Having spent far too many birthdays in previous places of work where celebrations just seemed to involve some sub-standard cakes (a Swedish ball bearing manufacturer, an English Language School, a University and a larger B2B supplier to name just a few) it’s been a pleasant surprise to me just how much working at Yapp takes over your view of the world – and all for the better I should add!

I turned 44 last weekend – this is not really anything to shout about but I did base all the celebrations on wines from our list. As our house filled with various friends and family during the weekend, wine was always to hand and had been planned (with thanks to our Shop Manager) to, dare I say it, near perfection.

A fine selection of cheeses was rolled out to mark my specific birthday at Yapp HQ – and accompanied by quince cheese (that we’d tasted previously at our Christmas meal) – sadly, no wine as we were at work but it was certainly a good lead into the weekend. Friday night, before the deluge of people that descended I tried the first wine out with my wife (a regular event that she’s now thankfully become accustomed to) that was an often talked about match at Yapp HQ – Roquefort cheese, water biscuits and Jurançon 2008: Domaine Bellegarde – if ever I’ve tasted a perfect combination this has to be it – even Julie (my wife) was taken aback by the experience – strike 1!

After a day of, for want of a better phrase, “children” (mine and my nephew – all under the age of 6) we got them all tucked up and the adults ventured into the nearest town to our sleepy hamlet, where we devoured a fine Indian meal (The Sultan in Melksham if you’re ever down this way). With this we happily worked our way through a chilled bottle of Alsace: Pinot Blanc 2005 – all agreed (well, apart from my brother-in-law who refused to move away from his bottle of cider) that this was another hit – strike 2!

Sunday, we rolled out the big guns in both food and wine – we had a full rib of beef and, as an aperitif, we opened a cold bottle of the timeless Yapp Champagne (a not unexpected strike 3!) and then settled into the beef. A few of my tried-and-trusted ‘not for drinking on a school night’ bottles were opened – a Côtes de Provence: Domaine Richeaume: Cuvée Tradition 2008 and my last bottle of Brézème: Eugène de Monicault 2007 – perfect matches again, strikes 4 and 5 combined!

Then, to round it all off we re-ran the Roquefort cheese, water biscuits and Jurançon 2007 and a digestif of Bas Armagnac 1996 – our guests left full and with very contented smiles.

Maybe 44 isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I could mention how I was due to get an iPad as a present but instead had to settle for a fridge freezer, but that I'll save for another time...