Whether it’s after a well deserved holiday, or simply a restful weekend, it’s hard not to whine about going back to work after a break.
We’ve either returned to an office that looks nothing like Ibiza or are back dressing for zoom calls again, top half only.
I suppose I just need to suck it up, everyone else does – and by that I mean wine during the week.
Not that I’m advocating getting boozy, but there’s no shame in a sporadic snifter of an evening to help you unwind once the kids are in bed and the dinner’s in the dog, cat, guinea pig or partner.
Equally, it’s better than saving it up for the weekend and going OTT, though there’s no judgement on that either – always carried out responsibly, obviously.
Assuming we’re sensible sippers, let’s get into the habit of classifying weekday wines separately from our weekend tipples.
Reserve the flashier bottles to mark the end of a long week, weekday wines are all about unbridled comfort without having to keep up with the Kardashians, though you can have that on in the background.
There’s no need for flexing, lean towards non-blingy bottles that are the wine equivalent of wearing a pair of Uggs in warm bath whilst listening to Enya.
A Monday in October calls for the soft landing of a Viognier, the spiced peach-flavoured white that does the heavy lifting of edging us into autumn.
You could also summon sauvignon blanc’s spicier soul-sibling, Grüner Veltliner, cringily nicknamed ‘Gru Vee’ though not by me.
When it comes to Tuesday, we need the lift of something unusual to peak our imagination, so opt for an orange wine or a darker-hued rosé.
‘Hump day’ Wednesday commands a juicy red, like a South African blend or a Chilean pinot noir, while Thursday’s ‘new Friday’ status calls for a nod to serious sipping with an Italian Primitivo or an Etna Rosso.
As for the end of the week, I think a celebration is in order, frankly.
Fizz Friday is a must, though it’s completely up to you if a champagne, English sparkling, cava or South African bubbly toots your flute.
Monday: Queen Bee Viognier
There’s nothing better than downing tools on a Monday evening. Actually there is, downing wine.
By that I mean sipping a glass leisurely on its own or matched with something bubbling away on the stove.
To me, Viognier has flavours of peach, ginger nut biscuit and honeysuckle, with richness that makes it a knockout with Thai curries. Made for Laithwaites by leading South African producer, Journey’s End, this is dry, exotic and blooming moreish.
Buy it for £12.99 from Laithwaites.
Tuesday: Denbies Orange Solaris
I’m not going to reference ‘the future’s bright, the future’s orange’, as that advert was way before my time. Ahem. Instead, let’s talk about orange wine, which confusingly hasn’t been anywhere near a citrus fruit.
For fear of mansplaining, the name refers to its amber colouring, which it gets from extended grape skin contact. Winemaker Andy Kershaw from Denbies in Surrey has rustled up a textured wine tasting of baked apple and clementine.
Buy it for £25 from Denbies.
Wednesday: Amandla Power! Shiraz Zinfandel
We need more of these brands around, that’s for sure. A joyous wine made by HER Wine Collection, a majority black-owned and all-female-run business, celebrating the diverse history of Africa and the vibrancy of black culture.
Expect me to write about their sauvignon blanc later this Black History Month, I know, I’m predictable. Amandla means ‘Power’, though the wine itself is medium-bodied and fresh, with hedgerow fruits abounding in this complex, sophisticated red.
Buy it for £7.49 from Waitrose.
Thursday: Terra Organica Primitivo
Terra Organica is an umbrella brand that scours the world looking for affordable, well-made organic wines to put on our shelves.
Typically, they’re produced by independent family-run wineries, like this one, made by Casa Vinicola Botter in Puglia. No chemicals have been used, the winery runs on the renewable energy and the wine tastes like plum crumble.
Buy it for £9.50 (£1.50 off) from Ocado.
Friday: Dopff Crémant d’Alsace Cuvée Julien, France
If you’re not doing the Friday dance around the office, kitchen or wherever you work, you need to get cracking.
While you’re at it, bag yourself a bottle of this sparkling, a top level crémant at a price champagne wouldn’t deign to occupy.
Dopff is a family-run producer, 13 generations no less. In fact, Julien Dopff was the one who achieved official recognition for Crémant d’Alsace, allowing us to sip this dry, quince-laden foam.
Buy it for £13.95 from The Wine Society.
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