Battles, Dead Arms, Freedom and a 17th century guide to staying sober

It’s Friday so time to scout around and see what you might look out for this weekend.

I’ve started by seeing what’s available in Singapore for Battle of Bosworth wines from McLaren Vale, and the only place I could come up with was Crystal Wines. None of them pass the Bastard Box Index for value so I’ll list them and let you make your own choice.

2007 / Battle of Bosworth / McLaren Vale / Shiraz Viognier / S$46.00 – James Halliday rates this wine at 93 points with drinking now until 2014. But…with a RRP of A$24, the asking price just sneaks outside the BBI for value.

2006 / Battle of Bosworth / McLaren Vale / Cabernet Sauvignon / S$53.00 – Halliday rates this as a 90, also drinking to 2014. Jeremy Oliver gives it 88 points, drink by 2011. Curiously, the price seems more out of whack as the RRP is shown as A$25. Not sure why it commands another S$7 over the shiraz viognier then.

But, don’t despair, there are some truly enticing deals on stalwart wines at Wine Exchange Asia. The Dead Arm and The Freedom are in six bottle lots.

2004 / Cullen / Diana Madeline / Margaret River / Cabernet Merlot / S$100 – Gourmet Traveller Wine and Halliday both rate at 95 points and suggest drinking now to 2019. Jeremy Oliver gives it a whopping 97 points and suggests it will go to 2030+. With a RRP of A$100, the pricing here is spot on for a true icon wine.

2006 / d’Arenberg / The Dead Arm / McLaren Vale / Shiraz / S$60 – A personal favourite, and wow, look at that price. Both Oliver and Halliday rate it 95 points with drinking roughly 2018-2030 so you’ll need to put this one away to truly enjoy it. Not for the BBQ tonight then. RRP is A$60 – need I say more. Get some.

2006 / Langmeil / 1843 Freedom / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / S$90 – Gourmet Traveller Wine gives it 95 points, Halliday gives it 94 and both suggest drinking out to 2020+. Jeremy Oliver is not so sure giving it 89 points and drinking to 2014. RRP is A$100 so this is being offered in Singapore well below equivalent buying in Australia.

And finally, this is a gem isn’t it? There was a write up in the Financial Times of the 11th July about an upcoming sale of 17th century cookbooks at Sothebys. They quoted this advice from 400+ years ago.

““Drink first a good large draught of Sallet Oyl, for that will float upon the wine which you shall drink, and suppress the spirits from ascending into the brain.”

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Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907