Best Wine – Aalto PS 2005 from Ribeiro del Duero in Spain next door to the legendary Vega Sicilia. It is Aalto’s reserve wine but they can’t label it reserva as they do not stick to the legal requirements. Reserva wines in Spain must be aged for at least 3 years before release and must have at least one year in oak. Grand Reservas must be five years old, 18 months in oak and 36 months in bottle. But this is sensational stuff. Extremely dense, smooth and full of black fruit.
Best restaurant – Comptoir, Forbes Street, Kennedy Town. The car valeting and pimping businesses have been replaced by restaurants and this is one of the best on the street.
Best film – Marvellous. Toby Jones acts out the real life story of Neil Baldwin. A brilliantly acted sweet and sharp drama which can’t help but raise your spirits.
Best Music – Arc Iris by Arc Iris. Skip the first track and then give it time. Excellent.
Best Book – Crap Towns Returns (by unpopular demand). The third (and final?) incarnation of the book documenting the worst places in Britain to live. A catalogue of misery. For example, the description of Mayfair reads “it’s inhabitants are virtually without exception the biggest shower of needy self-important bum wipes in London with a self-pity complex and misplaced sense of entitlement to match”. Scathing and great fun.