Tag Archives: wine of course

In Côt We Trust 2007

Several weeks ago I was walking past a local wine merchant, Wine of Course. It’s always seemed a decent place, and the buggy I was pushing contained a totally unconscious infant, so I went in, told the bloke there that he should give me a bottle of wine which would make me want to go back, bought it and left again. It was a fairly simple transaction, really.

And this was it. I was warned that it might stink a little bit of poo, a suggestion I accepted with rather more grace than many might, and that it would therefore benefit from a bit of decanting, which is exactly what it got. I also, while at the shop, ignored the comedy pun title, which would ordinarily have scared me off right away.

So côt = malbec, and I know malbec. It’s that big, brassy, bad-ass inky mother from Argentina. But this, and that, are not really the same. They’re only vaguely similar. “A veritable wilderness of yeasty madness,” says Les Caves de Pyrene, who import it. “This is Malbec sauvage, sans filtration and sans sulphur.” I think they’re overdoing it slightly. Sure, there’s a farmyard pong, but the wine itself, once you’ve fought your way to it, is really quite restrained. Much less full-bodied than the malbec I know. Really very smooth. Flavourful, but restrained at the same time. It’s a prince dressed as a pauper, Sir Ian McKellen playing Wurzel Gummidge.

A good wine, interesting. I paid, I think, £17 for it, which I think is probably a little bit more than I would expect, but then it’s from a small local merchant, deliberately selling the kind of stuff that Tesco’s don’t. Even if it does smell like manure.

Express wine delivery

Express wine deliverySo here’s a new thing. Wine of Course, one of our local wine merchants (they’re more than your basic off license, as anyone who’s seen their stock of cognacs would tell you) has plopped a flyer through our postbox advertising free and fast(ish) delivery of any amount of wine, even if it’s just one bottle (subject to a £15 minimum order). It’s a nice idea, but (there’s always a but):
• They say “deliveries will take place between 6.30pm and 9pm on the day of ordering”. What you want them to say is “deliveries will take place within 30 minutes of the order being placed”. Otherwise there’s not much point. If you decide you want to drink wine tonight, but you don’t have any and you don’t want to go out, there’s a big difference between a 6.30pm arrival (pre-dinner) and a 9pm arrival (too late for dinner).
• Their flyer lists four whites, four reds and three bubblies. But it tells you almost nothing about them: “pinot grigio (Italy), £8.95”, or “Bordeaux (France), £13.95”. You’ve got to look online if you want any more detail than that. A £5-£6 entry-level bottle would be worth adding, I think. The cheapest red is a tenner.
• Most importantly, not many people spend £9+ on a bottle of wine to drink at home, and I’d guess that most of them keep a decently-stocked wine rack and therefore don’t need express wine deliveries.

But it has reminded me that I need to actually buy some wine there, something I’ve never done as I’ve only walked past about twice, and never without an infant (it’s on Archway Road, otherwise known as the A1 – a snarled-up monster designed for drivers that lacks anything (other than a good wine merchant) to tempt me to take a stroll.