Just back from a great weekend away, seeing my parents and then popping in on some old friends on the way home. For the last few years my semi-nomadic folks have lived on the Suffolk coast, in between Aldeburgh and Southwold (above). It's a lovely part of the coastline and these two charming towns have been well and truly discovered by wealthy Londoners, many of whom have second homes here.
Soon after arriving we headed down to the beach at Walberswick, and while the kids were happy roaming the sand dunes and catching crabs, my dad and I took a gentle walk to Southwold where we enjoyed a couple of pints of Adnams. An early evening trip to Aldeburgh was another excuse for a pint of Adnams, but this time Fiona came too. This morning was also spent on the beach, where younger son caught an unfeasibly large crab whose pincers looked large enough to take a child-sized finger. Liver is the key. Crabs love it. [We got some inside advice from seasoned local crabbers. ] It's a great antidote to London life.
Two wines worth mentioning, both reds from the south of France, and both from the 2004 vintage, which is the real link here. 2004 is the year of freshness in Europe. It's not a year for big, long-lived, burly reds, but rather fresher, drinkable, food-friendly styles with high acidity. First, Chateau de Surville 2004 Costieres de Nimes (Marks & Spencer), which I'm drinking now. It's vivid, bright and peppery, with lovely purity of fruit and high acidity. Second, Chateau Pech-Latt 2004 Corbieres (Waitrose), which is in a similar style, offering pure, bright, well defined red fruits with grippy tannins on the finish. Both wines really need food to show their best, but considering they are relatively inexpensive (around £6-7?), they offer lots of flavour and are quite delicious.