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  • English Wine and why you should be drinking it now…

    Seemingly English wine has been a fairly recent craze, however there have been vines planted on English soils since at least the Roman times! Whether we can blame it on climate change or a general rise in wanting to buy local, we're seeing more and more of it, and England is now producing some 6 million bottles a year, including some world-class sparkling wines, elegant Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays and an increasing range of other grapes and styles, even Pet Nat and English Orange Wine.

    Continue reading

  • Natural Wine Burgundy

    Athenais de Beru

    Although some are not convinced by natural wines, most people agree that the wines made by Athenais at the magnificent Chateau de Beru in Chablis are pretty amazing and delicious.  When you visit the Chateau, you are awed by the grandeur of the place; this is very obviously old aristocratic France and the family name which is that of the small Hamlet where the Chateau is located goes back centuries.  Continue reading

  • They call Piedmont the Burgundy of Italy and it has an incredible history.  The Kingdom of Piedmont, ruled by the house of Savoy controlled much of northern Italy and southern France and Turin was briefly the capital of the unified Italy in the mid 19th Century.  It is perhaps one of the reasons that Piedmont’s signature fine wine, Barolo, became known as the ‘Wine of Kings’.  Today the region produces many of Italy’s best and most famous wines, including Barolo, Barbaresco, Ghemme, Gattinara, Gavi di Gavi, Barbera d’Alba, Moscato d’Asti, the list goes on. Continue reading

  • It's fair to say that Lambrusco may have struggled with an image problem in the past.  (Anybody remember the Lambrini girls?!)  The great news is, you can put any preconceived ideas aside because we have some stunning, naturally frothy wines for you to try, from Cinque Campi in Emilia Romagna. Continue reading

  • A big question, there is quite a lot to know but basically Orange wine is made from white grapes but in the way they make red wine.  It breaks down this like.  All wine is made from the juice of the grape and virtually all juice is clear (a handful of exceptions have pink pulp like Alicante Buschet, Moscato Rosa and Gamay Chaudenay, we have a beautiful example of that one from Julien Courtois!).  To make red they squeeze out the juice from the red grapes but then add the skins back in to extract the red colour from the skin.  To make white they squeeze out the juice, discard the white skins and then ferment just the clear juice.  To make Orange, they squeeze out the juice from the white grapes but then add the skins back in.  White grapes have a bit of colour pigment in the skins, more or less depending on the grape, (Pinot Grigio for example when ripe has quite a pink hue hence the name, Sauvignon Blanc, much paler) and so the skin contact imparts an orange or rusty appearance to the wine.  But that's not all..... Continue reading

  • The delights of wine made from pure white Rice!

    Akashi-Tai Sake

    Sake is one of those mystical beverages, shrouded in custom and steeped in history. A rice wine most commonly associated with Japan, there are actually a number of different types of sake, which can be made from around 50 different varieties of rice - no Basmati here. Rudimentary forms of the drink would have been made by grinding rice up with your teeth and spitting it into a container to allow a natural fermentation to take place. Thankfully the process is a little more rigorous these days. Continue reading

  • I was recently at an impromptu tasting at Hipping Hall restaurant and rooms. Hipping Hall is in the top one hundred best restaurants in the UK, beautiful place, fabulous food, exemplary wine list and impeccable service, highly recommended!)

    The wine in the glass was German, brought into the UK by a charming lady called Ute.  It was my first taste of Germany for a while despite it being a real favourite.  The Producer was called Darting, a 25 hectare estate based in the Pfalz, a lesser known region but one that nevertheless produces delicious wines from a myriad of different grape varieties, some common (Chardonnay and Sauvignon) , some less so (Dornfelder and Scheurebe). Continue reading

  • We have recently acquired some excellent rare whiskies from Douglas Laing, an artisan bottler based in Glasgow. These whiskies are all bottled without caramel or chill filtration from single casks that have been resting in some cases for decades in the cellars at Douglas Laing. The old malt cask whiskies are 50% strength, single cask bottling. They are enthralling whiskies of great purity. Continue reading

  • Vermentino Colli di Luni DOC 2009 Liguria

    A lesser known Italian wine region with some superb small artisan grower bottlers. This sunshine wine is fresh, vibrant, un-oaked and oozing tropical fruit flavours. Liguria is famed for its seafood, this wine is perfect with Pasta Fresca con Le Cozze. (Fresh Pasta with Mussels) Continue reading

  • Graham's pick of the week

    My recommendation for this week has to be a cracking new tinto we've started stocking 2009 Bajondillo from Bodegas Jimenez Landi. Continue reading

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