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Simple Burgundy, simply gorgeous

As we ease out of lockdown, you, like me, are probably dipping your toe into the social whirlpool rather more gingerly than in the past. We are fortunate to have a decent amount of outdoor space so can entertain a couple of friends and keep appropriately apart at the same time. After a gruelling drive to Bristol and back yesterday - to move things from one unoccupied student flat to another one - some local friends came over for a couple of hours of catching up over wine and cheese.

Not always the classic combination of Abigail's Party, some wines really struggle not to be overpowered by cheese. Epoisses is allegedly best matched by Burgundy but, for me at least, it kills off any wine, whether young and vibrant or old and mellow. Last night proved that (although the epoisses was good nonetheless). I am not enamoured by most soft cheeses and blue cheeses have a particular flavour compound that make them taste stale to me. Hard cheese is where it's at for me: always aged Parmesan, generally Comte and, of late, Manchego. These, and others, confronted me last night.

But what wines? There were only three of us drinking wines (the other chap never fails to bring some ales and only moves onto wine once these are finished - al fresco entertaining, even in June 2020, means the beer ends just at the same time as the evening) so I couldn't open more than a couple of wines. We all love Pinot Noir but it wasn't a "wine night" so the obvious choice for me was to try a (very) mini-vertical of Joblot's 'Preface', the village Givry. 2018 is too young really but, having not tasted the 2016 or 2017 recently, I decided on these two.

2017 first: vibrant, crunchy primary fruit. The first whiff and sip advised air but the wine quickly fell into step. The 2016 more mellow - vintage or greater maturity, I wonder? Both lovely and, clearly, not too young (not a drop left!). With cheese? Not perfect with the selection we had, perhaps, but nothing would be. Certainly good enough.

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Is this some good news about the lockdown?

Wine stocks have been running low recently. After the dry pasta and paper products flew off the supermarket shelves, it was the turn of the wine aisles to empty and it wasn't long before many people realised they didn't really like what they found there. Rather than give up wine (although, apparently, some people have done precisely that), it soon became clear that wine merchants are in the category of permitted business so many of us saw huge spikes of trade, especially in the run up to Easter weekend. As I say, wine stocks have been running low.

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