Spit or Swallow

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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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, Slurp.co.uk, 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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Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Casa Silva CarmenereEvery January London’s streets become a training track for the Christmas over indulgers and crazy London marathon runners. After April the pavements are cut some slack but come May a swathe of women take to the streets. Have you noticed? They’re all a similar age, all desperate to tone up & lose some weight and all sporting a diamond or three on their left hand. Beware the Bridezilla’s!

It’s a horrible term isn’t it? Bridezilla. A cross between a bride and an oversized gorilla, ………

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All that sparkles…..

Friday, October 29th, 2010


It’s not very en vogue to boast about indulging in wine of the bubbly variety, especially when most of its Champagne. But given the circumstances I think you’ll forgive me. And besides it doesn’t count as frivolous if someone else buys it for you, does it?? You see there’s been some big news chez Miss Bouquet ….. last week Mr B and I got engaged!! Now then, before you log off and vow never to return to my site again please be assured that I’m not the kind of girl that will let the wedding take over every conversation. And to prove it I’ll get straight to the point. The sparkling list so far reads:

Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee NV (x 2!)
Champagne Perrier Jouët Grand Brut NV*
Champagne Mumm Brut NV
Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut NV
Champagne Piper-Heidseick Brut NV
and…. Anna de Codornui Cava Brut NV

Its like a who’s-who from the Champagne Information Bureau’s annual trade tasting, with a Cava thrown in to keep a girl level-headed. ………

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d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/ Marsanne 2008

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

d'arenberg viognier marsanne

Wine: d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/ Marsanne 2008, McLaren Vale/ Adelaide Hills, Australia

Style: White, stilld'arenberg 2

Outlet: Waitrose

Price: £9.99

Occasion: Lazy Sunday afternoon with crumpets and pancakes

Trend: Must. Try. Wine.

Why try this wine: Viognier has almost been the next big thing for some time. Difficult to pronounce (VEE-YON-YEY) and with an aromatic character that can sometimes lean towards soapiness it’s a grape that’s not managed to break it into the big time. Yet. This example is blended with Marsanne which lightens the punch of a pure Viognier to make an elegant wine brimming with dried apricot, orange peel and dried pineapple chunk aromas. The palate is honeyed with orange blossom, peach jam and a nostalgic finish reminiscent of lemon curd and crumpets on a Sunday afternoon. And relax……

Miss B’s verdict: SWALLOW!!

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Dominio del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Mendoza, Argentina

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Dominio del Plata Cab SauvWine: Domino del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Mendoza, Argentina

Style: Red, still

Outlet: Marks & Spencer

Price: £8.99

Occasion: An indulging autumn evening in

Trend: Masculine/ feminine; rich, robust, sweet, fruity & velvety

Why try this wine: This is a wine that refuses to be pigeon holed. Its rich, robust leathery aromas are as masculine as a tall, dark, handsome Argentine gaucho. Its cherry tart, sweet spices and black forest gateaux flavours are as alluring as an Argentine Tango dancer. Put the two together and you have a wine that will leave you aching for more…

It was good for me, how was it for you?

Miss B’s verdict: SWALLOW!!

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