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Quick tips summer drinking!!!

 

As Summer heats up, it is time to chill out and chilling down. One thing that you should not do is get hot and bothered about your wine selection. Or your lack of it so to make things easier, here is a few tips and a selection of wines that will keep even the fussiest friends happy this year.

Remember, the best recipe for summer is to grab a bottle of your favourite wine from the fridge, an ice bucket and some friends and you have a simple recipe for keeping your cool while chilling out.

Summer Tips:

Tip 5: Try to avoid putting ice cubes in your Read More

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Spanish Whites make great summer drinking…..

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Did you catch this post last year! Try something different this summer – why not go Spanish!! And Viura is a great grape to start with….

One of the Spanish native white grape trio that contributes to the blend used for Spain’s sparkling wine, Cava, is the grape Macabeo. One of Spain’s popular, and versatile, white grape varieties which has also found a home in Southern France. In the premium wine region of Rioja, a region better known for some of Spain’s best red wines, Macabeo is also known as Viura. It is in this region, with access to fruit from older vines, that the grape can produce some of its finest expressions.

A decade ago, I would have said that you would have almost needed an insider’s knowledge on where to buy a white Rioja as I found they were few and far between outside of Spain. And sometimes when you did find a white Rioja, they lacked interest or worse, they were out of condition. With the availability of investment for Spanish wine producers, the white wines of Rioja are shining bright.  Read More

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Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blancs 2013

Chapel-down-KitscotywmKit’s Coty Blanc de blancs was added to the Chapel Down range in 2017. This bright English sparkling is made from the Chardonnay planted on the chalky soiled vineyard of that name near Aylesford on the North Downs of Kent, UK.  To add some flesh to the finely textured fizz, 20% of the blend has been barrel matured before bottling and resting on lees for a further three years. With a dosage of nine grams per litre, it shows superb balanc

The barrel treatment and time on lees has given the fruit a fine polish and some toasted almond and vanilla joins the Read More

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Royal Wedding bubbles…… suggestions for Harry & Meghan

Not that Meghan needs any more #marklesparkle.. not at all….

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But what are they going to serve at the wedding? William and Kate served Chapel Down Brut Rosé at their 2011 wedding so, perhaps not this again. Sibling rivalry and all that…  Yes, Laurent-Perrier holds a royal warrant and it is a great Champagne, but that should certainly not be factored into the choice. This is a wedding that respects convention while making it clear that boundaries have been redrawn. Let’s face it, Prosecco is still being imbibed in ever-increasing quantities and qualities too. But perhaps it is now a tad ‘everyday’ for such a momentus occasion.

Maybe it should be one of Australia’s finest fizzes. Arras Grand Vintage is a serious contender and, well, Australia is still part of the Commonwealth. And perhaps after Brexit there will be a flush of Australian fizz on British shelves so Harry & Meghan could just be getting in early! (I am all for this one!!)

However, this is still very much a British ‘do’ so, of course the bubbles should also be British. Happily, there are some excellent English bubbles to be found. These days I would also advocate that there are some interesting still wines to be found as well, particularly amongst the white wines on offer. Lucky for the rabble not attending the formal celebrations, rabble such as myself who will just have to contend with watching it on the tele at their own ‘do’, chances are that these days you should be able to find an English fizz on the supermarket shelf or at least in Majestic.

So here is the first two suggestions for my best English bubbles for any Royal Wedding celebration:

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee.

Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blanc 2013

Click on the link for the review. Tomorrow, I will add another suggestion to the list. Cheers to the happy couple….

Cheerio!!

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Nyetimber Classic Cuvee

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Nyetimber is one of England’s best Sparkling wines and has rightfully earned its acclaim by winning awards ahead of Champagne’s finest. The similarities are more than just the trio of grape varieties or the production methods that are used to produce the wine. The seam of chalk that runs through the Champagne vineyards, also run through some of the Southern England vineyards.

Power and elegance define this wine made from a blend of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. While there is some berry depth to the fruit, the lemon and apple are fresh and crisp and sit in a creamy cinnamon pasty and brioche shell. A long, fine finish of biscuit and citrus is refreshing evening out the fruit. In exceptional years, Read More

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Jordi Miró Garnacha Blanca Terra Alta DO

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Jordi Miro grew up helping out his family in the vineyard but decided that he would follow a different path and instead started working at a wine co-operative. Then within a short time, by 1999, he started his own vineyard and later built his own winery fully enmeshing himself within the region’s wine history. Terra Alta is literally, a high altitude Spanish region found south of Catalunya, between the borders of Aragon and the river Ebro.

This is a fresh, dry white that is ultimately Read More

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3 juicy reds!

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 Whatever the season, juicy reds are always on the menu! 

Here are three that are sure to please from the classic to the new …..

d’Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2015 is one of those wines that you keep coming back to year after year. It is an easy decision because you know it will be good drinking for its price tag. Lashings of rich, ripe blackberry fruit is livened up with plenty of pepper and liquorice. It has been rounded out with powdery tannins, and is fresh and long. A wine that makes friends wherever it goes. ($16 Australia / GB £13) 

Finca Constancia Seleccion 15– Fruit bomb alert: a plush fruity Tempranillo, Cabernet sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet franc, Petit verdot and Graciano blend from Otero, Spain.  It is rich and exuberant.  A real discussion starter on a Saturday night. (GB )£11

Sons of Eden Remus Shiraz 2014 – Old vine Shiraz tends towards boldness without having an overwhelming palate weight and it offers a more intricate aromatic/flavour profile as well. The Remus is all this plus it has an element of elegance and prettiness too that is speaks of the Eden Valley. Lush blackberry, cherry, a garni bouquet of dried herbs takes on almost floral lilt. A long length of flavour leaves you wanting more. A good wine for the cellar too. ($65 Australia / GB £48)

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Taylors Estate | Wakefield Shiraz 2016

Wakefield-Shiraz-wmAustralia’s Clare Valley is known for its rich, spicy shiraz, immediately drinkable and irresistable. The Clare based Taylor family knows how to capture that lush velvetiness, while keeping the peppery, berry cherry fruit fresh and vibrant. The fuller body is rich and jammed packed full of intense flavour that fills the mouth and lasts long into the next sip. It has the intensity to match a plate of flavourful venison sausages or it is a delicious wine to drink curled up on the couch after dinner is done.

Look for the Taylors’ label in Australia and for Wakefield in Europe and the Americas.  This is a wine Read More

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Down the Lane Shiraz Tempranillo 2017

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Sitting amongst De Bortoli’s extensive wine range is the Down the Lane Shiraz Tempranillo.  This family certainly know how to produce wines that overdeliver on pleasure for the price you pay. This spicy red hails from Heathcote and is ripe and lush. There is also an interesting Pinot Grigio Arneis blend and a Gris de Gris Rosé.

There is plenty of sweet and spicy cherry, raspberry love in this bottle. It is well made with some balancing residual sugar (6 gram/litre) to flesh out the medium bodied, ripe fruit.   It is unashamedly Read More

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Donnafugata Bell’Assai Vittoria DOC Frappato Sicilia 2016

donnafugata-bellassaiFrappato is a one of my recent discoveries. The grape is one of Sicily’s many natives and is a lighter bodied red, this one hailing from Vittoria in the South East of the island. Donnafugata is the label of the Rallo family, who have made Marsala since the mid-19th Century.  Today, they make varietal wines showcasing some of Sicily’s most interesting native varieties.

Bell’Assai beguiling wine made from the Frappato grape with an evocative nose of wild herbs, cherry, rose, orange peel and spice. It is ever so smooth, very elegant and well balanced. Stainless steel all the way has left the ripe tannins soft and slippery. Read More

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