Home > Uncategorized > Camel B – Anagram of?

Camel B – Anagram of?

Hello winers and diners!

Did the week-long break without any updates make anyone feel as if they had lost their best teddy?  No I didn’t think so – but I bet in some way or another you were champing at the bit thinking ‘When is Scott going to update his wicked wine blog’!

Well here it is, post number 6 and still going strong, still plenty to talk about and still a lot of stuff that I want to tell you about.  First up on the tasting menu this evening is the poll from last week – thanks to all 19 of you that took part (we can do better than that!).  Seriously though, thanks for doing it, some interesting views and one non surprising outcome…most of us like to order a pint when we hit the Nuclear Sub!  Great thing to see was that it was followed closely by a glass of red wine.  I would say that it is a boy girl divide in most cases, I will be honest, I am certainly not adverse to ordering a glass of Chilean Merlot or an Argentinian Malbec but I tend to go for a trusty pint of London Pride or a guest ale in most cases.  It’s the girl contingent that go for the wine list.  This changes on location though – where I live in South West London, quite a lot of blokes drink red wine at the pub, and then maybe a pint afterwards to finish things of if it is a school night, whereas in other parts of the country there is no such sight as a chap asking for the wine list…for himself!  I feel that this may change though with a little push and shove but above all a bit of TLC towards the customer.  If you think of a standard pub that has 4 beers on draft and a wine list that offers 6 reds, 6 whites and some fizz….they will make most of their money on the wine and fizzy stuff because this is the bulk of their margin.  There are two types of pubs these days – a Wet Led Establishment and a Food Led Establishment – the former being orientated around its wine list, and so this is where food and wine matching plays a massive part in the on trade today.   So, with this in mind, if you are this standard pub owner, where would you want to concentrate a lot of your efforts??  I know what I would want to do, and where I would want to go with it……what would you do?

So, let me move onto something more light-hearted and a bit interesting. GRAPES!!

Many of us know what wine we like to drink, and in lots of cases stick to the same thing…..when you go into a restaurant or a pub and ask for a glass of Merlot, do you really know what you are asking for….and do you even know what Merlot is?  Given that this blog is aimed and everyone, I won’t put the patronising ink in my pen and start going into silly amounts of detail, but I will tell you the grapes that are most common in what we all drink, and what defines them, and what differentiates them from others.  I guess there is a Top 10 of grapes both found in red and white wine that you will know most of…from the top, here goes –

Merlot –  Black variety that gives a smooth delicate feel with soft tannins, you should be getting black fruit and plumminess on nose and palate and in some cases, on older wines you’ll notice fruitcake and chocolate characters.

Cabernet Sauvignon – Another black variety that give deep colours, lots of tannin and strong aromas of black fruits again (blackcurrant and black cherry predominate) you will also get some vegetal type notes, which means mint, cedar and pepper (bell pepper to be precise).

Shiraz/Syrah – Known as Shiraz in the old world and Syrah in the new world.  These wines make deep coloured examples and typically produce black fruit aromas and tastes of namely blackberry and dark chocolate.  Pepper tones also can be found here.

Sauvignon Blanc – Everyone loves a bit of ‘SB’!  You’ll see plenty of gooseberries, asparagus, green fruit!  Find a good one and you’ll be laughing!  New Zealand are world-renowned and making stonking SB.

Chardonnay –  Like Marmite, you either have it oaked or unoaked, and you either love it or hate it!  I am a heavy oak man myself.  Flavours vary greatly depending on where the grapes are grown.  In Chablis for example (famous place in Burgundy, France) it can offer green fruit (apples and pears) whereas in places like New Zealand and Australia, you’ll see flavours of tropical fruit (peaches, banana and pineapple).  Also, with an oaked Chardonnay, you will get the vanillary buttery type characters that are very distinctive.  Lovely jubbly!

Pinot Noir – another of my favourites.  Pinot Noir simply means ‘black cone’!  Usually light in colour and in body, and you will see flavours of red fruit (raspberries and strawberries).  Best drunk young, BUT Burgundy which are very famous for their Pinot Noir’s produce amazingly complex wines that will keep for decades!  With age comes Mushrooms, wet leaves and gamey/meaty notes – much like a lady I once knew!)

Riesling – Very aromatic white grape most famous in Germany, Alsace and Austria.  You can either enjoy them bone dry and elegantly fruity, or sweet and luscious!  With the drier style, you’ll pick up green fruit and limey tones and in the sweeter styles, plenty of stoned fruit (peach, apricot, mango and the like).  Again, find a gooden, and its a dream!

Malbec (not massive just yet, but it’s my favourite so I wanna talk abaad it!) – This is my al time favourite grape variety that not everyone is into, but should search high and low for it.  It offers amazingly flavoursome wines of black fruit, chocolate, plums, damsons, tobacco, amongst other fantastic flavours.  They are great too, because they will keep for a while and develop with age – but drink’em young and they are still awesome!  Next time you are out for a bite, see if there is an Argentinian Malbec on the list – order one!!

So, now you are offay with the main grape types, you will be able to decipher really what you like and get to grips with the types of flavours you pick up – and that’s where you can be confident in matching your wine with food or vice versa. 

Next on the agenda – Wine in the Soft World!  Basically, wine in the media both on and off-line.  This has been a bone of contention with me for some time now, as we as a nation of wine writers (novices included…i.e ME!!) sway heavily towards writing about wine online using tools such as this (WordPress), Twitter, Facebook etc.  Does anyone really read wine articles in the newspaper anymore?  If you are old school, then of course you will and to be honest, the Sunday Papers over a pint of vodka and a packet of skittles is a lovely treat – especially when there is a wine and food segment in the rag.  However, we are fast-moving in this country towards using Social Media and online tools as a medium of communicating with people, and people want to see what kind of capacity the internet has to deliver stories, views and opinions in a way not seen or even respected before.  You will not see many wine journalists keep their columns over the next few years, it just wont happen.  Online is where it’s at and is where I hope to see the world of wine come into its own.  Who says I don’t have passion!

I’ll keep it nice and light to end this week – have a goosy at this…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG31TXONAzc

Keep the comments coming and the views rolling in, much appreciated!  Camel B – so after reading this, can you tell me what it is?

Wine is fun, fun is wine drink it young and when you dine

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