Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Champagne or Bublés…?

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

not all that sparkles is champagne
In the season of good cheer and all things bubbly it’s unfortunate timing to learn that the Champenoise are ploughing forward with a particularly uncheerful law suit. Wine critic, presenter and educator Champagne Jayne stands accused of misleading and deceiving the public by using the name Champagne Jayne whilst also promoting other sparkling wines, and according to is being taken to court over the matter for trademark infringement by France’s Champagne trade body.


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Happy wines lie ahead….

Sunday, November 16th, 2014
Vazart-Coquart Réserve Blanc de Blancs Grand Bouquet 2007I had always thought that loss and emotional pain would lead me to drink: a medicinal cure without a prescription, effective in dulling the heartache and fading the reality of the days that lie ahead. But, in the recent grief I have faced, drink has not cured my ailments in fact I’ve recoiled at the thought of sinking an extra glass in fear of loosing grip on my control. What it has done is made me realise my emotional attachment to wine. To me it embodies happy times, memorable occasions, a journey of discovery with friends, family and work mates. It’s for this reason that I’ve not posted for a while, wine simply has not been in my glass but as the cloud starts to lift and the darkness fades I am grateful that the happy season is what greets me on the other side and if recent events have taught me one thing it’s that there’s truth in the old saying “life is too short to drink bad wine.”


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Three french wines, and a partridge in a pear tree!

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

[In song] On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…. three french wines, and a partridge in a pear tree!
There’s one thing we can all say about Christmas and that is it’s predictable. We have turkey, family, friends, too much food, too much booze, a credit card in the red and a stack of New Years resolutions about to be broken. When it comes to wine the same could be said for the choice available on our high street, little is new and most is predictable. So, discovering wineries that are actively doing something different is a real joy. Calmel & Jospeh are one such French winery based in the Languedoc region that caught my eye having declared a penchant for creating wines that will it’s tasters into uncharted taste territory. Not many wineries could make such a claim and actually deliver. ………

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An unusual white that’s wintery….

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

[In song]
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me a
n unusual white that’s wintery!

There’s been big debate in the wine world over the use of heavy weight bottles for so called Icon wines; you know the ones I mean, they look like they should be playing rugby with their overly broad shoulders and have a massive dent or punt in the bottom.

The use of these mega bottles can be a way of marketing your wine to seem more special than it is in a manner of “it must be good, look at the bottle!” I often regard it as an expression of a winery’s insecurity, think of some of the most expensive bottles in the world from the likes of Bordeaux and Burgundy, none of them are ponced up in oversized glass. Which is what makes this bottle of Terres Viognier-Chardonnay 2011 Domaine de la Baume* unusual. Firstly Viognier-Chardonnay blends are not all that common and secondly it’s from the Languedoc in the South of France and the French just don’t do macho bottles.


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An expensive bottle of bubbly….

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

[In song] On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me an expensive bottle of bubbly…
Sometimes only Champagne will do: when celebrating a big occasion like an engagement or wedding or as the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve. Billecart Salmon’s Vintage 2004 Champagne* is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, 20% of which was vinified in oak, and is the bottle for just such an occasion.
Right now it is tasting crisp and fresh but with a nod towards its ageing potential in a tasty lemon biscuit sort of way. I’d be inclined to get a bottle now and drink it next year because I prefer my Champagne with a bit more age. But at this stage in its youth I’d say this vintage is just what you need to waken your palate at  zero hundred and keep dancing into the wee hours!
* Available from Berry Bros & Rudd, Hedonism Wines, Harrods and, RRP £65.00

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Wine gifts for under the tree….

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

[In song] On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me some wine gifts for under the tree….

Stuck for a comedy Secret Santa gift for your office pals or fancy jollying-up your festive wrapping with some funky gift tags then look no further. have created a whole new way to present that bottle of wine you take to dinner parties this Christmas with their Drink This Wine* gift tags which are also a great stocking filler for the wine lover in your life as well as a handy reminder for any serious oenophile you know not to take wine too seriously. Beautifully packaged they put the fun into functional.

Available from
and £5.95 


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