Wines with style

Come on England!!

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Camel Valley vineyardThe World Cup is responsible for a lot of things lately; nervous excitement as we all grip to the thread of hope that England are still in; sleepless nights as Mr Bouquet stays up watching each and every game and a rise in the sale of all things Brazilian…. including wine.

Rather astonishing the UK is now the number one export market for Brazilian wines which considering we’re also in the game to win it makes me think that wine importers and retailers have got this a bit wrong. Pushing Brazilian wine while England are still in with a chance seems a little traitorous. Surely at moments of patriotism like this it’ll be sales of English wines that sore?


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Rich in gold….

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Lowburn Ferry Pinot Noir layeredLast week’s Sunday Times Style supplement was dripping in intriguing features on the über rich. Assuming their money could be used to buy some of the world’s finest wines, I wondered what this super-class would pull from the wine rack for a Monday night in on the sofa. With jealousy to one side surely even the keenest of winos with the rosiest of noses couldn’t stomach Burgundy 1er Cru and First Growth Bordeaux every night?

After some consideration I would like to think they might crack the screwcap on ………

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Easter Sweeties….

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Have you given halfhearted instructions to your family that you’re too old for Easter eggs now…. and sort of on a diet anyway…. but know you’re going to feel forlorn when the mini-eggs are passed around to everyone but you?! Well worry not, there are still plenty of ways to get your sugar fix and Easter treat. Here are three suggestions: ………

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Wines in full bloom….

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Riesling, Viognier and Torrontes are all aromatic white wines I like to drink but seldom order unless I’m eating Asian style foods with a bit of spice. It’s been drummed into us: aromatic whites go with Japanese, Thai and Chinese which is great because they’re always a safe combo but aromatic whites are equally, if not more so, perfect staples for Spring time drinking too.

What sets an aromatic white apart from trusty whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio is very much as the name suggests; they’re perfumed, scented, fragrant, distinctive and sometimes pungent which means finding one
you like can be a bit of a gamble.

Here are a couple that are very much in full bloom:

Harvey Nichols Clare Valley Riesling 2012, South Australia (£16.00) is everything I wish all Rieslings could be: brimming with grapefruit, lemon blossom and sherbet characters, so fresh and citrusy on the finish that your mouth literally salivates for more. It’s a style that’s typically Clare Valley Riesling and should be a go-to region for anyone that likes their’s dry not sweet.

Bellingham The Bernard Series Hand-Picked Viognier 2013 (£10.99) from The Co-operative Food is peachy, peach blossom in particular and like apricot jam on a hot croissant, it’s smooth, full and naughty but nice.

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White wines win this winter….

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Usually white wines from the Loire are to springtime what reds wines are to winter. Except for the fact that this year winter has been very much about white wines, not red. There’s something so sleepy about red wines, which just won’t do if your life is such that hibernation is not an option.

There’s been a surge of excellent white wines hitting our shelves too that are the perfect balance of indulgence and freshness making them perfect winter wines. Château de Fesles la Chapelle 2011 is one of them. It’s from the Loire and made of Chenin Blanc; it has the region’s trade-mark zing but its full bodied nature isn’t one for brighter days it’s for slurping on a cold night with a hearty wintery dish. Think gammon and cauliflower cheese, roast chicken with all the trimmings or a hearty pasta dish.

With whites as good as this winter can stay a bit longer.

£13,99 @ Waitrose 

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Tough love….

Friday, February 7th, 2014

When people say they like Pinot, it’s unlikely they mean Pinotage, more likely Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio. That’s not to say that Pinotage doesn’t have its followers: this indigenous grape is loved by a loyal set of patriotic South Africans but to the rest of us it remains a crowd divider. For me I’d only found one worth recommending to you to try, until now.

Pinotage is disliked by many for its tar and burnt rubber pong likened to a new road being surfaced. Tough love, maybe, but I’ve found something different, a game changing red that takes Pinotage to another level. Now for the science bit: ………

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