Archive for 2010

d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/ Marsanne 2008

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

d'arenberg viognier marsanne

Wine: d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/ Marsanne 2008, McLaren Vale/ Adelaide Hills, Australia

Style: White, stilld'arenberg 2

Outlet: Waitrose

Price: £9.99

Occasion: Lazy Sunday afternoon with crumpets and pancakes

Trend: Must. Try. Wine.

Why try this wine: Viognier has almost been the next big thing for some time. Difficult to pronounce (VEE-YON-YEY) and with an aromatic character that can sometimes lean towards soapiness it’s a grape that’s not managed to break it into the big time. Yet. This example is blended with Marsanne which lightens the punch of a pure Viognier to make an elegant wine brimming with dried apricot, orange peel and dried pineapple chunk aromas. The palate is honeyed with orange blossom, peach jam and a nostalgic finish reminiscent of lemon curd and crumpets on a Sunday afternoon. And relax……

Miss B’s verdict: SWALLOW!!

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Message in a bottle….

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

nhs birmingham message 3 nhs birmingham message nhs birmingham message 2

I was recently sent a press release of a very different kind. Instead of someone asking me to try their wines and encouraging others to drink it this release was actively asking me to abstain! Odd.

It went on to explain how having three alcohol free days a week could make a real difference to my health*. Ok, logical.

But what really caught my eye were the slogans they’d created and the way they portrayed the situations of the people they were targeting, especially for a government funded health campaign. With slogans like ‘put the washing on without getting loaded‘ ‘ have dinner without the sauce’ ‘do the dishes without a glass’ and my favourite ‘watch the tv without a G&T’ they’re mildly amusing albeit painfully stereotypical. ………

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Dominio del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Mendoza, Argentina

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Dominio del Plata Cab SauvWine: Domino del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Mendoza, Argentina

Style: Red, still

Outlet: Marks & Spencer

Price: £8.99

Occasion: An indulging autumn evening in

Trend: Masculine/ feminine; rich, robust, sweet, fruity & velvety

Why try this wine: This is a wine that refuses to be pigeon holed. Its rich, robust leathery aromas are as masculine as a tall, dark, handsome Argentine gaucho. Its cherry tart, sweet spices and black forest gateaux flavours are as alluring as an Argentine Tango dancer. Put the two together and you have a wine that will leave you aching for more…

It was good for me, how was it for you?

Miss B’s verdict: SWALLOW!!

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Words can paint a thousand pictures…..

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

wine_list+frameIn my day job I spend a lot of time writing tasting notes, reading tasting notes and correcting tasting notes. Sometimes they’re to go on the back of wine bottles, sometimes onto wine menus, and others go completely unseen tucked away in my little black book. I often feel embarrassed when someone glances at what I’ve written as my wine-short-hand is pretty personal and I have some unusual acronyms. My favourite is MLP. Its short for My Little Pony and it’s an aroma I often get on red wines that are slightly reduced or have an excessive amount of residual sugar. It reminds me of that sweet plastic smell that also hung to the little plastic Care Bear figurines…. You see, I told you it was personal!

And just as a tasting note you write is personal to you so should the tasting note written on the back of a wine bottle be personal to that wine. Having said that I come across far too many back labels and wine menu notes that are boring generic statements that have been written in a one size fits all manner to reduce printing costs and brain power, I assume. You’ve all seen them;


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Wine & cheese, simple as that…..

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Wine-And-CheeseWine can be a tricky subject to get to grips with; a subject surrounded by more than its fair share of mystery, scaremongering and old wives tales. You’ve seen the headlines; one minute wine is good for you, the next it’s not. Then there’re the rules; red wine with red meat, white wine with fish, red goes with cheese and forget indulging in a chunk of stilton if you’ve run dry of port! When it comes to cheese and wine I live by one rule of thumb: the younger the cheese the more likely it is to go with white wine, the older the cheese the better is should be with red. Then I open a few bottles and start experimenting.

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Cobborah Chardonnay 2009, South East Australia

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Cobborah Chardonnay 2009Wine: Cobborah Chardonnay 2009, South East Australia

Style: White, still

Outlet: Marks & Spencer

Price: £5.99 (£4.12 when you buy a case online – bargain!)

Occasion: Night in with a take-away

Trend: A staple white to keep on your wine rack

Why try this wine: A much friendlier wine than it’s pseudo-ophidiophobic name may suggest. Lots of stone fruit aromas, white apple and ripe lemon rind on the nose. Fresh and citrusy at first which evoles into lovely ripe tropical flavours and a medium length. Mr Bouquet and I had it with chicken dansak, the ripe fruit flavours stood up surprsingly well to the tomatoey chilli bite of the food!

Miss B’s verdict: SWALLOW!!

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