One of the downsides of going to big events is the quality of the wine they generally serve. That's not being snobby, just realistic about the economics of catering for large numbers. Coupled with the fact that you - or at any rate, I - almost always end up drinking more than you intend to it's an almost inevitable recipe for a significant dip in productivity the following day.
But not yesterday. Because the night before at the Guild of Food Writers' awards they served a wine called Nerola from the very decent Spanish producer Torres which was not only delicious but, being organic, presumably had far fewer nasties in it than most commercial wines. I remember drinking it once in Barcelona with Asian food (can't remember why) and it certainly sailed through the assorted, mainly salmon-based canapés at the event. (It's a blend of Xarel-lo, the grape variety that is used to make Cava and Garnacha Blanca but actually tastes much more characterful than you'd expect from those grapes: more like an oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc or Sauvignon-Semillon)
Needless to say it must have been heavily subsidised (Torres was one of the sponsors of the event) as it's not what most people would consider a party wine price. The lowest retail price I could find was £8.99 from Bennetts Wine Warehouse while everywine.co.uk was charging £84.78 a six bottle case - or £14.13 a bottle which seems more than a little cheeky for a by-the-case rate. You'd need to check the vintage from Bennetts though as they might be trying to clear old stock. If I track down any other stockists I'll let you know. (And I finally have! Apparently a website called vintagemarque.co.uk will be selling the 2008 vintage from July 1st at £9.49)
Incidentally if you are thinking of buying booze for an event or to stock up for summer entertaining I'd do it this weekend. Chances are there will be a heavy hike on duty in Tuesday's emergency budget. (Well, wrong there for once!)
You can read about the GFW award-winners here.