“Je vous écoute”, just like Emmanuele Macron keeps saying these days. I have received countless requests and messages from friends asking me to write again in this blog. As we approach the end of December with its many special nights and festivities, the pressure is growing. Could you recommend the perfect wine to celebrate many good things? My friends are like that. I always listen to you -and I never pretend that I listen.

Thanks my summer diaries, I can tell you right away about two extraordinary wines.

(Summer nights are perfect to try new things. You don’t look at your watch and next day you can wake up late and say “I have nothing to do and all day to do it”. Thank you Irwin for teaching me this important truth).

The first wine is Abadia de Retuerta Le Domaine, made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes and a bit of verdejo by the mavericks of Abadía Retuerta in Sarón del Duero (35 euros). It is the best white I have encountered in decades, strong and complex, with a touch of pineaple and the colour of old gold.

The second wine is Lindes de Remelluri 2011 (12 euros) from the old monastery grounds of Toloño in Rioja. A very soft, silky & smooth red, incredibly well priced.

More recently, my friend Benjamin -when it comes to understanding life and food, he is the one- has invited me to discover two treasures. The first one is Dominio del Pidio 2016 (50 euros), a very special white created by Oscar Aragón in Quintana del Pidio, Burgos, with the little known Albillo grape. This is an amazing Atlantic wine, full of dreams.

The other great introduction has been to Galia 2016 Villages (30 euros), a garage red invented by Jerome Bougnaud, well know for his splendid work in many projects in Spain, like this one with the Regajal winery. Galia is a red wine of striking personality. It is made with garnacha and tempranillo grapes that come from small and very selected parcels along the banks of the Duero river. I was surprised by this wonderful invention, so attractive that it deserves to become in no time a revered tradition.