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October 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Morning folks!

My next post will be on Tuesday next week – I have loads to update you all on, plus I am attending a fine wine show on Saturday in Chelsea, so I will have lots to talk to you about after writing up some notes from that.  Fine wine is one of the topics on my next post so you will see some interesting stuff come Tuesday morning.  My wino buddy Dave will be coming with me, so between us, I’m sure we can attempt to capture some ‘intesresting’ moments on camera.

So until I update the Blog on Tuesday….a couple of interesting sites for you to check out.

www.wineoffers.org.uk

www.vouchercodes.co.uk/restaurant-vouchers.html

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

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Grub n’ Grapes

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Hello Followers!

Just thinking, 7 blog posts in now and had loads of views, but I want to know if any of my stories, quotes and bits and bobs have helped you in any way; if anything, have I in some small way opened a door to anyone into Wine Narnia?  I have a poll for to have a look at as I would love to know your views now that I am a few posts in.  Take literally 2 minutes of your time whilst reading this and send some comments to me – I promise I will read and respond!

So, what is on the agenda this week I hear you mutter?  Well, this week is all about food!!  There are lots of people out there that eat to live and that is fair enough – completely wrong, but fair enough!  I on the other hand as I am sure most of you do live to eat, and I most of the time do this in a massive way.  Aside from learning and writing about wine, I am fortunate enough to be able to sample a bit of fine dining now and then courtesy of what I do and the people I meet, and so I have learned a lot about what I enjoy to have as a drink with my food.  Now I am far from ‘good’ at officially pairing wine with food, so I certainly do not claim to know what should go with what, but what I do know and have a full comprehension of, is what I like with food, and if I had to design a menu about around certain wines, then I am confident enough to be able to come up with some dishes that would pair well with the wine on the list.  I think it’s a very personal thing; for example, I really love a Malbec when I have fish pie…??!!  Complete mis match in official terms, but that is what I like and that is totally personal to me.  So, based on my, not so much knowledge, but educational encounters, I have a list of wines to try with the dishes described below.  Would be interesting to hear some thoughts on this.  Before I do that though, I do know some basics of matching food with wine (I am only adding this little bit in because I don’t want you to think I am a tad inept or in any way a bit of a wally for not knowing!)…probably too late for that eh!  Lets start with the whites…Chardonnay.  Typically, this is a full-flavoured, rich white wine that has common flavours of apple, butter, oak and vanilla.  So based on this, it would be well matched with seafood such as lobster, and seabass, but would be awful with really intensely flavoured and textured fish such as anchovies and tuna.  Think white meats in buttery sauces – the intense fruity richness of the wine would cut through chicken the sauce nicely and leave a nice ‘mouth-feel’.  Sauvignon Blanc – these are in most cases light-flavoured, crisp white wines that produce flavours of grapefruit, lemon and have grassy tones.  Ideal with delicately flavoured dishes such as seafood again, but think crab, oysters and some smoked seafood.  Because Sauvignon Blanc is not too fussy and is fairly simple, the dish requires not too much ‘fuss’.  Onto the reds and everyone’s favourite – Shiraz!  Shiraz or Syrah from the New World will tend to have big fruit-led flavours of blackcurrants and blackberries with textured tannins, whereas French Shiraz tends to be chewier and more earthy, so with that in mind, the fruitier styles would be great with red meats and in particular, beef stews, venison and lamb.  The older styled Shiraz would still be paired well with these too, but any sauce or jus would need to be less acidic and stand up to the boldness of the earthiness.  Finally, Pinot Noir – makes medium-bodied, elegant red wines that exude lovely flavours of red berry fruit and in some cases have notes of smoke and violet.  Because this is a lighter styled red wine, light red meat dishes that are not so heavy are well matched here; duck goes famously well with Pinot Noir, my personal favourite is duck with fondant potato – that and a kiwi pinot are a match made in heaven in my eyes!

So now that you have a flavour of the basics and what wine is ‘ideal’ with, here are some suggestions that I have encountered that I really like:

Spagbol (please never use spaghetti!!! Use tagliatelle instead) – matched with Saperavi.  This is a Greek wine that is rich, heavy and quite earthy.  As I leave my ragu or sauce on the stove for around 2 hours it gets rich and intense, just like the wine.

Chicken in white wine and tarragon sauce – Pinot Noir. This is especially odd because Pinot never goes with anything that involved cream or butter, and my sauce does, but this really works for me!  It’s the finish in the mouth I love at the end when you are chewing on succulent chicken breast and that gorgeous smoothness of the wine.

Fish and Chips – champagne!!  Don’t even think about writing this one off, this is pure decadence at its very best.  What do we all love as a Friday night treat once or twice a month…fish and chips….what do we love anytime of the day any day of the week….a glass of fizz!!  Trust me when I say that the creamy champagne works a right treat with the salty, starchy fish and chips.  Try it this weekend and have sparkling instead of champagne if the purse strings are tight…lovely jubbly!

You could easily forget what I have written here and have what you like, but just bare the basics in mind before you do, and get to understand what you like with your food….then understand what it is that you like it…talk to me about it and tell me your findings.

Staying on food, for those if you like me based in London, get yourself a Taste London card.  You can save 50% on meals when dining with 2 or more people at loads of restaurants in town – http://www.tastecard.co.uk/ At the moment they are offering a 3 month trial period for free, so logon and make the most of it.  For those outside of London, here is something to think about.  A survey conducted recently stated that within 2 miles of every home, there is a pub that serves restaurant quality food on a daily basis.  Now I ask, if 6 pubs close every day in Britain, and 1 of these is a gastro style pubs, how can this be accurate?  In your area, do you have a pub worthy of ‘Gastro’ status within 2 miles of you?  I can’t quite get my head around that one.

I end this week’s post with a simple, yet evocative quote from one of life’s most precious souls – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius

How true!  Wine is fun, fun is wine drink it young and when you dine…see you next week!

Categories: Uncategorized

Wine Dine 69 – I’m Back!!

September 29, 2010 6 comments

Awite my pedigree chums!  What a few weeks it has been, first there was work (you know that thing that pays the bills, we all gotta do it!) then four weeks ago I broke my foot so been laid up on crutches for a bit!  Not as bad as first thought, but still bloody painful!  This has not affected my writing ability however, so what should be my excuse of a 3 week absence from my next post be??  Erm, errr, hmmm….nah, haven’t got one I’m afraid!  Sorry, I guess I will have to make this one super good and worth every ounce of painstakingly abhorrent wait you have had to endure!  Before I go on, I HAVE to point something out.  Decanter, which is a long running world wine magazine that you may be aware of hold a very well received and coveted awards dinner every year and this year marked the dawning of a new era – English Wine!  A small winery in the South Downs called Rigdeview won best International Sparkling over £10 – beating the likes of Moet and Tatinger along the way, as well as all the usual sparkling wines you may be familiar with.  The grapes are grown in Sussex and are run by the whole family, what an achievement!  The wine is called Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs (by the way, Blanc de Blancs means ‘white on white’ which is basically 100% Chardonnay, so its very smooth, creamy and goes down a right touch!  £21.95 from Waitrose – give it a good go and serve this instead of your usual Moet, Bollinger, Verve etc, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Ok, so lots to tell you during the course of the next few paragraphs of delectable wine sshhpeel, starting with what I have been drinking over the last tres semanas.  I cannot get enough of Italian wine, and although it’s not to everyone’s taste (remember the New World vs. Old World topic last post?) it really gets me going on a constant basis.  I know lots of people that can’t really adjust to it as it can be pretty heavy most of the time.  I shared a few glasses of some Italian Pinot Noir with my mate Dave, who is also in the trade and helps to run a brilliant wine shop in Dorking – http://www.wineunlimited.co.uk/ it’s a wonderful shop with plenty of choice, ask for Dave Hodgson if you are nearby!  So I want to try and understand your perception of Italian wine, and whether or not it is a pre-conceived one, because of the things you have heard or whether you have tasted some before and genuinely don’t like it.  Because there is so much choice and variety in Italian wine; remember its now the biggest producer of wine in the world, overtaking France a couple of years ago, and the country produces six billion litres of wine (by the way, the trade deals with litres in most cases and not bottles or cases, so basically there are 12 bottles of wine per 9 litre deal.  If you haven’t already, next time you are at Majestic, Oddbins or your local merchant, go for a bottle of something with the pink label around the top of the bottle and give it a go and tell me what you think.

Onwards and upwards then – Because I have been on some medication, I have not tasted half as much as I would usually prefer, so my palate needs a bit of an MOT and with that in mind, I am going to get back on the New World Pinot wagon.  Providing we all remember what New World means and that when I say Pinot, I mean the cracking little grape called Pinot Noir (translated as Black Pine!).  I am an unofficial ambassador for both Malbec and Pinot Noir, and I have already talked about Malbec a couple of posts ago, so this time round its all about the cushty PN!  What do you all usually think of when you see or hear Pinot Noir?  I think of light wines from France, and honestly that is about it.  I imagine that may be the same thing you all think of, but do tell me if you have other thoughts.  Pinot Noir is internationally renowned as a light red option if you prefer your wines less powerful and full of tannins and is famously grown throughout the French region of Burgundy.  Burgundy is the home of Pinot Noir and produces some of the most unreal and most expensive bottles you will have ever seen.  There is a winery called Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and it consistently produces great wine – some young examples have been sold in the recent past for £5,000 for a single case of 12!!  That said, you can spend as little as £5.99 for a really good bottle, and although we have said that Burgundy is the home, New Zealand is where it’s at for me!  The climate for one allows perfect growing conditions for the Pinot Noir grapes; cool regions such as Central Otago, which is the most southerly wine growing region in the world.  Enough of the blabbing then, onto the tasting!  All you will need is a tenner in your back burner and head out and grab a bottle of a kiwi Pinot Noir…..or, try one of these trusted friends of mine: 

Montana Pinot Noir 2009

Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2009

Oceans Edge Pinot Noir 2008

Okiwi Bay Pinot Noir 2008

Al of these will not cost you more than ten sheets, but if you have not had kiwi pinot before, give it a go.  Also, this time round, I won’t give you any hints and tips as to what sort of things you be sniffing and tasting – your turn to tell me.  Remember as well that there are no boundaries for what you smell and taste, so if you taste Birdseye Potato Waffles, then so be it…………although, I would have a quiet word with yourself about that!

I am just getting back into this post, so I am going to keep it fairly short for this week, but now that I am back to full fitness and full ‘blogging’ capacity, I will be up and at it every week from now on.  See you next week with much more!

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

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New Post Coming Soon!!!

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

I am busy writing a wine piece for a competition so I will be updating the Blog with a new post next week…hang tight till then my pedigree chums, it’ll be worth the wait I promise!!

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

Categories: Uncategorized

Camel B – Anagram of?

August 18, 2010 Leave a comment

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

Categories: Uncategorized

Brands, Polls and Pingu!

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Air Hair Lair!  Say that quickly and think about it and you will sound like Patsy from Ab Fab!  In proper English then – hello there good people of from wherever you are.

I have had lots of comments and plenty of you are reading the blog, so many thanks to you al for taking the time to read what I have to say.

On the menu this week…the Poll from the last blog to see what you spend on wine, and a chance to talk about it.  A lot of stuff in the news at the moment around Big Brand vs. Small Brand – it’s all about who you trust and what you are led to believe when wine is marketed.  Plus some other nuggets of stuff and things that should keep you fairly interested throughout the next few paragraphs and 10 mins of your time.

Did you watch the Gary Vaynerchuk link that I posted in the last update?  What did you think?  He is potty but makes sense and talks to the listener on a level that is few and far between these days when it comes to reaching out to the general public and telling them about wine.  Something that there is a distinct lack of – and particularly in this country….although we can’t ignore Olly Smith (see video link) beaming with confidence and he talks about wine so passionately, it’s impossible not to be engaged in what he is saying.  Quick fact – he wrote the popular children’s animated program Pingu!!!

Right lets crack on with things.  Picture in your head, massive vats or tanks of wine being churned and stirred filtered and mass bottled a long factory style line.  Now picture this on a much smaller scale, where the grapes are crushed by foot, picked individually and by hand and where the volumes are much less.  Going by this sentence alone, which wine would you choose?  It’s probably a no brainer for most of you.  However, all is not as it first appears…I am humming the Twilight Zone music right now!!  Brands these days rely entirely on sales alone, which are backed by millions in marketing and advertising spend and developed and executed in a big big way!  BUT – there are some brands out there that still depend on the equity and the following created by either marketing the wine in a way that it is both a sellable ‘thing’ and also something that touches people…or letting the wine (product) speak for itself.  The latter very difficult to do and then maintain, but some do it well and one in particular, extremely well indeed!  Think Australian wine, what brand comes into your head?  I would say that quite a few people that I know do not tend to lean towards or even agree with wine as a brand, in the same sentence you could say a commodity.  I would be lying if I said one day I would like to buy a case of Bordeaux that will lay down for 20 years then sell on for a profit – it can make money and is an investment opportunity, so long as you are cautious about it and seek advice first!  Anyway, I digress again – wine brands are now something that is ‘part of the process’ and by that I mean it is embedded into people’s minds now that wine as a brand can be trusted enough for us to spend our hard earned cash on it – despite it being advertised and marketed in ways much the same as brands such as Coca Cola, Nike, Apple, Adidas and many more.  A brand is a brand is a brand – but do we feel comfortable with a bottle of wine being in the same category?  Well I have to say I am almost split really.  The opportunity for wine brands to showcase their product in a way that allows them, to spend X amount on doing so is a fair thing to do…providing the wine is as good as they say it is in the first place, and they have to be able to back up their claims and promises within their marketing campaigns.  It can be a fickle thing.  I could go on and on, but it’s an interesting topic, and worth the debate.  Let me know what you think about it – you guys are in a far better position than me given that I work with brands anyway – it’s your view that counts here.

Onto the poll from the last post – thank you for those that took part and I can reveal that the majority of us spend between £3.99 and £5.99 on a bottle of plonk.  Not surprising at al given the current climate but most surprisingly is this – there is a lot of quality that can be found in a wine that costs just £5.99!  As you are the ones that voted, you will know what you spend your money on, but here are a few of my suggestions of wines to try over the coming weeks that’ll get your taste buds going:

‘Les Galets’ Cotes du Rhone £5.99 (Majestic) – This is a gorgeous, succulent Côtes du Rhône, showing superb notes of red and black berry fruit flavours and a warming hint of spiciness. The palate is full with soft, velvety tannins and a long satisfying length.

Garganega Pinot Grigio 2009 Albinoni £4.99 (Majestic) – A fresh crisp white wine with aromas of flowers and almonds and an elegant light palate which is refreshing and smooth.

Obikwa Rose 2010 – Aromas of plums, strawberries and spice are followed by a light to medium bodied palate of ripe red fruits.

Sticks Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2005 £4.99 (Tesco, Majestic, Oddbins) – Luxurious and creamy tropical fruit, with ample mid palate weight and structure, flowing seamlessly to a lingering sensuous finish.

Where can I get this from!!?? Can't find it anywhere

As ever, have a bang on these when you are next shopping for a decent value bottle!  My rule of thumb though on how much to spend is this – if I am going to someone’s for dinner or a party I will spend a couple of quid extra and go for something a bit more special – seek advice though and read the label – does it match what will go with the dinner, party food?  Is it something that the host will like?  If your answer is ‘I have no idea to these questions’ that’s perfect because you want to surprise them and let them and you try something different and exciting!

Pubs – we all like a nice pint or a glass of wine every other hour, sorry every other week, but what do you tend to drink?  My poll this week is despite what time of year it is, what you would normally tend to order at the bar.  See poll at the top of the page.

That’s it for this week (I will probably chuck a few things on during the week as per usual, but it won’t be anything too heavy I promise).  Keep tasting wine when and where you can and please leave me any comments you may have.  Thanks for reading and remember…wine is fun, fun is wine drink it young and when you dine.

*Special mention must go to Matt Boyman – lover of Hock!!  Dirty boy!*

Categories: Uncategorized

GRAPES MAKE WINE?…GENIUS!!

August 6, 2010 Leave a comment

My Tip of the Week

I can’t get used to this ‘Tuesday update Blog’ lark – I get itchy fingers and I am too eager to get cracking on the next post!  So here it is then, post numero quatro…only 3 days after the last one…woops!

I said to myself that my aim was to slowly but surely and most importantly in a ‘light hearted’ way start to educate people a little more about wine, and I also said from the start that I am far from a wine buff and only professionally educated to a semi advanced level which gives me no right to start telling you all what to drink and what not to drink – I can however make suggestions based on what I know, so I hope that none of this has been tool in ya face and pompous!  Please tell me if it is – I am conscious of sounding a bit of a tool!

Ok so, moving on swiftly to talk about the grapey stuff!  Cast your minds back to when I talked about Old World Wine and my suggestions of 3 styles in which to go out and try (refer to the post if you can’t remember).  This week I want to talk about the New World alternatives, which will be very different, albeit made from the same grapes, and in many ways the winemaking itself is pretty much the same – its just things like climate, soils and topography that change (by the way, Topography is surface shape and stuff like that – Wiki it if you can be arsed!).  This week, I want you if you can to try the following:

1)      New Zealand Pinot Noir (alternative to a Red Burgundy – same grape, different style)

2)      Australian Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the 5 normal grape varieties that can be found in a ‘typical’ Bordeaux blend)

3)      New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (alternative to a Sancerre – again same grape, different style completely!)

You can pick all of these up for cheap enough from your local wine merchant – or again if you MUST from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s etc.  I know this might be a bit tricky and this is my fault because I should have written this post straight after the Old World tasting post…but have a bash on these and see where the differences lie.  One of the first things you’ll pick up on is the ‘tannins’.  Tannins are hard to describe, so here is my own description…if you eat a bit of peanut butter on its on, you get a chewy kind of coating at the roof of your trapdoor that makes you wince slightly, but in a pleasant enough way.  The same can be said for a wine with ‘high tannins’.  It’s that chewy feeling you get when you swish the wine around in your mouth, and it coats your teeth and everything.  Don’t go smiling at anyone though; you’ll look like someone has just lobbed a load of beetroot in your face!!  Aside from this, you’ll begin to pick up on very distinct differences.  Think about what kind of fruit you are picking up on both the nose and the palate, think about the alcohol levels (you can tell whether or not the alcohol is strong on not very simply – if you get a warming feeling when you swallow the wine that soothes the throat, generally speaking, the ABV will be reasonably high…also, remember my last post talked about ‘legs and tears’, well if there is a strong coating if clear liquid around the glass, again, you can be pretty sure there is a fair amount of alcohol in the bottle.  Have a go with this, and please please send me some comments by hitting the ‘Leave a comment’ tab at the top of the page.  Good luck and enjoy!

Onto other matters, what in the name of Zippy, Bungle and George is this geezer on!!??  Have a look at the link I have added; this guy is an American Wino who is actually really popular and his take on wine appreciation is like nobody else.  I have to confess I do watch some of his daily vids and he is barking!!  He must knock back a few packs of sherbet before each video or something; there is no way this bloke is this happy all the time!  Anyway, have a quick look at the link and see what you think – he discusses what wines go best with cereals!  Here is the link – http://tv.winelibrary.com/2009/09/08/what-wine-pairs-with-cereal-episode-734/

Thanks to those that did the poll question – I am going to wait until next week before talking about the results – although I can already see that most if us are cheapskates and go for the bottles vinegar already!  Nothing wrong with that and I’ll elaborate next time.

Couple of things to share with you before I finish (stay awake if you can).  What do you think about English wine?  It’s a thing of mystery for most of us, and myself very much included.  However, no longer will this be the case.  English wine is very much in demand at the moment, and selling handsomely across the pond.  The Americans love anything ‘quintessentially English’ – they do a shite job of running English pubs and there version of fish and chips is as bad as Steve McLaren’s Dutch accent!!  Oh yesh pleash, my eggsh musht be boiled!!  BUT, they love a bit of English fizz!  For those who are based in the South East, why not pop over to Denbies Wine Estate and see what the fuss is about – I am sure most of you would have heard of it – it’s a proper tourist attraction now, but also a fully functional, and bloody good vineyard.  For those in the North – errrrr………??  GOOGLE!!

Ok almost there my pedigree chums.  All that is left is my tip of the week, wino fact and joke!!  Tip of the week this time round, is a Lagunilla Rioja Reserva from Morrison’s.  Its on offer at the moment at a bargain price of £5.99 (usually £13.99).  As good as a decent bottle of Rioja gets (remember, Rioja is the region not the grape – common misconception).  Lots of oaky sweetness, vanilla tones supported by dark berry fruit, with some spiciness at the end – top notch juice!  Have a bang and see what you think…pic at the top of this post!

JOKE – this turn in weather!!

WINO FACT – A case of very prestigious chateaux in Bordeaux was sold last week to a Chinese business man for £67,000!  That’s my weekly wage I couldn’t believe the uncanniness!  Oh no sorry, my mistake, that’s the amount that I have just paid for my Crystal Palace season ticket!  Those terrace burgers are something else!

That’s me for this week peeps.  Hope you enjoyed this one.  It’ll get better I promise.  A certain James May read it last week and said it was ‘Not bad’….that’s fine by me!!

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

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