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Buon Vino Natural Wine Blog

  • When trying to find someone a bottle of wine to take away with them, I usually ask what style of wine they prefer. A response I quite often get is “I like dry whites, like Sauvignon Blanc, not sweet ones like Chardonnay”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this response, as it gives me a pretty good idea on what the customer is looking for, though probe a little further, and those commonly used winespeak terms ‘dry’ and ‘sweet’ can cause problems in communication, particularly when it comes to whites. 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

  • Pinot Noir clone 777 signAfter a recent visit from Abi from Good Hope’s marketing team, we thought we’d spill the beans on these excellent wines. Not 100% natural, but that’s ok, this is a winery that works as close to natural as possible - responsible farming, no spraying, only natural yeasts allowed and a minimum of sulphur. Referring to the winery as Good Hope is perhaps slightly misleading as the winery have several labels including The Winery of Good Hope, and Radford Dale, but Good Hope seems an affectionate enough term to use for all of them. Based in Somerset West in South Africa, they source their grapes from a number of sites across Stellenbosch, Elgin and Swartland to ensure consistency of quality. Continue reading

  • The team at Josmeyer before Jean's death (right) The team at Josmeyer

    Domaine Josmeyer was founded in 1854 by restaurant owner Aloyse Meyer who set about building on his links with the wine trade. Since then, the estate has passed through 5 generations of the Meyer family, with Jean Meyer - responsible for most of the wines we stock today - taking over in 1966. In 2000 he switched the entire estate to organic and biodynamic culture. He is credited with elevating the estate to one of Alsace’s greats, and with injecting the wines with their unique sense of cultural place by combining his love of contemporary art with his produce. After his death earlier this year, his daughters Celine and Isabelle took over running of the estate. Continue reading

  • A recent to Campania to meet Claudio Panetta from Il Cancelliere led to the discovery of three more fantastic little natural wineries in the region.  Three days of tasting, talking, eating, drinking and enjoying the 25 degree heat (end of March!) and i decided to buy a few bottles of these authentic Campanian white wines.  Three artisan producers, Cantina del Barone, Cantina dell'Angelo and I Cacciagalli, three classic Campanian white grapes, Fiano, Greco and Falanghina, (with a little red Piedirosso thrown in!)............ Continue reading

  • MADE IN BRITAIN - English Wine Week, - 28th May - 4th June

    Why, where wine is concerned, this is no longer the badge of shame it used to be!

    If you were to offer a glass of English wine to a Frenchman (or woman), they’d quite possibly wet themselves laughing. Bad enough offering them a glass of Italian wine, but English? That said, the English wine scene is currently undergoing an explosion not seen since the arrival of the Normans in 1066: our sparkling wines are rivalling Champagne, our whites are found on the lists at top restaurants around the country, our reds are giving the Burgundians a run for their money and our pinks are proving a massive hit. Even the Welsh are at it now! Continue reading

  • For the past 5 years Rob Bagot has been championing bio-dynamic wine from his shop, Buon Vino, in Settle.  Over a bottle at his ‘tasting table’ I asked him about the principles behind bio-dynamic viticulture.

    Rob recalled how he had an epiphany at the Real Wine Fair in London a few years ago.”I stuck my nose in a glass of Tir a Blanc Le Casot de Mailloles 2014 and the aromas erupted out of the glass and it tasted alive.” A Gaillac Causse Marines that followed had a similar effect.”It was right there, the decision was made.  Rob said it was quite simple “I knew I wanted these wines in my shop.” Continue reading

  • Real Wine is Real People - By Dave Weale

    As Real Wine Month approaches, I found myself writing draft blogs that all harped on about, well, real wine. That seems fairly natural, I hear you say, but that wasn’t really the direction I wanted to go down. This is not because I don’t thoroughly enjoy harping on about all things natural, and the benefits of low sulphur in wine - just pop into the shop and ask me and I’ll be more than happy to harp - but it struck me that Real Wine Month is about more than just what’s in the bottle. Continue reading

  • Words have always been a source of fascination for me, and unsurprisingly, the world of wine is full of quite specific vocabulary that can seem a little pretentious at times. On my WSET course I have been surprised to find out just how difficult it is to describe a wine using ‘official’ terminology, and whilst it has been immensely helpful training my palate to look for certain things, I can’t help but wonder if that perpetuates the sort of snobbery that people perceive around wine. Continue reading

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