Wime Reviews: Rowan Ireland is The Oxford Blue’s weekly wine reviewer. Please ignore Rowan and his distasteful word choices as he drinks his way through the cheap wines of the world.

Edizione 789 Di Mondelli Prosecco: Sainsburys £6.25

Rowan’s tasting notes:

On the nose: Like your crush’s perfume, a careful mix of perfection
and regret.

On the palate: Superficial notes of effervescence who flirt with your taste buds but leave before really giving you a chance.

Pair with: “At Last” (Etta James) – its either perfectly appropriate, or you can stare out of the window trying to have feelings.

Score: 24 – Marks were deducted because in an uncharacteristic swoon of hospitality I poured glasses for two loathsome acquaintances and missed out on half the bottle.


So, you’ve just been dumped.

It’s that time of the year – spring is bulging over a nearby hill and the nights aren’t quite so long. If you’re going to be single now’s the time, or so your ex thought. But its Valentine’s day, your friends are still in relationships, even the really boring ones – goodness know how – and you’re sat alone writing wine reviews to pass the time. Well, if you have only just realised how completely unlovable you really are, this is the prosecco for you.

It is the sort of drink you want to spill, not because it’s bad, rather, you are simply interested to see how it will react, like spitting at royalty. It is so self-assured, but not in an attractive way. I can see through its façade, its glib charm, its expensive clothes. It enjoys talking to you, takes some photos and then goes to talk to someone else. But at the end of the day, when you’re all tucked in, the wine will be alone as well. The child of a NBC writers-room, a convenient fatherly figure sits me down and explains; “He’s a tourist, he vacations in peoples lives … and moves on” the quotation goes on, but I won’t.

And I sip again, after all, its Valentine’s Day, and I can hardly while it away without something to swallow… so I swallow my pride and choke back the prosecco.

I trip lightly along the muddy path, avoiding puddles, couples and geese. A take-out cup of coffee scolds my hand, but people will start to look at me if I swap hands any more frequently. It is still too hot to drink and dribbles small eruptions of coffee onto the webbing between my thumb and pointy-finger with each step.

Nestled on a bench between a conveniently vacant couple and less convenient goose a bottle lounges giving off wafts of self-satisfaction that grace my character-arc in a way that I will look back on in three years and know contributed to the boy I have become. I push aside the couple and sit next to the bottle, “Honk” declares the goose, picking up its goose-things and heading to work. We talk, the prosecco and I, and conversation flows like… well… wine. But then the prosecco gets up, it is time to go. And off it trots, better things to do, better people to see. And I sit there, thinking to myself, “I too have better places and people to do”, and I get up, and never look back.

If you’re alone this Valentine’s Day, I’m sorry, but you now have a whole year to become a  better person or to lower your standards. Whichever’s easiest. In the meantime, pick up a bottle of this prosecco and see if you can taste my feelings in its bouquet.

If you’re in a relationship, you should also buy this bottle, then think about all the happy couples in TV shows and the movies, and then think how poorly all the other aspects of TV shows map onto your life – see if you can convince yourself that the relationship part is different. Go on.

Rowan Ireland is a second-year Fine Art student at The Queen’s College

Rowan Ireland

Rowan Ireland is The Oxford Blue's wine reviewer in exile. A fan of everything, Rowan wakes up with the dawn screaming, and enjoys long walks around his hometown on a remote mountainous island north of England. When he isn't writing wime reviews he can't be found.