Year: 2019

Posted in French Wine Wine Event

An evening tasting ‘Cellier des Dauphins’ wines

On the 13th November 2019 I found myself in a what is described as a ‘rustic convivial’ French style restaurant called Noize set in the Fitzrovia region of London. Courtesy of Jo Thompson owner and director of Belleville Marketing I was invited to a wine tasting evening of one of the most recognisable and distinctive French wine producers ‘Cellier des Dauphins‘ showcasing their range of wines including some fabulous new additions. Uniting thirteen local wine…

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Posted in Majestic

Edna Valley Chardonnay 2017

Do you enjoy Chardonnay? and why is it still treated with some apprehension? Rich and loud, popular in the 90’s although Bridget Jones did her best to make it slightly naff drinking copious amounts usually with tears running down her face. It was the bottle to take to a party where you could knock it back without thinking about what you are drinking, most of it being little over the top in flavour, too buttery,…

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Posted in M&S

Is it a Grape or is it a Cheese?

Well, in fact it’s both, the Pecorino grape is grown in the Abruzzo and Marche regions of central Italy producing a crisp dry white wine and the Pecorino cheese which has a hard crumbly texture, similar to Parmesan but more salty is from the Tuscany, Sardinia and Lazio regions. The word itself is derived from ‘Pecora’ which translates to ‘sheep’ in Italian and the wine is said to have been given it’s name due to…

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Posted in Waitrose

Terre di Faiano Organic Primitivo 2016

Organic wines seem to be springing up everywhere and there seems to be more and more winemakers around the world using the principles of organic farming to produce their wines. They work with nature without the help of artificial or synthetic chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides to grow their grapes, with perhaps the odd sheep or two grazing amongst the vines to keep the weeds at bay creating a natural ecosystem. Some say that…

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Posted in M&S

The Joy of Sherry

You either love it or hate it, in my experience no other option is viable, you either get it or you don’t, basically it’s a bit of a Marmite drink. There is no doubting that sherry causes debate with its many styles from bone dry to cloyingly sweet. This Oloroso which literally translates to Fragrant or scented is somewhere in between dry and sweet. Just before I get into reviewing this bottle here is a…

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Posted in Australian Wine

Ian Botham Wines, 2nd Test

As I’ve said in an earlier review of celebrity endorsed wines I’m always a bit sceptical but I must say in this case that scepticism is unfounded, the Botham range of wines in which I have now tasted three, are well made and for the price more than hold there own against similarly priced wines. Sir Ian Botham, as well as being one of England’s all time best cricketers is also a passionate wine lover,…

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Posted in The Wine Society

Have you tried White Rioja ?

We all know and love a Rioja but mention Rioja and most people will associate it with Spanish red wine but have you tried the white version from this iconic region of northern Spain. The wine known as Rioja Blanco is primarily made from the Viura (aka Macabeo) grape which has to make up at least 51% of the blend. Other grapes used to name a few, are Malvasia, Garnacha Blanca and Tempranillo Blanco but…

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Posted in M&S

M&S Wine Festival offers

I recently bought some wine from M&S during their latest ‘Wine Festival’ discount promotion in which they were selling off a large selection of bottles for anything from a few pounds off to over half the recommended price. The wines on offer varied from store to store but if you were lucky enough there were some real bargains to be had. Friends told me that they were finding offers like Chavy Chouet Femelottes white burgundy…

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Posted in Wine Event

Hosting a ‘Wine Tasting’ evening

Having been to many wine tasting events in the past most of them very enjoyable and informative I decided to hold my own such evening and let me tell you I ‘doff my cap’ to the people who organise them and as I found out, it’s not as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of preparation from, finding a venue, selecting a theme, sourcing the wines, buying them, researching them, preparing tasting /…

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Posted in Co-op Waitrose

Two dynamic summer whites

I have to bring to your attention two white wines which I have enjoyed during our recent spell of hot weather. To start with I revisited a Vinho Verde from Waitrose/Majestic that I first tasted a few years ago and then a real gem of a find from the Co op, a quite superb Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (Sovee Bee). The Vinho Verde was a real surprise I will explain why in a moment and the…

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Posted in Australian Wine

Lindeman’s Bin 1355 Hunter Valley Semillon 2013

Semillon, most widely known and grown in France and Australia. France in particular use it as a integral part of making White Bordeaux. and is the 3rd most planted grape variety in the country behind Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Bit of an acquired taste this with sharp tangy, lemon flavour along with an oiliness akin to some Rieslings. This particular Aussie bottle from Lindeman’s was part of a case I bought from Majestic a few…

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La-Bien-Pinta-Verdejo
Posted in Lidl

La bien pintá, Verdejo

The Rueda region of Castilla y Leon in northern Spain produces some fabulously fresh and vibrant white wines and this Verdejo (a classic white grape of the region) from Lidl is no exception and brilliant value at £5.99. The flavour profile for Verdejo is usually fresh and fruity and the ‘La bien Pintá´scores on both accounts. The Verdejo grape is usually harvested during the night when the temperatures are cooler thus retaining the grapes acidity…

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Vilarnau-Cava-Rose
Posted in Sparkling wine

Spanish Pink Fun Fizz

‘At last’, I hear you all cry ‘the weather is warming up’, pink drinks start appearing, all kinds of Rosés and even pink gin but in my opinion nothing beats pink fizz, in all its forms including Champagne, English sparkling and especially the much more affordable Cava. Step forward this excellent offering the Cava Vilarnau Rosé Brut Reserva from Barcelona., with its Gaudi inspired designer bottle. This was lively, when poured it was a glass…

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Posted in Misc

Three big reds and a refreshing white

A quick round up of four wines this time, I know the weather is nice and chilled fizz, whites and rosé’s should be featuring but I still enjoy a big red even when the sun is shinning. It’s been a good few days for reds and the three I feature I shared with friends who all thought, as did I, that they were very good indeed. Conde San Cristobal – Ribera del Duero 2015 Blend…

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Posted in Spanish Fortified

Sherry – Sunshine in a glass

What springs to mind when Sherry is mentioned, my guess is memories of that bottle that sits in the sideboard for years only brought out a Christmas when your grandmother fancies a little tipple, served in those awfully old fashioned shaped glasses. Today, it seems everyone is talking about sherry and its many different styles even attracting a younger consumer, suddenly sherry has become cool and trendy. Below is a quick basic summary of the…

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Posted in Italian Wine

Gattavecchi Rosso Di Montepulciano 2016

At a recent trip to Tuscany we stopped by at the Gattavecchi winery in the Argiano area in south Multepulciano, where we tasted amongst others this Rosso Di Montepulciano. Although it wasn’t the best wine we tasted on our Tuscany tour, it seemed kind of honest and typical of a lot of the wines served at the local bars and on opening this again a few months later it immediately transported me back to this…

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Botham Wines
Posted in Australian Wine Waitrose

Sir Ian Botham Wines

Always a bit sceptical about celebrity endorsed wines but in this case the man himself cricket legend Sir Ian Botham is renowned as a passionate wine lover especially the Aussie stuff and was deeply involved with the creation and actual making of these wines working closely with award wining wine makers Nick Badrice, (Chief winemaker Dorrien Estate, Barossa valley) Marty Edwards (The Lane vineyard, Adelaide Hills) and Geoff Merrill (McLaren Vale). There are 3 in…

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Bardolino
Posted in Waitrose

Light,cheerful & chilled

Fancy a nice white or Rosé ? it may be perfect for those summer evenings sitting in the garden with the sun shining but have you considered a light red wine slightly chilled, maybe a Beaujolais, Pinot noir or how about a Bardolino? Bardolino is an Italian red wine produced around lake Garda in the province of Verona and named after, surprisingly, the town of Bardolino Probably a wine to enjoy young and fresh and…

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Monte Da Casteleja
Posted in Portuguese wine

Organic White from the Algarve

Back in the summer of 2018, we visited an Organic vineyard ‘Monte Da Casteleja’ situated in the Algarve region of Portugal. We were so impressed with the quality of the wines we had to bring some back and now I’ve just revisited their white (Branco) almost a year on, to see if the wine has developed from what already was a deliciously rich and complex but unusual drink. Winemaker Guillaume Abel Luís Leroux vision for…

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Lot XI chardonnay
Posted in Aldi

Lot XI Chardonnay

A quick review Couldn’t let this bottle from Aldi pass without a quick mention, a lovely Aussie Chardonnay from Clare Valley/Margaret River, full of fresh citrus, tropical fruits and a lick of creamy vanilla. Not particularly cheap at around £11 compared to a lot of Aldi wines but in my opinion worth every penny, this really was a beautiful example of how good Chardonnay can be. A word of warning though this is a full…

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