One of the nice things about having family in two different locations is that it provides a good excuse to extend Christmas. And so it was that we flew to Dublin yesterday with a case full of presents for Christmas Part II. (Note to self: next time, buy smaller presents! The Tonka "Big Rigs" dump truck for my nephew was too good to pass over on the basis of size!)
This Christmas had been relatively alcohol-free so far. That is, until we went to Dublin! This is nothing to do with the stereotype of Irish drinking habits - having been a student in the UK and lived in Dublin for six years, I would say the two cultures are on a par in terms of alcohol consumption - but more do to with not driving and being in non-tee-total company. Last night's dinner was therefore accompanied by a couple of very nice wines. (Thanks to the discerning tastes of my in-laws.)
The first was a classic New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which we've had before: Mirror Lake. Still crisp, fruity and refreshing.
The second was nicer still - a very fine 2007 Domaine Combier Crozes-Hermitage Clos des Grives from Rhone, France. I'm not the biggest fan of French wine but Crozes-Hermitage seems to be an exception. I remember enjoying one at a wine club event a few years ago and really enjoyed the ‘la Matiniere’ Domaine Ferraton Pere et Fil that we had at The Black Rat in Winchester. This one was a very good Syrah - not quite as fruity and in-your-face as a New World Shiraz tends to be but still packed full of flavour. (And much nicer than any from the Syrah/Shiraz wine tasting from early this year.) Highly recommended.