Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Three Favourite House Wines to Drink a Home on a Tuesday Evening. (Drink)

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Three Favourite House Wines to Drink a Home on a Tuesday Evening. (Drink)

Article excerpt

Having extolled the virtues of house wine when eating out, I thought I would find some house wines so good they're worth trying at home on wecknights. On the principle that sommeliers of good restaurants work hard to find decent, out-of-the-way wines that represent good value at the bottom of the lists, I have been zooming around London, drinking at some of the city's finest establishments so that you can benefit from their assiduous research and the guidance of their superior palates. Here are three of my favourites.

Calatrasi's Nero d'Avola Villa Thalia is the house wine in the suave Locanda Locatelli. Made from a very voguish and outlandishly distinctive grape, it has a provocative kind of sexiness, like a black-haired, deep-throated Sicilian girl. It reeks of baking hot paving stones, liquorice, sun blazing down on tarmac and purple fruits so ripe their skins are almost splitting. The sommelier Massimiliano Sali says it's at its best when drunk with a tomato pasta dish or grilled chicken. Strozzapreti al pomodoro e rucola would be the perfect thing from Giorgio Locatelli's menu. I couldn't find a supplier of this particular wine for NS readers, but you can take a tip on the grape and try Marks & Spencer's Nero d'Avola and Syrah blend from Sicily ([pounds sterling]4.49). Perfect for Tuesday nights.

Winter has not yet set in, so it is still reasonable to assume a white wine might tempt enough for you to order a case. …

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