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The original #wineday….

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
beaujolais VillagesHeadlines take many different forms in the drinks trade; there are the attention grabbers “strap on booze baby seeks funding,” the David & Goliath tales of “Champagne Jayne” and the softer, sweeter entrepreneur success stories of the likes of The New Zealand Cellar but the ones that catch my attention the most centre around the wine trade’s ability to shoot itself in the foot.
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Take Beaujolais for example. Once the envy of wine regions around the world for its Beaujolais Nouveau marketing masterpiece it is now the underdog of the trade, fallen out of favour with the wine drinking fraternities the mere mention of it’s sorry existence is whispered these days with a pitying tone.

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New house wine….

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

barudi-syrahWe’ve done it. We’ve traded London and our beautiful little terrace house for more space, fresher air and a longer commute… We’ve moved into ‘project renovation’ where the to do list is longer than our driveway but there is light at the end of the tunnel: our kitchen, which makes Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen look lavishly equipped will be redesigned, knocked down, and rebuilt which means I can create a space perfect to host a wine fridge of serious proportions.

In the mean time however we are here in Surrey like fish out of water, the area is missing a decent pub and a decent wine bar; forget our house I can feel a village renovation of the wine sorts is needed as well. I’m yet to find out whether people here are wine drinkers. Are they classic connoisseurs or plump for plonk sort of folk, would they embrace the new or stick to their safety wines? And would the sense of wine adventure I was used to in London be a distant memory here or could I take a bottle of Turkish wine to a neighbour’s house and be welcomed back or never invited again? ………

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Is the fizz going out of your romance..??

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Libiamo Bollicine Smart selectionIt can be a blessing and a curse for a wine country to gain mass popularity for one style of wine. Like an actor famous for their hilarious performances that dares to lead in a drama, they will be judged all the harder for trying to break the mould.

Italy is one such wine country; think Chianti, Pinot Grigio and now Prosecco. It has reinvented itself successfully several times but rarely succeeded in commanding top shelf pricing for what become commodity wines. The trouble with Prosecco, their most recent hit, is that it has become so successful it has changed the dynamics of the entire sparkling wine category: it has taught us all that bubbles are now affordable and paying much more than a tenner for those from Italy is not really necessary.

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A wine of two halves….

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

McGuigan Torode SemillonThe Drinks Business has reported data that shows when we buy Australian wine we gravitate stylistically to their extremes, preferring either their lightest or their heaviest vinos. An out dated presumption of Australian wines was once of heavy and unrefined styles so it’s refreshing to see this opinion is evolving and in view of the research makes me think this should be good news for the wine lovers favourite: Hunter Valley Semillon.

This mysterious grape has been grown in Australia’s oldest wine region for years but has remained an enthusiast’s choice or secret. It’s unique in the way that it caters for both ends of the wine drinkers spectrum being crisp, zesty, mouthwatering and thirst quenching in its youth and evolving into a rich, full bodied, winter warming white by its teens.

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A bit of a Gris area….

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
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brancott sauvignon gris

If the latest spat of crossbreds is anything to go by I can’t help thinking we’re running out of ‘brand new’.. Take the pastry world who has recently given us the duffin (a cross between a donut and a muffin) and the cronut (a cross between a croissant and a doughnut) there’s a definite trend here…. Then there’s the Prius, of course. My personal favourites are from the dog world: what was once a Heinz 57 is now rebranded with a catchy name like the Cocker-poo.

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Age at the same time as beauty….

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Cune Reserva 2009

 

As Helen Mirren becomes the new face of L’Oréal aged 69 hot on the heals of 80 year old Joan Didion’s stint as the face of the Spring/Summer collection at Céline it is clear that age and beauty are finally starting to weigh in with the same equity. As in wine the general belief that history and years of experience will reap better [read more expensive] wines often rings true which is why it’s equally refreshing to come across a winery with 135 years of heritage, like Cune from Rioja, whose wines are not only on the high street, but affordable and drinkable too.

Their Rioja Reserva 2009, all smoky nose, cherry lips and voluptuous body tastes younger than it’s years and is available for much less than most anti wrinkle creams: £14.99 from Waitrose, Majestic, Wine Rack and Richard Dawes Fine Wine.

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