My next wine tasting is coming up in a few weeks on March 17th from 5 – 7PM and spaces are booking up fast – sign up now to reserve your space! If you haven’t come to a tasting before, they are hosted out of my home in Battersea (right near the park). You will be welcomed with a glass of sparkling (or perhaps mulled cider to be on theme) and invited to sit down by the fire.

We will be tasting some lovely wines paired with Irish specialties like salt beef (aka corned beef), strong cheddar cheese and some sort of lovely potato dish – because you can’t have an Irish party without potatoes! We will finish off with my two favourite Irish spirits: Hennessy and Baileys. Before you say it, I know that Hennessy isn’t Irish but its Irish to me! If you come to the tasting, I will tell you why. For those of you that love a good sing-a-long, we’ll have some catchy Irish pub songs playing in the background during the evening (guitars, aspiring singers and musicians are welcome!).

Future dates are posted as well and sign ups are welcome. Get in touch if you have any ideas or suggestions – they are welcomed and appreciated.




Love: Wine Aerobics

[New post] OTBN_ The Cure for Conspicuous Non-Consumption - kristenmarshall@gmail.com - Gmail-1


Pridefully stolen from The Wine Economist to brighten up your Thursday.

Thanks to my wonderful guests who attended the tasting this afternoon. I was glad to meet a few new people and see some good friends’ faces. I hope to see all of you again at a tasting in the future.
As promised, here is a list of the wines that we went through today.


Saumur, Gratien & Meyer Brut, £12
Champagne, Rose Brut, Gauthier, £33
Sauvignon Blanc, Geisen 2011 Marlborough New Zealand, £10
Cabernet, Merlot & Cabernet Franc, Vergelegen 2009, £11 **GROUP FAVOURITE**
Pinotage, Barista 2010 South Africa, £9
Reserve Port, Taylors First Estate, £12
Palo Cortado Viejo, Apostoles £17

Food pairings:
Sparkling – Homemade bread, toasted with goats cheese, basil & garlic
Cabernet – Sliced & grilled chorizo
Pinotage – Chocolate (60% cacao)
Palo Cortado – Banana Walnut & Caramel cake (homemade by Blair – recipe to follow)

Also, I mentioned a few things during the tasting that people asked I make note of:
-My favourite region in Spain is Bierzo. There are some stunning examples available but a lovely one that is widely available is Petalos, Bierzo 2009.
Viu Manent Reserve Carmenere is an absolute stunner and highly recommended if you enjoy this style.

I will be posting new dates shortly. If you’re interested in learning more about wine – or just meeting some new people – make sure to sign up! I will look forward to hosting you.

I have an early meeting for my day job this morning so I am up, drinking coffee, blogging and passively watching Daybreak (I do miss the Today show with Katie Couric & Matt Lauer…). Work & life have fully launched into the new year. Already its looking good but I sometimes can’t believe just how busy things have gotten. Only a month ago I was finishing up Christmas with my family. I have just poured the very last of my Christmas coffee grinds into the coffee maker and am enjoying a few lingering cups of strong American style coffee – reminiscent of mornings with my parents over the holidays. 

Now on to February!

Normally I am not a sherry drinker – I don’t favour the yeasty characters of a fino and the oxidised varieties tend to never quite satisfy. Last night however I plunged head first into passionate love affair with Palo Cortado.  During a catch up with one of my dearest friends, whom also happens to be my ‘Sherry-drinking’ friend, brought out this absolute beauty – Apostoles Palo Cortado Viejo, 30 year Sherry. It was nutty, fully of coffee, a light yeast and a really really really long finish (I can still taste it this morning…and yes, I brushed my teeth and had a few espressos). And having done a few quick searches, you can get your hands on it for just under £17. One thing is they have a ‘muy viejo’ as well as the ‘viejo’ that I tried. Its a bit more expensive but more widely available. It would be interesting to try the two of them side by side.

I feel a sherry tasting coming on…


I spent the holidays this year with my sister and parents in Minnesota. My sister has moved her family there recently and they have bought a beautiful house in Minnetonka. It was snowy and gorgeous – even though its not the same as Seattle, I felt at home in the icy cold.

In preparation for my trip, I tried out Last Call Wines for the first time to purchase some luxurious wines for greatly discounted prices. I found a Chateau Tanunda Shiraz and a Chilean Carmenere – both were big, bold and IN-YOUR-FACE. I was pleasantly surprised by the Carmenere in particular – which was more balanced and smooth than the Shiraz (too heavy on the oak and the alcohol was quite pronounced). Unfortunately or fortunately – I completely zoned out and never took a picture of the Carmenere but I do have a photo of the wines that we enjoyed on Christmas day (includes a photo of the Shiraz). The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the picture were purchased by my sister and her husband while they were wine tasting near San Diego. Both were lovely and true to character.



And to tell the rest of the story of the holidays, I’ve included a few pictures – which describe the experience better than words. Winter walks, cookie making and my nephews playing around.

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My 71 year old dad and I went sledding one day after it has snowed a bit the night before. It was icy and pretty rough but my dad handled it like a champ. I however ended up with a ton of bruises and after a spectacular slip while walking on the ice, a really sore head!

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Christmas morning my parents and I loaded up the car and made our way over to my sister’s place for the festivities! Did I mention this was at 6:30 in the morning??

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I hope you and yours had a lovely holiday season. Now on to 2013…

Looking around London at the moment, you would think that the entire city has gone for an extended jog. Dusting off the cobweb infested trainers and hitting the park, the sidewalk or the riverbank with reckless abandon. I hate to be a spoil sport but I can’t wait for the omg-my-saddle-bags-are-hitting-my-ankles resolutions to be over in a few weeks. I am all for exercise but I enjoy mine when there aren’t a million other people trying to do the same thing. Also given that I have been on an on-off diet for most of my life, ‘losing weight’ isn’t something I focus on only once a year…

My new year resolutions can be summed up in two words: Be Bold. I was talking to a friend last night about career, life and family and he told me that if you’re not going to be bold and take a risk then you will never reap the rewards. Now, at the risk of sounding trite, him saying that really just summed up my current state in life. If you don’t take a step forward, then you will simply stay in the same place. This year is my year. Let’s be bold.


Happy New Year!

Hi friends,
Sending a belated Happy New Year to all my fellow wine lovers. I have been recovering from the holidays, jetlag and from 2012 (a year I hope to put far behind me) so I haven’t written anything in way too long. I hope to remedy that shortly and post some notes and thoughts from my recent tastings & travels. For now however, I hope you are looking towards the new year with hope and happiness – may it bring you and yours everything that you can make of it.
Lots of love x

How much do I love the 2012 John Lewis ad for Christmas? A lot. And you should too. Yes, its admittedly cheesy and seems to be constantly on the TV…but who can honestly resist Mr & Mrs Snowman?! Not this softy.
For those of you not in the UK, please enjoy the video below. The UK rocks when it comes to Christmas commercials….

All I can say is WOW.

Ok so I ordered this case of wine from Gauthier Wines recently. It was their Christmas Edition which included 12 bottles (2 x 6 bottles) plus lunch for 2 at their Soho restaurant – Brilliant deal and an exciting selection of wines. Unfortunately, after a week of delays with delivery, I had to get it delivered to my office…Now as I live in London, there is really no way to get it home beyond bringing it back bottle by bottle to my flat. I brought two bottles home yesterday and opened the Borsao Barrica and let me tell you, I was so excited. It was absolutely amazing…rich, spicy and authentically Spanish. Add a bit of cheese & some spicy prawns and you are in business. Plus – I did a quick search to see how much it would set me back to acquire a bit more of this gorgeous tipple and found it here for under £8! I think I’m in love…

Borsao Barrica, 2009, Campo de Borja – BUY IT (IN BULK)

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