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LIVE 24-SEVEN VA L ENT INE I S SUE VINOUS KISSING ACCOMPANIMENTS


As if you need reminding that it is the Valentine issue…oh, wait…you do? Well then young (it’s all relative...) lovers everywhere, think on this…wine has a tendency to be a part of life’s best (and worst) moments – weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, death, break-ups etc. On a day devoted to love and lovers, I thought it would be fun to pair up, in the loosest possible manner, vinous kissing accompaniments or a sort of mixed tape for snogging (I have a real fondness for the word ‘snog’)!


I think what is needed is a subtle saliva enhancer, perhaps a Riesling or Albarino, with the slightest touch of residual sugar and a generous helping of bright, mouthwatering acidity, or even a light red at a cool temperature, such as a Gamay from Beaujolais or a young New World Pinot Noir.


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I did ask a few tried and trusted friends what their idea of the perfect kissing wine would be likely to be. To avoid embarrassment – or any possible link back to me – I have used only first names!


Jane: “I remember at age 16 drinking, far too quickly, “champagne” in front of some young chap I wanted to impress and the champagne having no place to go, but out my nose. I also remember how loudly he laughed, not so much with me as at me! As time went on, one of my major pleasures in life was an aged Grand Cru Chablis, served perhaps with icy-cold oysters and a simple mignonette.


I found that Grand Cru Chablis would always remove inhibitions and set a good tone for the evening. A fennel and orange salad and a small roasted chicken after the Chablis, maybe moving into red Burgundy, but Trish darling, at the end of the day it’s really about which wine would you not feel guilty waking up next to.”


Annabelle: “For romance, you really can’t beat Madeira (I gave a silent cheer when Annabelle mentioned Madeira – superb wine), which I have always thought of as a very seductive wine. It has deceptively high acidity coupled with a golden hue and glow and an almost salty sweetness. Madeira doesn’t require a dinner table, or the food on it, and can move from sideboard to settee, with the minimum of fuss and maximum opportunities for kissing.”


Antoinette (a true romantic): For me, a wine that inspires romance is something with sensuality and soul, a wine with maturity and depth, a wine with power and substance. A great wine leaves an enduring imprint on my soul. I would imagine an older vintage of a Cabernet blend, with a healthy dose of Cabernet Franc for suppleness and fragrance, perhaps great Napa or great Bordeaux.”


Tom: “Arianna Occhipinti’s SP68 – perfect pre and post kissing. It’s a big substantial red, which is also good lightly chilled; an icon wine that is not outrageously expensive or massively unapproachable and is almost too easy to drink…which, when it comes to the art of snogging, can only help!” Very direct person is our Tom…


Steve: Although usually red wine through and through, Steve does make an amazing G&T and is also the font of all knowledge when it comes to vintage sports cars. Although I wasn’t able to speak to him prior to writing this piece, he did once say that when courting his wife Rebecca, he kept everything to make the perfect G&T for them both in a huge iced bag in the front of the car and would put both drinks on a tray with legs (a little like the old-fashioned breakfast tray and probably filched from a hotel...). All of this, he said, seemed the height of sophistication at the time and very risqué!


Rosa: “A lean and savoury Syrah will always do it for me. I once overheard someone describe a Côte-Rôtie Syrah as the combination of feral and floral – sort of like the Black Sabbath of wines. Black Sabbath, Syrah and seduction…just imagine…


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WINING & DINING WINE EXPER T


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