Wine served at post-concert receptions. Not necessarily the most pre-possessing of notions.
I found myself in the Cathedral of Christ Church College on Saturday — for an evening of sacred English choral polyphony from the 16th century, courtesy of I Dedicati, an all-male vocal ensemble directed by Greg Skidmore.
(Now, you may think that sounds niche. However, according to the programme, it offered an opportunity to combine undiscovered gems with ‘very well known’ items of repertoire. There are few places in the world besides Oxford, I humbly submit, in which any piece of sacred English choral polyphony from the 16th century could conceivably be described as ‘well known’.)
Anyhow, yes. I digress. The concert (since you were wondering) was excellent.
… and the post-concert drinks were excellent, too. Not only because they gave me a chance to catch up with the fine old bass who’d invited me, but also because our hosts were serving The Wine Society’s Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne.
As soon as I saw the label, I realised the aforementioned fine old bass wasn’t going to be the only dear friend with whom I’d be reunited that night. Indeed, in my enthusiasm to snaffle a glass I may have knocked over an old lady or two. Never mind. See, I’ve had this wine before. And it’s very, very good.
And the kicker? It’s £5.50. Let me spell that out. FIVE AND A HALF OF YOUR BRITISH POUNDS.
Being relatively low in alcohol (10.5%) it’s perfect for convivial quaffing. It’s clean and verdant. A snap of spring in your mouth. Like crunching raw fresh peas straight from the pod.
And it goes down a treat, let me tell you. Whilst not perhaps quite as swooningly polyphonic as the repertoire of I Dedicati, it is a delight to drink. And is, I daresay, destined to appeal to a rather broader audience.
So should you find yourself throwing a party — for Oxonian polyphonists or otherwise — look no further.
Price £5.50 from The Wine Society