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GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD WINE

Dostoyevsky wasn’t known for his sunny disposition. But, being Russian, he would probably have dealt with our winter better than we do. On Sunday 27 October the clocks go back, heralding the end of the ironically named British Summer Time. From there on the nights will grow longer and darker. Our answer is to hunker down with something warm and equally dark, like Bowmore Darkest 15 Year Old malt whisky, which smoulders with the richness of dark chocolate, black treacle toffee, smoke and worn leather. Or why not take on a walk on the darker side with our craft beer case: London By Night, six pitch black ales that are certain to warm the cockles. The darker the night, the brighter these stars will shine.

Remember, remember the 5th of November, fireworks, jacket potatoes and Champagne. Wait a minute, that isn’t how it goes, is it? Anyway, for us, the fireworks of Bonfire Night mark the real start of the party season. So how are we going to celebrate? We turned to our Wine Buyer Ana Sapungiu for advice, and she said “According to legend, on trying the first ever sparkling Champagne, the monk Dom Pérignon was reputed to have said ‘Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!’. Well stars are OK, but if it's cloudy you can't see them. I prefer the excitement of fireworks. Drappier is so bright and breathtaking, each sip is like drinking chilled fireworks.” Pop. Ooh. Aah. All we can add to that is that at just £26 a bottle, Drappier is one firework it is safe to return to.

The red safelight in Hell’s darkroom must really set off Satan’s eyes. But why doesn’t he ditch the darkroom and go digital like the rest of us? Maybe modern technology can’t cope with all that damnation and brimstone. We’re much less afraid of Lucifer now that star of Point Break, Gary Busey, has informed us that he has a nice hobby. But talking of all things scary, 31 October is Hallowe’en, so you will be wanting a suitably ghoulish wine we imagine. But not one of those supermarket trick wines that Oz Clarke was talking about on Watchdog, you’ll be wanting one of those treat wines, like the ones that Oddbins sells. So why not try Longview’s dark and minty Devils Elbow Cabernet Sauvignon, missing the apostrophe because it takes its name from an Aussie road rather than Beelzebub’s olecranon (we think it's still grammatically dubious though). It’s devilishly good and develops in the glass, not a darkroom.

That’s all from us, except to say that although this edition of Oddnews has had quite a dark and nocturnal feel, keep an eye out because we’re about to lighten things up with some fun…