There are few things more infuriating than grasping in vain for a description. Those times when you know a perfect, illuminating word or phrase exists — yet remain fumblingly unable to lay hands on it. Verbal constipation.
And there are few things more joyous (conversely) than alighting at last upon that long-sought description. Just when you were ready to give up.
Which explains the manic delight with which I found myself exclaiming ‘Tomato ketchup!’ two glasses into a bottle of Brindisi Vigna Flaminio.
Now, that may’ve given you a less than prepossessing impression. And that’s unjust. Because this is a very good — very, very reasonably priced — wine.
So, yes, there’s tomato ketchup in there. But you must believe me when I say that this is resoundingly a good thing. It binds the whole thing together in a juicy, sweet-yet-savoury kind of way.
This is a fairly light red wine, but it’s full. It practically ZINGS with high-note aromatics (both in the nose and in the gob). Oriental spices (cinnamon, star anise and the like), plum, balsamic vinegar of the finest and most viscous variety. Then there’s a crazed cameo of fizzy cola bottle, just when your tongue thought it could slope out of the room quietly.
And, like I said, that satisfying, satisfying tomato ketchup.
I can only reiterate: don’t be put off by the ketchup thing. I know that wine writers’ descriptions can often verge on the repugnant — and I sincerely hope not to repel you, dear readers.
You should try this wine, in other words. Because it’s way more interesting than you could reasonably expect for £6.95. Yes, £6.95. That’s three quid cheaper than this old louse of a wine, for a start.
If the effervescent aromatics get too much for you, in any case, the wine tames beautifully with food (just don’t overpower the poor fellow). But, seriously, this is proof that interesting wines don’t have to have elbow-chewing price-tags.
And you’ll be able to enjoy it all the more, I might add, without the torture of working out the tomato ketchup bit.
Price £6.95 from The Wine Society (2006 out of stock; 2007 available)