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“All the boys are jealous of me,

So I never take her where the gang goes

When I take my sugar to tea”

I’m a reluctant socialite. Like most men I hate arranging things, and if it were left up to me the VOR and I would probably seldom hobnob. My better half loves to plan however, most mornings are met with the words “Right Then” and I know there is a convivial campaign in the offing.

I always greet impending get togethers with a deep foreboding, particularly if they involve more than two other people. The irony is that I always have a great time – much to the VOR’s chagrin.

But socialising presents a perennial dilemma – particularly if I am not the host – and it is one which I am sure you are familiar.

When I take wines to a soiree, I normally want to drink them – or, having had them before – I want to share the love. Mein hosts however have other plans, they trouser said wines and serve their own! Now this is ok if their wines are any good but what if they are not? I don’t want to seem ungrateful but how does one preclude this from happening – particularly if they don’t run out of the stuff!

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Anyway here are some wines to stay in with, or hide in a garden.

The Vecchia Modena by Cantina Cleto Chiarli, is a premium Lambrusco di Sorbara non vintage. Fizzy, perky and fascinatingly fruity, it is the ideal way to kick off an evening. Don’t be afeared of fizzy reds, they are eccentric and delicious – just watch the pop as you get it out of the shrubbery.

Thelema Mountain Red  is much more interesting than its moniker. A blend of pretty much every red grape that can be found in a vineyard, this is full of spicy, blackcurrant fruit laced with white pepper and a touch of liquorice. Juicy and inviting on the nose and richly rewarding on the palate.

Dirk Niepoort’s Vertente is a blend of Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Franc, Tinta Amarela, and Touriga Nacional.  This fantastic little red has lush aromas of blackberry and damsons which follows through to the palate. Tannins are ripe and softly approachable. acidity is lively and there is a judicious splash of well integrated oak.

Last, but certainly not least, is the delicious little Moscato Nivole from Michele Chiarlo. I absolutely adore this wine, it comes in a 50cl bottle – just enough to share – and is an ideal pick me up. Lovely, lively, grapey and deeply energising, it’s off dry with a delicate, sherbety spritz. Coming in at a mere 5% alcohol, this could be uncorked to the sound of “Right Then”.