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Friday, 4 December 2020

Dan Kirby's Wine Swap - Francesca Gaffey

Delivery for Gaffey! Ooooh laa laa!

Manchester-based PR, Francesca Gaffey, writes up her wines sent and received for Dan Kirby's twitter bottleswap in a guest post  

I love a bottle swap, so when Dan Kirby set about organising a crowd of us to sign up, I jumped in and offered up my personal data in exchange for a mystery bottle of wine.

I usually love to think of the person I’m sending to on a bottle swap and take much pleasure in thinking about what they might like, what might they not have tried, what might they be curious about.

But, for this swap, the bottle had to represent the sender, so I automatically went for something pink and sparkling.

My recipient was Tim Milford – someone I was aware of from social media but hadn’t met IRL; I tried to look back through his posts to see if he had a penchant for pink.

He did not. 

A quick scroll through his pics and I saw he enjoys Riesling, Spätburgunder and Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Wirsching Scheurebe… you get the idea. I also spotted he’s taking part in Movember and had also defaced a Trump tweet so I thought he must be a decent, broad-minded kind of person, therefore open to trying something unusual.


Earlier this year, I was the recipient of a bottle of Ca’Salina Brutissimo Moscato Extra Brut from another bottle swap and loved the fact it was so dry, had tiny, racy bubbles and really gentle notes of raspberry and tangy citrus fruits. Because the colour is peachy pink, and it has the word Moscato in there, you’re expecting something sweeter but as the sugar level is only 0.5 grams/litre it’s a delightfully dry wine.


I sent the bottle to Tim via @JustPerfectWines so it was cleverly disguised. Tim had already popped it open and almost finished the bottle by the time it got to his turn to guess, so I think he and his drinking buddy enjoyed it. He described it as ‘light, dry and quite stylish’ …his guesses went from Heather to Kirsten and finally to me!

So glad I was the third driest and stylishest person in the zoom!


My sender was Tom Lewis – who had also stealthily sent it from a retailer (Cambridge Wine Merchants). I received a very unusual bottle of aged Côtes du Rhone – a Syrah / Grenache blend – and at 15% I was merrily enjoying it, having decanted it earlier.

On first pour, the colour was a mahogany red / brown colour, so deep and dark, and on first sip, I got plenty of dark juicy fruit (ripe cherry, blueberry), liquorice, and a hint of spice. I love a big bold red so this was right up by street and a style I hadn’t tried before. Tom did say it’s unusual to age Côtes du Rhone so I wasn’t being a complete moron for saying I hadn’t had one this old.


It was a Domaine de Fontbonau 2012, which after me guessing Sam, Tom, another Tim and not even noticing Hal (owner of Cambridge Wine Merchants), I plumped for Tom Lewis. Turns out he had a Gaffey anecdote as he went to school with a person sharing my surname, so my follow up from the bottle swap is to look into my family tree and see if we’re related!

It was a really fun session and great to see people’s choices and find out why their wine represented them. We went from bagnums and Jammy Gits to leather saddles, and of course, Mike (from Dalwood) talking bull, so to speak. 

Thank you to Tom for introducing me to aged Côtes du Rhone, something I will definitely buy more of. 

And a big thank you to Dan for organising, hosting and refereeing on the night! It was definitely the most well-organised bottle swap I’ve been a part of – plenty of updates and communications along the way, fun build-up via the newsletter and Twitter feed, and the bottle reveals worked really well and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Link to purchase the pink Moscato: 


Link to Dan’s fundraising page:

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