Thursday 17th December 2015: 7.04pm.
First of the Christmas booze turned up: this is a ten year old Sercial which is a dry and uncommon Madeira fortified wine. Like all Madeira, it is matured open to the air so it oxidises, and therefore becomes very stable to the bottle being open (which is why mariners used to buy heavily from the island of Madeira before doing the transatlantic crossing). Sercial is not typically available, most people prefer a sweeter fortified wine, and the taste is like a dry white sherry with a vinegar bite which sounds not nice, but is a nicely complex and tart aperitif and much more complex than your standard dry sherry which is bland in comparison. Looking forward to my remaining Christmas booze turning up - this year no whiskey apart from the superb Green Spot matured in wine casks special edition, to be honest it's very hard to beat for the price and I keep ordering another bottle when we run out, it's really very nice indeed in that slightly worrying way ... :)