Monday, September 15, 2008

Joanna Simon in The Sunday Times, August 17, 2008: Corking-up the Leftovers

Remember when wine came only in 75cl bottles, three-litre boxes and a handful of half-bottles that had usually been hanging around too long? Those days are gone. What started with a few tentative Tetrapaks and plastic bottles has become an avalanche of alternative sizes, shapes and packaging materials in the last 18 months.

Some of the new formats sell on their environmental credentials, some on the convenience factor and some, such as Waitrose’s range of 50cl bottles under the Vin √† Deux label, push the sensible drinking message - the thinking being that 75cl can be too much between two.

All this choice is welcome, but the message I’d like to push home is that if you don’t finish a bottle it doesn’t have to go to waste or into tomorrow’s casserole. An inch or two in the bottom of a bottle probably won’t keep until the next night, but, if there is a third or more left, stopper it and put it in the fridge. If it’s red, remember to take it out a couple of hours before you want it or, at a pinch, put it in barely tepid water.

2004 La Riada Limited Release Crianza, £9.99/£4.99
Nicely oaked Spanish red with supple cassis fruit. On offer at £4.99 until Tuesday (Wine Rack).

2004 Mas des Dames, Coteaux du Languedoc, £7.95
Full-bodied, smoky, spicy, ripe berry flavours; southern warmth and no oak (Berry Bros & Rudd, 0870 900 4300

2007 Reschke Fume Sauvignon Blanc, £10.99-£11.49
Fine, floral, grapefruity Coonawarra white with a hint of oak (Old School Wines, 01782 372888; The Wine Library, 0207 481 0415; £138 per case, H&H Bancroft).