Australian Wine

Stone, Vine & Sun – Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Festival 2018

If you like and want to know more about wine the best way is to try as many as you can and what better way of doing it without breaking the bank is to get yourself along to an organised tasting event as this one. This time, the venue was Browns Brasserie & Bar, in Londons Covent Garden once Westminster’s County Courts which in 1996 was converted into a bar [……]

Wine Store

Cheap and Cheerful – Calais Wine Superstore & Majestic

Fancy some cheap and I mean really cheap wine? then take a trip to the Calais and hit the numerous wine outlets where you will find hundreds of bottles at sub £5 prices and some of them surprisingly, very drinkable. On average tax on wines in Britain is an astonishing eight times higher, so jump in your car, clear some space get a couple of friends to share the cost [……]

English Wine

Oatley a quintessential English vineyard

English vineyards never cease to amaze me, even when the weather is dark and gloomy there’s something special even magical about seeing rows of vines surrounded by woodland and wildlife. When you not sure what to expect but then it turns out to be better than you thought, it’s a real pleasant surprise and this is exactly what happened when our small wine group Cuvée Reserve visited Oatley a small [……]

Australian Wine

A view from Penfolds Hill

I must admit the first thing that springs to mind when seeing a bottle of Penfolds is the 1980’s cartoon series Dangermouse, a parody of British spy fiction which features the character Penfold. Not that this has anything to do with the wine, which by the way is excellent, it’s just me I smile whenever I see a bottle. This particular bottle the Koonunga Hill (Seventy-six) 2009 is a blend [……]

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Spanish Wine

The Cubist Old Vine Spanish Garnacha

Picking a wine on nothing but the name, label or bottle sometimes works, more often it doesn’t. That’s exactly what I did when buying this ‘Cubist Old Vine Garnacha’ that was made in the mountains south-west of Aragon in northeastern Spain with 100-year-old vines, hence the ‘Old Vine’ on the label. I paint a bit and Picasso happens to be one of my favourite artists, so I actually picked it [……]

Italian Wine

Maretti Langhe Rosso – A Baby Barolo

This was a pleasant surprise, well, maybe not so much of a surprise as I tend to like most Italian wine but this red The ‘Maretti Langhe Rosso’ from the Piedmont region of northern Italy definitely woke up my taste buds. A blend of Barbera 70% and Nebbiolo 30% making for an interesting blend along the lines of a baby Barolo. A fairly hefty tasting wine which I would describe [……]

Austrian Wine

Two Summer Whites to consider – Godello & Gruner Veltliner

With the weather improving and thoughts of summer barbecues ahead here are a couple of excellent white wines that generally don’t hit the headlines as much as they should.The first is an Austrian Gruner Veltliner sold in Morrisons and the other a Spanish Godello (although this particular one I bought in Spain, Godello is now widely available in most supermarkets and wine retailers). I first reviewed these wines a little [……]

South African Wine

Light, fruity and surprisingly drinkable Cinsault

Often used in blends and more often in Rosé Cinsault (pronounced Sanso or Sin Saw) is a wine I don’t drink a lot of and it’s also a  wine I shouldn’t like but I found myself drinking this quite happily. Now I’m not a big fan of lighter style wines but found this strangely appealing, more of a cross between Pinot Noir and Beaujolais. Very light in colour, almost translucent with [……]

Spanish wines for Easter
South African Wine

Easter Sunday, roast lamb and Spanish wine

Most people look forward to the first bank holiday of the year and a nice long weekend, maybe a break away or just chill out at home with the family. The Easter break, normally fish on good Friday, plenty of sport, Sunday mass, traditional roast lamb and relax and recover on Monday before heading back to work. Now the burning non-religious issue for me was what to drink with our [……]

French Wine

Majestic Amersham Spring Showcase 2018

Majestic Amersham were holding a Spring showcase tasting in their plush new store on the 3oth April, so I thought on a cold rainy night, what better way is there to spend a few hours than tasting wine. I arrived a little early partly to have a look around the new shop and I was suitably impressed. Everything was neatly on display with all the portable shelves immaculately adorned with [……]

French Wine

Les 3 Lys Crozes Hermitage 2011

Rarely happens, especially midweek but when it does, I think, who am I to argue. I’m talking about when you pour yourself a glass of water with dinner and the wife says ‘aren’t we having any wine tonight’. After calmly making my way to our wine rack, didn’t want to seem to keen, I pull out the first readily available bottle that I thought would go with dinner. The bottle [……]

Spanish Wine

A Stunning White Rioja

No apologies for starting this review with a resounding WOW!, this Marques De Los Rios Rioja Blanco Reserva 2013 made by Baron de Ley is quite simply stunning. Word of warning though, this may not be to everyone’s taste but one thing is for certain, this bottle will cause a reaction which may be good or bad. How many of you guys have tried white Rioja? if not, why not, [……]

Spanish Wine

Three Wine Amigos & Wines from Spain

On the evening of the 6th March 2018 my wife and found ourselves on the 35th floor of Londons Sky Garden attending the ‘Wines from Spain’ event in the esteemed company of the three wine Amigos Olly Smith, Tim Atkin MW and Oz Clarke. Regular readers of this blog will know I love Spanish wines so for me, this was heaven and being on the 35th floor we were closer [……]

Chilean Wine

Carménère-Marmite Wine

Carménère, originally from the Medoc Region of France has now become synonymous with and is now considered the national grape of Chile. Beware though Carménère is not for everyone and has a distinctive taste profile not to everyone’s liking almost branding it as the Marmite of the wine world, you either love it or hate it, think of Merlot with some attitude. I’m very much in the love camp. This [……]

Argentinian Wine

Never Judge a bottle by its awards

Wandering through Tesco a while back I saw this Malbec sitting proudly on the supermarket shelf plastered in impressive-looking gold and silver wine awards, its got to be good, hasn’t it? well, no, not always. I didn’t plan to buy any wine and while trying my best to avoid the wine aisle I failed miserably and unfortunately grabbed this bottle. Now, I’ve since picked this up from my rack and [……]

Italian Wine

An Italian pick me up

So here we go again with a new year and new wines to try, So what happens just into 2018 ? the dreaded flu bug hits and I’m out of action with everything tasting like I’ve been sucking on a copper pipe and my body feeling like I’ve just been trampled by a heard of Elephants. So yesterday, after a week or so, even though not a 100% and with [……]

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The trouble with supermarket wine aisles….

Picture the scene, you’ve just turned out of aisle 9 tinned fruit and jams and next comes aisle 10 – wine, you want to buy a nice bottle of something to go along with Sunday lunch, so after negotiating your trolley ungracefully into position, what do you see ? usually there are about half a dozen or so people staring blankly at the rows of bottles, maybe picking one up [……]

South African Wine

Bellingham Homestead series Chardonnay 2016

Always been a big fan of anything Bellingham produce and this excellent Chardonnay from the Franschhoek Valley in South Africa doesn’t disappoint. A little bit of trivia I found out is that Bellingham was originally called ‘Bellinchamp’ back in 1693 which means ‘green fields’ kind of cool I thought. So what’s it like? well, to start with I thought it was a nice looking bottle, when poured it’s a bright [……]

Italian Wine

Ca’ Marrone Rosso Appassimento 2016

Is there a better bargain out there in the high street than this Italian stallion of a wine, the (Ca’ Marrone Rosso Appassimento) especially when on discount, currently £6.50 at Tesco and if you add in the regular 25% off 6 bottles promotion this is astonishing value. The bottle in question is the CA’ Marrone Rosso from Puglia region of southern Italy made in the Appassimento method which is the [……]

Jerez
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A week in Jerez and more Sherry !

Following on from my previous post I visited the home of Sherry, Jerez de La Frontera a beautiful city in Spain’s Andalusia region for a short holiday. It was like going back in time with its impressive Cathedral, baroque churches, palm and orange trees adorning quaint cobbled streets and remnants of a thick city wall surrounding the city built by its Moorish occupants in the 11th and 12th centuries. Walk [……]