WINE RICHARD EHRLICH Peanut but­ter vodka? You can keep it

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, my at­ti­tude to­wards flavoured vodka os­cil­lates between in­dif­fer­ence and loathing. There are two honourable ex­cep­tions: Zubrowka (Pol­ish) and Chase Mar­malade (English).

But flavoured vodka grows in pop­u­lar­ity, es­pe­cially in the USA. Most re­cent abom­i­na­tion: UV Sugar Crush Vodka, whose name and pink bot­tle are clearly aimed at the very young. As the ex­cel­lent web­site points out, UK laws wouldn’t al­low the stuff to be sold over here.

If Sugar Crush is faintly in­sid­i­ous, most flavoured vod­kas make the sim­pler mis­take of merely be­ing un­palat­able. Or dis­gust­ing. Marsh­mal­low vodka, any­one? Peanut but­ter?

Dur­ing a re­cent week­end at a ho­tel in Mist­ley, Es­sex, some­thing made me soften my anti-flavour­ing stance slightly. Their house Bloody Mary, based on a home-made horseradish­in­fused vodka, is a thing of beauty (and def­i­nitely for grown-ups). So maybe there’s some­thing to be said for this flavour­ing lark af­ter all.

If you’ve been in a French su­per­mar­ket in the past few years, you may have no­ticed the in­creas­ing promi­nence of flavoured wines. They have a de­voted fol­low­ing, es­pe­cially among the young.

While I’ve never tried any, the cat­e­gory doesn’t frighten me. Af­ter all, Kir and San­gria are both flavoured wine. And if they gen­tly ease younger drinkers into lov­ing wine, that’s great. (No one needs to be gen­tly eased into lov­ing vodka.)

I’m hop­ing to try the flavoured stuff when I head to the Langue­doc on sum­mer hol­i­day. In the mean­time, I will be en­joy­ing this week’s un­flavoured troika of sum­mery whites. First: Casillero del Di­ablo Devil’s Col­lec­tion White 2012, an un­ortho­dox blend from this fine Chilean pro­ducer: ex­u­ber­ant and ex­otic fra­grantly mixed fruit flavours. Tesco, £8.99. Asda, £9.

Two: en­tirely ortho­dox, Sains­bury’s Taste the Dif­fer­ence Pouilly Fumé 2013, a rich, in­tense ver­sion at the rel­a­tively low price of £12. A fine part­ner for that goat’s cheese salad you’ll be eat­ing on the ter­race.

And fi­nally: The Co-Op­er­a­tive Truly Ir­re­sistible Godello 2013, from one of this grape va­ri­ety’s nat­u­ral homes in north west Spain. Lively fruit, dom­i­nated by cit­rus; £8.49; lovely stuff. Don’t add vodka.

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