot-paint-smell as they were finally called into service. Even now, their thermostat is only set at 57F which is FOURTEEN DEGREES in celsius money. Well I’m not going that far.
But look, it is still Bank Holiday Weekend and I intend as far as possible to act like it is still summer because soon it will be too misty, dark and autumny leafy even to pretend. In my Telegraph column this weekend I’ve recommend two wines that I’m particularly pleased about, one white, the other pink and sparkling. I also have a case (of six) of the fizzy one to give away. Here they are.
Pontemagno Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2013 Italy (13%, Haynes Hanson & Clark, £7.25 or £6.38 by the case)
White. Crisp. Precise. Herbaceous. Tidy as topiary. The grape is verdicchio and the wine is from the Marche which runs to the Adriatic coast of central Italy. Unlike many cheaper whites this smells of green growing herbs, not sherbet pips. I found this when tasting a bunch of Italian wines in the tiny basement of Haynes Hanson & Clark, a wine shop in South Kensington, with their wine buyer Siobhán and it made my day. Great find. Three ticks on my two tick scale.
The sparkling rosé:
Chandon Rosé NV Argentina (12.5%, Majestic*, £13.98 down from £20.99 when you buy two until 29 Sept; £Ocado, £15.99)
Champagne house Moët & Chandon’s established an outpost in Argentina back in 1959 but this pink sparkling wine is new. It’s good (much better than its dull white sibling): pretty, dryish, made from chardonnay, pinot noir and a hint of malbec to represent its homeland. Think raspberries and raspberry jelly on wholemeal toast. Perfect for pretending it’s summer. *Don’t forget Majestic has a minimum six-bottle overall purchase but bottles may be mixed.
I have a case of six bottles of this wine to give away. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment saying, “Please enter me for the lovely sparkling wine,” at the bottom of this page before the end of the bank holiday – midnight on Monday 25th August – or like the corresponding post on my facebook page here. I will ask an accomplice to pick a winner at random. Usual terms and conditions apply – entrants must be 18 or over – and my decision is final.