Today was our 17th wedding anniversary. Yet as Fiona presented me with an anniversary card, I shuddered. Raw fear. Terror. I’d forgotten, and unlike Basil Fawlty, who pretended to forget his anniversary to spring a surprise on Sybil (Agincourt? Trafalgar? Crecy? Poitiers? Yom Kippur?), I had genuinely forgotten. It’ not that I hadn’t remembered the date of our wedding; rather that the 8th had come a little too quickly.
Fiona was gracious. When I got back from walking the dog on Hounslow Heath, she’d lined up a couple of movies and a couple of bottles of fizz. And so we watched Bridget Jones (films one and two) in succession, drinking two very good sparkling wines. It wasn’t a penance, even though I did feel guilty. I enjoyed both films – they’re fun, and well written. And I was incredibly grateful to Fiona for being so forgiving.
The first fizz was a very impressive Champagne de Saint Gall Premier Cru 2004, from Marks & Spencer. A serious Blanc de Blancs of real class. The second, from the UK, matched it for class, which makes it one of the UK’s top wines.
Hush Heath Estate Balfour Brut Rose 2006 Kent, England
12.5% alcohol. Orange/pink colour. Powerful, quite structured and intense with savoury, citrussy notes and some herbiness. There’s a hint of strawberry/plum fruit, as well as high acidity. This is a complex, savoury sparkling wine that’s full of class, and which has real intensity. 91/100 (£35 Marks & Spencer, Waitrose)