The children were off to Thorpe Park (which we refer to when they are not around as chav heaven). For Fiona and I, the calmer, more refined delights of a walk in the country with RTL beckoned.
So we picked up a picnic in Waitrose (squid with chilli and pepper; crayfish salad; tortilla) and headed off to Sheepleas, on the north Downs, near West Horsley (or is it east?). The nutrient-poor chalky soils have an amazing array of wild flowers on them, and the place was deserted. It was just beautiful.
We sat and ate our picnic, which we washed down with two PET (plastic) quarter bottles of Wolf Blass Green Label. I’d had them in the kitchen for about a year, and because PET allows a fair bit of oxygen transmission, I was worried they might be past it.
The 2008 Chardonnay was quite deep coloured and a little more evolved than you’d expect, but still drinkable. The Shiraz Cabernet (also 2008) was beautiful, though. It had benefited from the extra oxygen exposure, and was really smooth, ripe, rich and silky. Much better than I’d have expected it to be. For red wines, especially, oxygen is an important tool in getting them to their point of optimum drinkability.
Photos are with my camera phone, so I apologise for the quality.