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King of the Wine : Matching Mood with Wine

Food & Drink

One question I often get asked when I go into my favourite wine shop is: “What are you in the mood for?”

Sometimes I think there is a better question: “What mood am I in?”

Because mood, quite often, dictates what and how I want to drink.

Let’s take today as an example. The sun is absolutely belting down. I am sat at home, where I work, wanting to be outside drinking. My poison of choice is likely to be an alcohol-free lager. Ice cold. Devoid of taste. Its sole purpose is to cool me down and help me shed the mood I am in through work. To limber me up for something more potent to follow.

A good Rosé in this heat can’t be beaten. You can serve it colder than you should as it’s going to warm up, rapidly. It’s also a good social drink. Sharing a bottle of a vibrant Rosé is never a bad moment in life.

If I am in a bad mood after a long and frustrating day at work, it’s cold, white Italian wine. There’s no point opening anything good, as the first glass will disappear at pace between ranting outburst and pleas for a better day, tomorrow.

White Burgundy is my go-to after an OK day. Enough there to savour, without the hefty price tag – and plenty to support the risk should the mood sour, as I accidentally open Slack or email when I should be switched off from work.

If it’s the weekend and I have spent the day ferrying kids around or done that rare deed of cleaning parts of the house, then I want to make sure I have something lined up. Part reward, part to take the edge off the day. Something good, that’s low intervention or a Pet Nat, please.

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned red wines yet, which can, it’s true, be chilled and drunk in the sun. The thing with red wine is that in can be a bit of a mood chameleon. I like a good red wine when mixing it with friends and family. On the sofa, or around the dinner table toasting your good health. I also like slopping off with a cracking Beaujolais and doing a Marlene Dietrich; to be left alone. No chance in this house, but it’s there if the mood dictates.

So next time you find yourself in one of our local, independent wine shops buying more than just tonight’s wine, don’t think what you might be in the mood for – buy for the mood you could be in when you drink it!

This fortnight’s recommendations are a bit of a departure from the norm, as I think it’s good to have a couple of “buy the glass” wines up your sleeve for the inevitable beer garden or roadside catch up with friends:

Zagare Vermentino – For when you want something that screams “by the sea” as you are in the mood for a holiday, but you’re a stone’s throw away from Scott Hall Road (Beck and Call Pub, Meanwood)

Principiano Dosset Vino Rosso – Red wine that can take some time in the fridge before it hits your glass. Don’t call it funky, but it’s heading in that direction if you are new to low intervention wines (The Reliance, North Street)