SO THAT was Christmas. The decorations are coming down and it has just taken two of us to carry the glass recycling box to the front of the house.
It seems a little strange writing a wine column at a time when many people have resolved to give up the booze for a while.
But for those who have broken or don’t make such resolutions, read on.
This week’s trio of wine recommendations are from South Africa, starting with a red and white pairing from the Stellenbosch region.
Both are on offer at M&S now and for most of January.
Journey’s End Kendal Lodge Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 is a capable Bordeaux blend. Medium bodied, with raspberry, black plums, herbs and spice, this is an elegant wine that would work really well with roast lamb.
Like many wine drinkers, I am no fan of over-oaked chardonnay, but a little toastiness can add a layer of complexity to the wine, which works well with food. Journey’s End Honeycomb Chardonnay 2012 has just enough oak influence, which does not mask the apple and tropical fruit flavours or stop the wine from tasting crisp and fresh.
I thought I knew what I was going to get from Nederburg The Motorcycle Marvel 2009. I expected an explosion of fruit and oak spice, rather like the Aussie shiraz stereotype but what I got was far more Rhône-esque in style.
Made with grenache, carignan and shiraz, from the Western Cape, it is indeed full of spicy, peppery, brambles and raspberry flavours but the wine is balanced and savoury.
With smoky oak notes, vanilla and supple tannins, this falls in to the “quite serious” category. Catch it on offer at Morrisons, with £2 off, from Monday.
• Journey’s End Kendal Lodge Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, £8.24 down from £10.99 at M&S 17/20
• Journey’s End Honeycomb Chardonnay 2012, £8.24 down from £10.99 at M&S 17/20
• Nederburg The Motorcycle Marvel 2009, £12.99 down from £14.99 at Morrisons 17/20