Back To School
It’s that time of year again. We’ll be seeing again “the whining schoolboy, with his satchel / And shining morning face, creeping like snail / Unwillingly to school”, but for the first time, this sight feels unfamiliar and jarring. It also feels a bit ‘back to school’ for those of us over the legal drinking age: unwillingly swapping pyjama bottoms for a suit and creeping back into offices.
Everything is still a bit weird, but as we crawl back to normality, we’ve got the perfect tipples to lubricate your resolve and ease you back into the swing of things. This month’s staff picks are inspired by the two moods of September: sophisticated and decidedly adult drinks to help you feel more like yourself again, and easy-drinking and comforting flavours for when you feel like crawling back into your pyjamas.
Di Majo Norante Rami Falanghina £16
This is a grownup and complex white from producer Di Majo Norante in Molise (around about the ‘ankle’ of Italy). It’s an expertly crafted balance of flavours – apricot-like fruitiness, mellow peachy acidity, and a savoury creaminess of bitter almonds. Pair with seafood, grilled vegetables, and relaxed evenings without the kids.
Susanna Balbo Crios £14.50
An incredibly drinkable wine from a powerhouse of the wine world – Susana Balbo from Argentina has worked around the world and regularly tops lists of influential women in wine. We stock several of her beautiful wines, but we’ve chosen this one for the qualities which make it so easy-going and drinkable – it’s light, crisp and incredibly refreshing, with a lively acidity and bright flavours of citrus, lychee and passionfruit. A really food-friendly wine – pair it with barbeques, fish dishes, salads, white meat and thai food.
Ver Sacrum Dona Mencia De Los Andes £32
Argentinian producers, Ver Sacrum produce gorgeously delicate and elegant reds – a far cry from the big and beefy Malbecs normally associated with Argentina. This one is 100% Mencia grapes and made using very little skin contact to produce a delicately pale red with aromatic notes of dried flowers, black cherry and pomegranate. If you’re a fan of Beaujolais reds this is one to try!
Cave Terra La Boissiere Ventoux £12.50
This rich Rhone red is full-bodied, full-flavoured and full of well rounded and comforting flavours of ripe black forest fruits and black pepper. A classic for a reason. Pairs wonderfully with rich and comforting stews, red meat, and mushrooms, but just as good on its own after a long day!
Against The Grain Fruitus The Farmer Beescake £18
American brewery, Against The Grain, is all about experimentation and complex flavours. This beer is part of their ‘All Funked Up’ series of sour wild ales. It’s a bretted – melon and honey – wine barrel aged – spelt saison (a bit of a mouthful!) The spelt and saison yeast add subtle spicy notes while the honey and melons (honeydew and cantaloupe) add fresh and fruity sweetness. Pair with lamb and Moroccan food.
Squawk Tyto Espresso Stout £5.50
A celebration of locality: this stout is made by Manchester brewery, Squawk, using coffee from Ancoats Coffee. This stout is super smooth and rich, with comforting flavours of roasted coffee, toasty malt, creamy almonds, sweet honey and nougat. Our Michael reckons this is the best stout he’s had all year.
Petit Metris Coteaux Du Layon Premier Cru Chaume £22
Impress people with this daring and sophisticated sweet wine. Domaine du Petit Métris is a sixth-generation winery in Saint-Aubin-de-Luigné, Western France. The grapes (Chenin Blanc) have been allowed to raisin in the sun and have been affected by noble rot, creating intense sweetness and aromatic flavours of orange zest, acacia, pine, and beeswax. Pair with fruit based desserts or with a cheeseboard – the sweetness and sharp acidity go particularly well with sheep and goat cheese.
Bunnahabhain 12yo £52
Our best selling whisky for a reason. This Islay single malt is beautifully balanced – sweet notes of sultana, honey and estery banana, finished with just a touch of smokey peat and a slight salty tang. Excellent for forgetting all your problems and role-playing as landed gentry – just add roaring fire, wingback armchair and smoking jacket (pipe and moustache optional).
Welcome back to school/the real world.
Lots of love,
Tiny’s Crew x