***The January Algorithm***
It’s that time of year once again.
New Year, 2021 has rolled around and, for many, there’s the often heard cry of: “I’m going to do it this year. I really mean it, this time!”
What could this mean?
Possibly, it’s the need to shed a few pounds (maybe, a lot of pounds), combined with the decision to be healthier, giving up alcohol and all the “bad” food that you enjoy the most, during the whole month of January, that’s the answer to this perennial question?
Now, with “Lockdown 3.0” coming into play, the temptation to renege on such a monumental promise to oneself is one that will require supreme will-power and a vice-like grip on reality.
But what if “reality” wasn’t really true?
Do you remember “The Matrix” ?
It’s not a conspiracy theory, but perhaps, in an alternative reality, you could actually consume as much as you liked with no ill effect? Eat too much? Drink too much? What could possibly go wrong?
Well, if you believe that, you’re in dire need of living in the real world!
It’s a painful thought, but all the calorific excesses of the (very short) 2020 festive season have to be put right at some point, this year. However you achieve it, is up to you, but going “cold turkey” and giving up all your favourite wines is one method I hope you don’t choose.
There is another way!
“Use the ‘Algorithm’, Luke”… sorry, mixing up my film quotes.
The overall idea is simple:
January consists of 31, long, slow and painfully drawn-out days… so, why not drink a bit less, but increase the quality of the wines? A “Win, Win” situation!
There is, however, a complicated formula that needs to be applied for the algorithm to work correctly:
Weight loss “Q” factor = 31 – [3D + 2V] / 0.5F x G
Where Q is the quality of the wine expressed as a percentage out of 100 (The “Parker” rate)
D is the density of the wine measured by the time (in seconds) the “legs” move down the glass
V is the grape variety (Popular grapes, such as Malbec, score more highly than obscure ones)
F is the frequency of consumption measured in glasses per day
G is the glass size in ml
To access the necessary varietal details, please go to the website:
Of course, you could just carry on reading and check out some recommended wines that are great value for their quality, thereby not only achieving your January goal, but saving you a significant amount of cash!
Nothing to do with Cortese, the Piedmont grape variety used in Gavi wines, it’s a Carricante from SICILY!
Nostru Carricante, Azienda Agricola Cortese, IGT Terre Siciliane, Sicily, Italy, 2017
Grape Variety: 100% Carricante, Organic
Tasting Note: This grape is usually seen in Etna Bianco blends, Carricante takes a starring role in this organic white, with pretty aromatics of peach, apricot, stewed apple, citrus and blossom. There's a brisk acidity on the palate, with fresh notes of green apple and yellow citrus. A clean and mineral style, made with precision.
Press Quote: "Rediscovering precious grape varieties from Sicily's rich past. With a big personality and distinctive minerality this is a memorable white." Decanter
Buy Nostru Carricante here for £7.50/bottle - SAVE £5! ***********************************
The white pairing to my favourite southern French red. A definite winner!
Occultum Lapidem Blanc, Domaine de Bila-Haut (M Chapoutier), Côtes du Roussillon, France, 2017
Grape Varieties: 70% Grenache Blanc, 30% Vermentino aged for 9 months, 70% in stainless steel vats and 30% in "demi-muids" (mainly new) with "batônnage" (stirring of the lees).
Tasting Note: A lovely golden hue to this wine with stone fruit aromas (apricot, peach), a delicately roasted floral touch, minerality and complexity on the nose. The palate is lovely and fresh on entry, full of minerality and complexity. Well-balanced wine thanks to the freshness and the fat of the Grenache Blanc. Notes of white flesh fruits with hints of vanilla.
Press Quote: "A blend of Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris, the 2017 Côtes du Roussillon Occultum Lapidem Blanc was fermented and aged in demi-muids and stainless steel. It's round and approachable, with attractive scents of honey, custard, pear, lime and melon all coming together in a medium to full-bodied white for drinking in the first few years after release." robertparker.com 91-93/100
Buy Occultum Lapidem Blanc here for £15/bottle – SAVE £4! *****************************
Yes, it’s still expensive, but it’s a GRAND CRU from a brilliant vintage and worth every penny!
Chablis Grand Cru, Les Blanchots, Jean Marc Brocard, Burgundy, France, 2014
Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay, unoaked with malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats for 14 months.
Tasting Note: A top vintage for white burgundy and especially Chablis. Buttered, toasted, salt, final salivating, floral, fine wine, good density and persistence in the mouth. Great with fish, seafood and shellfish, grilled or in a cream sauce. Also with poultry and white meat, grilled or in a cream sauce.
The Grand Cru Blanchots takes root on a very steep slope, catching the early morning sun (South-eastern exposure): a unique characteristic which results in a powerful wine with an equally unique attack on the palate. A very mineral style in the end of mouth. A beautifully harmonious wine.
Buy Chablis Les Blanchots here for £40/bottle – SAVE £10! *******************************
A huge favourite at Frazier’s! – Rosé in the depths of winter? – Why not?
Whispering Angel, Chateau D`Esclans, Côtes de Provence Rosé, France, 2019
Grape Varieties: Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah
Tasting Note: Pale pink with a perfumed bouquet, which follows with elegant summer fruits. The palate is refreshing, refined and elegant with faint cherry nuances, together with enticing strawberry and berry fruit flavours. With a beautifully integrated balancing acidity, this wine is a must for those glorious summer afternoons!
Press Quote: "The most famous rosé in the world and it is now firmly established as the most glamorous pink wine on the planet! The 2019 vintage is absolutely stunning." Matthew Jukes, wine writer
Buy Whispering Angel Provence Rosé here for £18/bottle – SAVE £2! ********************
From the IWSC award winning producer, Rioja Vega, top quality for a low price!
Rioja Vega Tinto, Semi Crianza, Rioja, Spain, 2018
Grape Varieties: 90% Tempranillo & 10% Garnacha, in oak for four months.
Tasting Note: This Semi-Crianza style red Rioja (4 months in oak) has a brilliant and intense colour that preserves a purple colour from its youth. Elegant on the nose, notes of liquorice are sustained thanks to a short stay in barrel. Dark fruit on the palate with the presence of slight tannins, it is well structured and very pleasant to drink.
Great with lamb slow cooked in garlic & rosemary.
Buy Rioja Vega Tinto here for £8/bottle – SAVE £1.45! **********************************
Bold & Beautiful. A fantastic, new, ORGANIC, Spanish red wine that everyone needs to try!
Tarima Organic Monastrell Tinto, Bodegas Volver, Alicante, Spain, 2019
Grape Variety: 100% ‘Old Vine’ Monastrell with four months’ ageing in new French oak.
Tasting Note: The Tarima Organic displays an opaque purple colour with abundant blueberry and black raspberry fruit aromas intermixed with a hint of crushed chalk. Medium to full-bodied with amazing concentration, this big, savoury, mouth-filling red should drink nicely for 5-6 years.
Press Quote: “This is one of the top value wineries in all of Spain, working from generic appellations such as La Mancha to Jumilla and Alicante. They produce an amazing amount of inexpensive, high-quality wine that sells for a song.” The Wine Advocate
Buy Tarima Organic Monastrell here for £13.99/bottle **********************************
Michel Chapoutier’s sublime, luxuriously textured red that just oozes class, vintage after vintage!
Occultum Lapidem, Domaine de Bila-Haut, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour De France, 2017
Grape Varieties: A blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 5% each of Carignan and Mourvèdre.
Tasting Note: A serious, classically styled effort, it offers awesome aromas and flavours (blackberry, mineral and liquorice), full-bodied richness and fabulous concentration that never comes across as heavy or cumbersome. Showing additional minerality and definition with time in the glass, this beauty will have 10-15 years of longevity and should not be missed.
Press Quote: "The 2017 Côtes de Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem is a step up from the Les Vignes bottling, drawn from just the one commune of Latour de France. A 60-40 blend of Grenache and Syrah, aged mostly in concrete, it offers up bright aromas of cherries and blueberries. It's medium to full-bodied, with a creamy mid-palate and supple tannins, then turns peppery on the long, silky finish." Jeb Dunnuck - 92/100 robertparker.com
Buy Occultum Lapidem Rouge here for £15/bottle – SAVE £4! *****************************
Now, Mr Anderson, one last question, did you take the red or the blue pill before reading this blog?