You know those evenings when you can’t really be bothered? I had one. Brilliant day, starting with a run-limp-walk (dodgy leg) in the Douro at 7am dawn with the preposterously un-breathless Christian Seely whom I had to keep distracting with questions such as – ‘Is that an orange tree?’ – and – ‘So just remind me again where the vineyards of Romaneira actually start’ – and ‘Oh look at that lovely boat’ – so we could stop for a bit and admire the view/breathe oxygen. But it also incorporated writing a piece before breakfast and lots of blackberry messing around and by the time I got off the Gatwick Express at Victoria at 6 o’clock I Couldn’t Be Bothered To Make Dinner.
So I went to M&S and bought some of their new Indian ready meals, got home, unpacked, opened the fridge door…..and found these babies.
What are they? Fancy spritzers, essentially.
wine + fizzy water that has been ‘aromatised’ (which just means that flavour has been added) to leave an easygoing, low-alcohol (5.5% as you may notice on the label) drink.
They had been brought home by The Lodger* who works in the wine trade and do you know, they weren’t at all bad. Usually low-alcohol wine-based drinks are absolute filth. Not these. The pink one is based on white zinfandel, usually a grape I’d sprint the length of the Douro to avoid but which here makes an attractive drink – easy and rounded and a bit sweet. Dangerously like grown up cherryade. Which actually if you are Tired and Can’t Be Bothered hits the spot exactly. The white is based on New Zealand sauvignon blanc and is recognisably sauvignon blanc (believe me, you cannot always say this of such things) but isn’t quite there yet – as I think The Lodger would admit although I’ll probably get an angry text from him when he reads this. Or just a long silence.
Anyway, I made myself a G&T on the side but actually ended up finishing the pink Chalcot’s instead. Yes, really. Look, no one is pretending they are high-brow. But sometimes you just want to chill out with a bit of good-trashy-telly. These are the wine equivalent – and blessedly light on alcoholic units. That fizzy pink was just right with the Indian food. More on these when they are actually available to buy. In the meantime, those M&S ready meals are actually available to buy and they were great.
* Sorry if I wasn’t actually supposed to drink them.