A friend popped round last night for a chat so I cracked open a bottle I thought she’d like. I was wrong. No-one could like it. It was badly maderised and slightly vinegary. Faced with a choice between it and Special Brew or White Lightning, I’d probably choose a snakebite blend of those two rocket fuels than the nasty, nasty wine. I pulled an emergency Montana Sauvignon Blanc from the fridge which worked fine.
Ordinarily I’d chalk up the bad wine to experience, but it formed part of a trend. Out of a case I bought from Oddbins in March I’ve opened eight bottles and so far three have been maderised or well past their best. Over the last decade I’ve had some fabulous finds at Oddbins, but over the last ten months I’ve had some duff bottles, more than could be accounted for by coincidence, and from more than one branch (although my nearest closed a year ago).
I’m reluctant to give up on Oddbins, it’s been a force for good for a long time, but under French ownership it seems to be on the slide. I hear it’s up for sale again. I hope it’s bought by someone who re-invigorates it’s passion for bringing great wine at reasonable prices to the suburbs.
In the meantime my compost heap is doing great on a combination of coffee grounds and undrinkable wine.