5 Bottles for Special Occasions
This is a pretty tough assignment. It’s terribly cruel to make a lover of drinks such as myself pick five specific beverages from the thousands of fabulous ones around the world. Under protest I have come up with this list.
So many great sparklers so how to choose that wow wine? I do think there’s something rather festive about rose champers and Billecart-Salmon ‘Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon’ 2002 is an extraordinary example of pink bubbles at their best. Look to spend between £110-140 per bottle.
Now nothing says special like a magnum (double bottle) of great wine and La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva ‘904’ 2001 is a doozy. It has aromatic Asian spices; complex black fruit and an elegance making it ready to drink now, but also has the power to go for another 20 years. Plus it won’t bankrupt you either at about £50 a pop.
Vintage Port would be an option here, but what year? Instead I’ve gone for something a little different: tawny Port. A Quinta do Noval 40 Year Old would do nicely. A wine of real character and class ranging from £80-115 in price it’s worth having a look round for it.
Now you would expect me to recommend something Scottish or maybe Irish perhaps? Well you would be wrong. For my money the best whisky I have had recently is Hibiki 17 Year Old from Suntory in Japan. Spicy, rich, fruity complex and silky smooth with a price tag of around £80 this is a must try for any whisky fan.
Beer you say for a special occasion? Quite right! Beer deserves its rightful place at the table alongside spirits and wine as an artisan product. Fullers Vintage Ale 2006 can be drunk now but will improve with age. Fullers are the last of London’s remaining proper old school breweries to still operate in the capital and £50 for a dozen of these delicious, characterful beers is a bargain.
Well I hope you are happy. I decided to focus on five different types of drinks that could work as a gift or something you buy to have on hand should the right occasion be thrust upon you. As a footnote I have decided that in fairness this will have to be a regular column. There are simply too many other glorious bottles for me to tell you about!