This is a big bad red that’s bold, spicy, fruity and absolutely delicious! If I had a fire place that functioned, this would be my fireside companion – warming and seductively dark, it will make any old cold Tuesday evening memorable. If you don’t have a fire place, a few glasses are sure to make you warm and fussy, alternatively it can be enjoyed with the heartiest of food; roasts, casseroles and stews. £14.95, The Wine Society
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Although a bit heavy (anyone else felt slightly tired after the tasting??), I hope you enjoyed the port tasting last Friday. Below are the wines we tasted, in the order that we did so (except for the white one, which I forgot to serve and mostly sat around on the kitchen table..).
If you found any of these ports particularly good, remember the ‘style’ you liked e.g. tawny, vintage, late bottled vintage and so on and experiment with different port houses (Taylor’s, Dow’s etc.). All of the ports below are widely available, prices are approximate. Oh, and not to forget; port does NOT keep for ever and ever when opened…so no more ‘one glass this Christmas and we’ll save the rest for Christmas 08’ – finish the bottle and get a new one for next year, your taste buds will love you for it (and so will the wine trade)!
Serve chilled as an aperitif, perhaps with some salted nuts or similar.
Warre's Otima 10-Year-Old Tawny Port, 50cl £11
Fonseca Guimaraens 1988
If you liked this one I would also recommend trying
Had a tiny bit left of this one and on Saturday night we savoured it after dinner with a Cuban robusto each – a seriously delicious experience and highly recommended!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Takara Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2006
An absolutely delicious white with crisp, fresh grassy and limey flavours with a round almost creamy texture – very good! £14.75 at SWIG
Ken Forrester Gypsy 2004
My scribbles from the evening went like this ‘Yum, rich, dark and smooth. Very nice, good long, smoky finish –warming’. This Grenache/Syrah blend costs £17 at SWIG
Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2004
Although a bit young (even the winemaker said he wouldn't touch it for at least 10 years), it is a truly sumptuous wine. A big, blackcurranty Cabernet Sauvignon with amazing depth and great intensity of flavours. Buy it now and wait as long as you can, and if that is a lot less than 10 years make sure you decant it a an hour or two before drinking so it opens up. £17 Stockists: SWIG, Waitrose
Steenberg Semillon 2006/07
Second time I try this excellent white and I still love it! It’s big yet fresh with a waxy texture and peachy stone fruit flavours and a slightly nutty finish. Think this one would go well with creamy chicken dishes. £11 Stockists: SWIG, Waitrose
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne, France £32.99
Roederer Estate Quartet Brut NV Anderson Valley, California, USA £17.99
These two wines are made by the same producer and as noticed during the tasting, it’s quite difficult to differentiate between the champagne and the sparkling wine from California. If you liked these two and feel like really splurging on a bottle, then try Louis Roederer’s vintage champagne – I had the 99 vintage recently and its delicious!
Waitrose Brut 1999 Vintage Champagne, France £23.99
Ridgeview Cuvée Merret Bloomsbury 2004 W Sussex, England £18.99
It was good to get such a great response on the English sparkling and if you liked the Ridgeview, I highly recommend trying Nytimber’s vintage sparkling wine, it’s widely available but stocks are low and demand high. It’s about £23.99 for a bottle and well worth a try!
Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraz, SE Australia £8.99
Sparkling red wine is quite a different tasting experience, especially since they can be slightly sweet. Try this one with spicy barbecued meats and serve well-chilled.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Not all retailers use this practice, and far from all discounted wine is manipulated in this way, but its worth considering when buying heavily discounted wine. My advice is to shop around a bit before buying to know the actual value of the wine. An example of this was Krug Champagne that was discounted by a large UK retailer by about £35, which sounds like a great saving but the actual price was really just the ‘normal’ (£90-95) retail price. I think it smells, but then again that’s my opinion…
Monday, June 18, 2007
Pinot Gris ‘Le Fromenteau’ 2005 Josmeyer, Alsace, France (white)
Stockist: Waitrose, everywine.co.uk £13.49
Wiltingen Kupp Riesling 2003, von Othegraven, Saar, Germany (white)
Stockist: The Winery (see links to visit their website) £17.99
Savennières La Jalousie 2005 Château des Vaults, Loire France (white)
This was the chenin blanc that we tried – bone dry and quite big! Stockist: Waitrose £9.99
Savigny-les-Beaune 2004 Bouchard Père et Fils, Burgundy, France (red)
Made from pinot noir grapes – delicate fruit notes with a bit of ‘earthiness’. Stockist: everywine.co.uk, Ocado.com, Waitrose £13.99
Les Rouilleres St Nicholas de Bourgeuil 2005 Frederic Mabileau, Loire, France (red)
Made from 100% cabernet franc grapes – quite rustic red and definitely needs a bit of food to show its best! Stockist: everywine.co.uk, Waitrose £9.05
Château d’Aiguilhe 2002 Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France (red)
Classic Bordeaux made from cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot grapes. Stockist: Berry Bros & Rudd, Laithwaites, Waitrose £19.99
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Wiltingen Kupp Riesling 2003, von Othegraven (Saar)
A brilliant riesling showing some petrolly notes on the nose indicating a bit of age. Delicate, elegant and well worth its £17.99 price tag.
Gäns Riesling trocken 2005 Lubentiushof (Mosel)
This Riesling boasts quite a bit of body and has ripe fruit notes and a big yummy palate! £16.99
Ockfen Bockstein 2005, von Othegraven (Saar)
Delicate, juicy and very aromatic – the nose on this one is really seductive! £19.99
Spätburgunder “Classic” 2005, Nelles (Ahr)
A very enticing nose precedes an extremely delicate palate with juicy fruit notes and some earthiness in this red wine made from Pinot Noir. £15.50
Kanzem Altenberg Riesling Spätlese 2005, von Othegraven (Saar)
A super palate with lovely sweetness and a clean and refreshing finish, making you yearn for the next sip – this one will have a very special place in my wine rack (although given how much Mathias liked it I doubt it will stay there for long…) £17.99
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The wine is good and they have a good selection on glass that actually changes fairly often (don't ask how I happen to know this...). Further, the staff is knowledgeable and they will let you taste before deciding on what to drink (only the wines on glass though). So many, many Linda points for the Cork & Bottle at Leicester Square!
Cork & Bottle Wine Bar
44-46 Cranbourn Street
London, WC2H 7AN
Telephone: 0871 3328201
Monday, April 23, 2007
There are many different styles of rosé wines made from a wide variety of grapes varieties. I like bone dry and very delicate rosé wines and the one below was just gorgeous!
Les Champs Clos 2005 Sancerre rosé, Loire, France
A pale pink coloured wine showing fragrant red berry aromas. Bone dry on the palate with delicate strawberry notes and a soft finish. We enjoyed it with freshly cooked crab and it worked really well.
This wine is made in the village of Sancerre in the Loire Valley. Sancerre is mostly famous for their whites made from sauvignon blanc, however there is a small production of rosé and red wines here and they are always made from pinot noir – hence the price. (wines carrying the name Sancerre on the label have to be made from either sauvignon blanc or pinot noir grapes – it’s the law!) This wine is available from Nicholas (plenty of locations in London), £11.99
Felsner Grüner Veltliner Moosburgerin 2005 Kremstal, Austria (about £8 at Waitrose)
Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner Berg-Vogelsang 2005, Kamptal, Austria (about £12.50 at Waitrose)
Feiler-Artinger Umriss Blaufränkisch Rust, Burgenland 2003/04 (about £14 at Handford wines – see link to their website, they have two shops in central London and are well worth a visit!)
Sunday, March 11, 2007
It has some pretty chewy tannins so the first sip or two we had while preparing the food were quite rough. Then the amazing thing happened – which is why food and wine matching is so much fun – the wine when taken with the food (steak, roast potatoes, a green salad) became soft and smooth. The baked fruit flavours and slightly rustic palate worked in great harmony with the not too heavily seasoned food. I really recommend giving this red a try but do remember that it is currently about eight years old and definitely needs decanting before serving as there is a quite heavy sediment in the bottle. Stockist: Waitrose, Majestic, Systembolaget £14
Sunday, February 4, 2007
d'Arenberg The Galvo Garage 2003
A fabulous red with a ripe and intense nose, and a spicy and an earthy palate – really should be drinking this one more often… Stockist: Oddbins, Waitrose £11.99
The Fergus 2004, Tim Adams
This intense red has been a favourite since I first tasted it about two years ago. It’s minty and plummy with a good grip and is quite a mouthful! Stockist: Tesco, Systembolaget £10.99
Climbing Merlot, Orange, New South Wales
Great clean and fresh Merlot boasting some excellent refreshing berry fruit flavours! Stockist: Majestic £8.99
Philip Shaw No.11 Chardonnay 2005
Ok, it’s a bit pricy I admit that but it has some really lovely, clean Chardonnay fruit with subtle and well integrated oak – it’s a big wine yet very elegant and offers some real finesse! Stockist: Tesco £15.99
Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2006, Clare Valley
This is an excellent dry and fruity Riesling – pear, citrus and a bit of apple with a seriously mouth watering finish. Keep it for a year and it will show some complexity or enjoy it now while young and fresh! Stockist: Oddbins, Virgin Wines £9.99
Rose of Virginia 2006, Charles Melton, Barossa Valley
Australia is famous for putting bubbles into red wine and it’s a bit of a strange sensation the first time you try a sparkling red. I really liked this one because it was not as heavy, sweet and monstrous as some of them are – this was more feminine with nice bubbles and a delicate and soft palate of cherry and berry fruit. Enjoy it chilled! Stockist: australianwinesonline.co.uk £12.30
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
With this wine and its citrus and apple fruit I am thinking more in line with Chablis than ripe New World chardonnay, and although I don’t particularly like comparing regions, it really does have that crisp and slightly minerally style. I had it on its own before dinner, which was great but I could see it being a great match to shellfish. Stockist: Waitrosewine.com
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Decanter Magazine (decanter.com) has a really good article in their February issue (in shops now) and I recommend getting a copy for some good advice on which Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines to go for. The review is of the 2004 vintage, which in most cases is a bit too young for drinking now (you still can just make sure you decant the wine for an hour or so before serving). However, the Decanter review is a good guide to which producers to go for to minimize disappointment. As always – let me know what you are drinking!
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Beaune Premier Cru, Clos des Mouches 2003 Joseph Drouhin (red): Fabulous aromatic, warm and sexy pinot nose! Brilliant – good acidity, bit of tannin and nice berry and sour cherry flavours. Good length – the pinot fruit lingers and lingers. Stockists: waitrosewine.com, Justerini & Brooks –justerinis.com, systembolaget.se
Pommard, Les Petits Noizons 2005 Domaine de la Vougeraie (red): Enticing, lovely nose. Quite a big pinot yet gentle on the palate – sexy and silky! It has good fruit and a just a tad of farmyardy notes on the finish, kind of giving a hint about how it will develop with a few years of bottle age. Stockists: Berry Bros & Rudd – bbr.com, waitrosewine.com
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Sunday, January 7, 2007
This is obviously a subjective site – it’s all about my taste and how I experienced a wine, which may be very different from other people’s experiences. Please comment on the wines I write about, let me know what you thought of them and what food you had with them! Also, there’s a big world out there and I will do my best to list all of the retailers that stock the particular wine I review. Hope you will find my blog enjoyable!