Back to reality – Christmas is over – it seems in a flash!
Lots of friends were seen and surprisingly few bottles were drunk as I was mainly the chauffeur. My first disappointment is that I’ve finally given up trying to match red burgundy with the traditional Christmas meal – it doesn’t work – there are just too many sweet and salty elements on the traditional plate – white burgundy can continue, but next year I see something more cabernet-based!
My second disappointment was the sad case of UK wine prices. I will use the local (UK) Oddbins as my example, but note that I’m using them as a prime example of the UK wine trade and what (it appears) they can charge rather complaining specifically about them. I always liked Oddbins and even did a stint behind the counter at various branches in 1999 when I was on ‘gardening leave’ – it was great fun – though despite my staff discount, I always owed them money at the end of each month! The disappointment is that currently everything is overpriced, and even amplified when you want only one bottle – buying six will bring you a discount, but in the case of all their burgundy and most champagne even the ‘6-price’ is woeful. Berry Bros should also be in the firing line here – their ‘full-case’ prices are often reasonable, but just look at the price of anything less! Anyway, back to Oddbins, I won’t go into the list of burgundies that (as 6’s) are 50% more expensive than continental drinkers would pay – no value there – but a simple example was hammered home by an email from the swiss Co-Op the same day I visited Oddbins. ‘Oddies’ were offering Laurent-Perrier Rosé Champagne for well over £40 per bottle, but buy six and the price was (approx) £36.6. My local Co-Op had a Xmas reduction from 59 to 56 chf – that’s £24.3 per bottle – oh and I could just buy one if I wanted!
Oh, and please don’t anyone waste my time by blaming the higher level of tax and duty in the UK, that would simply bring the price of the swiss bottle to (less than) £27…
Anyway, tomorrow I’ll post my ‘highs’ of 2006 i.e the best wines and the best things I’ve read.
Happy new year