Archive for 2011

Auld lang wyne, my dear…..

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Auld Lang Wyne My Dear

Mr Bouquet and I are hosting a New Years Eve party. It’s like second nature these days, it’ll be the third one I’ve held in the last four years… If it wasn’t for the fact we make a seriously mean punch I’d wonder if our guests send their RSVP in anticipation of us opening some of the good stuff. Au contraire mes amies, it’s a house party, there’ll be wide spread memory loss before midnight so what’s the point? And the clear up the next morning is made much less painful at the sight of that bottle of Bollinger still intact on the wine rack. Trust me.

New Years day is typically greeted with a headache, a blur of take-aways, recycling bags and forfeits ………

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Luxurious, affordable Bordeaux…..

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Dourthe_with white spaceAt this time of year when credit cards are Christmaxed-out and we’re cold and weary from parties and shopping, Chez Bouquet I’m looking for a wine that both comforts and tempts but isn’t diametrically opposed to the balance on my bank statement!

Infrequently referred to as a region where luxury and affordability meet, Bordeaux can in fact be just the place to look for that reassuringly priced wine hug that’s perfect for a cold Christmas night in. Dourthe’s Croix des Bouquets 2010 (£10 from Oddbins) not only has a great name but is temptingly affordable and comfortingly different in style.

A classic white Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion its complexity comes from 6 months aging in oak barrels to give an opulent and youthful white wine with fresh apricot and apple aromas. If you’re fed up with hearing that Pinot Noir is the only wine to be seen serving with your turkey then take note; this is the ultimate white replacement.

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Every Wine Tells a Story…. Volume II

Monday, December 5th, 2011

If you’re looking for a last minute stocking filler for the wine drinker lover in your life then look no further than the second volume of Every Wine Tells a Story. A collection of the most memorable, provocative and emotive wines as experienced by 39 international wine lovers, including yours truly!


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Thank goodness for Chardonnay…..

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

My personal life, professional life and wine life have been running on a quasi-parallel course of ups and downs. In the former Mr Bouquet and I have decided to sell our flat so we’ve been knee deep in DIY and wretched mess everywhere. The triumph of Mr B’s handy work was gazumped 3 days later by some scum breaking into our building and ransacking the flat upstairs. The relief that our flat was safe and the feeling that fate had dealt us a ‘good time to move on’ hand was erased during our first house viewings which was as shoulder slumping as calculating the value of the wine in a £5 bottle; you’re paying for everyone else to make money and all you’re left with is a filthy headache.


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The Judgement of Argentina….

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Aguma bottle shotI’ve done a lot of reminiscing over the last few months, turns out it comes with the getting-married territory. From tales told in the Father of the Brides speech to the various stories you’d rather forget but inevitably surface at the Hen! In wine terms if you go back as little as 30 years our wine aisles were a very different story. Compared to the world of choice we take for granted now, the similarities back then are barely recognisable. It was a time when wine was dominated entirely by the Old World; France, Spain, Germany and Bulgaria (strange but true). That’s not to say wine wasn’t being made around the world, the Australians, Californians, Chileans they were all at it, it just wasn’t making it to our shores. Then came The Judgement of Paris. A wine tasting held by a chap called Steven Spurrier an English wine merchant living in Paris that had tasted wines of the ‘New World’ and wanted to bring them to the UK. A story immortalised by a flamboyant but enjoyable film of the event called ‘Bottle Shock’ – it was set to change the way the UK saw and bought wine forever.

I witnessed a similar wine-changing event in September this year, a democratic tasting and Judgement of Argentina at Lord’s cricket ground. ………

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Sauvignon Blanc or Sauvignon Bland….?

Friday, October 28th, 2011

20 barrels sauvignon blanc 2009

It’s one of the nation’s favourite white wines but as it continues to gain grounds in the popularity stakes is Sauvignon Blanc in danger of becoming the next Pinot Grigio? If some of the recent one’s I’ve tasted are anything to go by then move over Sauvignon Blanc; enter Sauvignon Bland. Luckily they’re not all bad. Here’s one to swallow and a couple you should spit:

Wine: 20 Barrels Limited Edition Sauvignon Blanc 2009
White from Casablanca Valley, Chile
Price: £14.00
Outlets: Corks Out, Hailsham Wine Cellars,, Your Favourite Wines
Occasion: A classy aperitif

Swallow because:
With only 1,000 cases produced, it’s a wine you’ll want to get your hands on before stocks run out. Its younger sister, the 2010 vintage, has just won best Sauvignon Blanc in the world (!) at the International Wine & Spirit Challenge this month so while that one is making its way across the Atlantic check out the ‘09 which is an English country garden in a glass; freshly cut grass, pea pod, asparagus and lime characters. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc….. watch out! ………

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