Monday, July 13, 2009

Nothing to do with wine…

Except for the fact that I’m sipping a rather delicious Argentinean Pinot Noir (from Patagonia!) while writing, this blog has nothing to do with wine. Rather, it has to do with my cat (as some of you know I’ve got two of them) who got kidnapped on Friday and was only released two days and £25 later.
It all happened in the goodwill of two of my elderly neighbors who had spotted Marco loitering around our house seeking human attention (and the occasional biscuit) and thought he was the lost, friendly black and white cat on a local poster. Hence, they called the local vet who, basket in hand, arrived 10 minutes later and fetched Marco sitting on the doorstep to our (his) home. Whisked away in a taxi, Marco managed to escape the basket and apparently had a go at the taxi’s leather interior. This resulted in the vet having to pay £25 on top of the cab fare and we, when we eventually located Marco two days later, had to bail him out before we could bring him home…

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yummy bubbly!

It being my ‘sweet sixteen’ times two birthday (that’s how my brother eloquently called turning 32 earlier today), Mathias has now left me on my own in the garden with a glass of champagne while he’s cooking away in the kitchen. He presented the champagne blind (that is in a glass without me seeing the bottle) and it being amazingly smooth and rich, I opted for a vintage champagne with some age to it. Ended up being Waitrose’s own label 2002 vintage champagne, of which I actually have 6 bottles maturing in my ‘under the stairs cupboard’, and it’s just drinking so well at the moment. Rich, creamy and soft with some delicious citrus notes and a lingering finish – way to easy to drink…

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wine tasting 4 July

Just a quick note to say thanks for a great tasting on Saturday! I had an excellent time and I really do hope you enjoyed the wines (courtesy of our lovely birthday girl Anna!). If you have any questions about any of the wines (listed below in the order we tasted them), need wine advice or want to recommend a good bottle you’ve had recently, simply send me an email or leave a comment.

Masson-Blondelet 2007 Pouilly-Fumé, Loire, France
Cave de Beblenheim, Graffenreben Riesling 2006 Alsace, France
Domaine Begude Chardonnay 2007 Limoux, South of France
Bouchard Père et Fils 2006 Savigny-lès-Beaune, Burgundy, France
Château Laroque 2003 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France
Domaine Yann Chave 2006 Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône, France

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another English Beauty!

In the name of research, I drove down to Wickham vineyards located in a very green and lush part of Hampshire today. Despite the fact that this was my first trip driving alone on the left hand side (an achievement I am very proud of), it was a very enjoyable visit. Had a long chat with the winemaker and vineyard manager, William Maitland Biddulph, about all kinds of opportunities and challenges facing the English wine industry. William is truly passionate about his wines and thinks English wine is starting to reach a new ‘era’ where boutique wineries, such as Wickham, is taking over and the ‘hobby’ winemakers are on their way out. The good thing about this is that we’ll hopefully have committed winemakers such as William, who has not only been in the trade for 27 years but also trained and worked as a winemaker in New Zealand for 5 years, in charge of supplying some delicious wines grown not far from our homes. Anyhow, had a glass (two actually) of the Wickham Fumé 2008 in the garden this evening and it was a delightfully refreshing tipple. Crisp with a bit of body and plenty of citrus fruit character, this Bacchus/Reichensteiner blend is yet more evidence that English winemaking is a force to be reckoned with!