Posts Tagged ‘Marks & Spencer’

Petit Verdot. The quiet air of effortless simplicity….

Monday, April 9th, 2012
In an era when everyone’s obsessed with talking I guess it was only a matter of time before our attention turned to the introvert. Several book releases and broadsheet reviews on the subject has made it official; it’s not cool to shout to be heard.
It’s a trend that’s already made it onto the wine shelves at M&S with their new Barossa Valley Petit Verdot from Australia whose sleek black screwcap and understated label design gives the quiet air of effortless simplicity only achievable in women’s fashion magazines. Its overshadowed presence on the shelf hides the intensity of the wine to such an extent you can’t help but think this is a wine that M&S actively want to keep a secret.
Au contraire. This is a wine worth sharing, a grape variety worth noticing, that quietly speaks for itself as much in a blend as it does here on it’s own. Open effortlessly and with quiet confidence that in the era of the introvert you can relax and let this wine do all the talking.
In a sip; Full bodied, velvety, blue & black fruits, oaky vanilla flavours, perfect on its own, with spicy food and rich meaty dishes. £9.99 at M&S.
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Judge a wine by its cover. It will not make you shallow….

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Last night I caught the end of Britain’s Got Talent. Don’t judge me…. I just caught the bit after The Voice on BBC1 had finished. Please don’t judge me…! I’m not into reality TV shows at all (with the exception of Master Chef of course!) but last night was different.

In case you didn’t see it, The Voice is the musical equivalent of a blind wine tasting. The judges get to hear the singers and musicians without seeing them. Just like a wine taster uses their nose and taste buds to pass judgement on a wine, Tom Jones and les autres use their ears. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be staying in next Saturday to catch the second episode but I do like the twist that The Voice is bringing to people that have the guts to put themselves out there without their looks, weight or choice of clothes messing things up for them.

This point was made more pertinent when I switched to BGT to find a young brunette standing with a 17 year old incarnation of Hurley from Lost both quivering at the “fat guy + pretty girl does not = profit” scowls from Simon Cowell. This followed by a Susan Boyle moment as ‘Hurley’ opened his mouth to reveal a stunning voice à la Paverotti. Cue jaw drops from the crowd and a standing ovation from the Judges. It was the outcome everybody was yearning for but that the audience (myself included) were still shocked to witness. Hide it as we may think we do, there is a little bit of Simon Cowell in all of us.

In the world of wine there isn’t an equivalent to Simon or Tom Jones for that matter. ………

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Red wines play it cool….

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

casablanca pinot noirIt surprises me every year just how satisfying the ritual of putting away my winter coat has become. Mine is already tucked in the trunk by my bed and my credit card is gearing up for a shopping spree. I do however find the wine-shift, now synonymous with this routine, much less rewarding. It’s a moment you’re probably familiar with too. You get off the tube gasping for a glass of something cool only to find the last bottle on your rack is an Icon wine from Chile you never found an occasion grand enough to warrant opening.

Whether it’s the weather or the wine itself nothing affects the taste of a wine more than temperature. Red wine served too warm or white wine served too cold, and don’t get me started on “best served at room temperature!”

If you’re a natural born red wine drinker and are accustomed to putting away your corkscrew at the same time as your winter jacket then think again. A lighter style red like pinot noir from Chile, gamay from Beaujolais or sangiovese from Italy are all refreshingly light in style and ………

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A traditional Christmas? That’s so last year….

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Saint Clair_Marlborough_Pinot NoirIf there’s one good thing to come out of the credit crunch it’s the opportunity for us to rethink what we do and the way we do it. This is great news if you’re adventurous by nature, but it may be a bit daunting if you’re a pure bred traditionalist.

When it comes to wine for festive entertaining it’s no different. It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut, weighed down by the security of the tried and tested and under the cosy blanket of tradition. For example, Pinot Noir is widely considered to be the perfect red for a standard British Christmas dinner, and if you’re über traditional then you’ll choose one from Burgundy, the home of Pinot Noir. But if you’re ready to listen to your adventurous side there are loads of great alternatives out there to help you spread your wine wings this Christmas and which, importantly, are 100% credit crunch compliant.

Popolino Rosso 2008 from Sicily is a perfect example at £4.95 from Marks & Spencer. This is the best under £5.00 red wine that I’ve come across in a long time, it’s lovely and light, fruity and aromatic with spiced plums, blackberry fruit and a sweet smokiness on the finish. ………

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There’s wine lovers and there’s wine lovers….

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

italian-wineAlmo popped over last night for a catch up, we met in Paris 10 years ago. She’s seen me through my growing passion for wine and supported me through my hours of study for my wine exams so there was no surprise that she came armed with the obligatory entry fee into my flat. She was a little late, something that comes natural to Almo, in fact I’m so used to it that when she’s on time it fills me with dread that something must be wrong. One reason for her late arrival, she explained was because she didn’t know what bottle to buy “I’ve got to get something she can include in her blog” was her concern.

Almo has long been a fan of Italian wine, I on the other hand inexplicably lack the Italian wine bug and this clash in tastes has bought a tense moment to the table on more than one occasion. I can’t explain it, every time I’ve visited Italy I’ve had a lovely time but when it comes to their wines I just can’t connect (Prossecco Monday’s excluded of course). Montepulciano is indisputably Almo’s favourite, medium bodied, fruity and dry. “Just how you like your men!” I joked. One look at her face, ha, I’d hit gold, turns out a former Italian lover had been key in Almo’s wine discovery, now that’s more than a connection if you ask me! ………

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