January Blues? Cheer Up With Great Wine
It’s that time of year when everyone around you is still wishing you a happy new year and your resolutions you set two weeks ago might be starting to wither. But in a city as beautiful as Bath, with so many superb places to dine and plenty of independent wine retailers, you can at least be sure there’s a tipple around guaranteed to cheer you up in the cold.
One of my favourite places is Barton Street Wine Café www.bartonstreetwinebarcafe.com just up from the Theatre Royal. It’s a small venue with an excellent wine list and exceptional service. Late last year they even incorporated some jazz music to really get the atmosphere going on a cold January evening. Serving quality bruschetta, among other Italian cuisine treats, the owner Geoff Edgar has formed a unique business in what seems like no time at all – Barton St Wine Café launched in mid-2015. My personal favourite of their wines is the Navajas Rioja Crianza Tinto 2011 (£7.50 175ml/£22 bottle), a simply rich and delightful red with a creamy moreish finish. Or, for white wine lovers, try their delicate and elegant Chablis Tradition La Pierrelee 2012 La Chablisienne (£20 take home/£29 drink in).
While the news struck last week of new alcohol guidelines, many people are becoming more wary about what they drink. That’s not a bad thing. Thinking a little more about what, and how, you drink means you’re probably heading for quality and, ultimately, enjoying wine more. It’s so much easier to cut down when you’re treating yourself to a charming tipple once or twice a week.
Some of my favourite wines with a little less alcohol – but the nonetheless as tasty – include Dr Loosen Grey Slate Riesling (£9.99, Waitrose Cellar). This wine’s just 10.5% but is medium dry and with a great backbone. Plenty of acidity and a rounded tropical fruit note make the wine as refreshing on its own as it is with a warming curry – the perfect combination in front of your favourite film.
Or if you want something much more alluring then take a trip up to the brand new venture on Walcot Street, Corkage www.corkagebath.com. This stylish and unique wine bar also has plenty of wines available by the bottle to take home and I really recommend their Château Saint Roch Limoux 2013. It’s a very well balanced Chardonnay with a beautiful smoky finish that’s akin to a smooth scotch whisky. It really needs to be tried! Such a warming and charming wine that’s perfect for January.
The wines at Corkage are purchased by wine enthusiast and Gascoyne Place patron Marty Grant, who has travelled extensively all over the world. He has a gift when it comes to buying wines that people love, breaking down the anxiety some people face when buying wine by ensuring friendly advice is always on hand and that every wine is top quality. They also have small plates of food designed and prepared by award-winning local chef, Richard Knighting. So you really should visit if you have the chance!
For businesses, the January blues can often be conquered by offering your clients and work colleagues a small get-together to raise morale. If you have a party of around 6 or more guests, you could celebrate the New Year with a private wine tasting event at one of Bath’s best venues, including The Chequers, Gascoyne Place, The Guild Coworking Hub, and Barton St Wine Café. To enquire, simply email email@example.com or call +44(0)7545353147 and we’ll see how we can warm up your New Year.