Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘champagne’

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.

WineTasting_Feb13

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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

What better time to get up to speed on what wines you like, love and covet than when you are preparing for upcoming festivities with family and friends? There are a million ways to start brushing up on your skills: Head to your local supermarket/wine shop and ask lots of questions (many times they will have tastings available while you browse – just ask), Attend a tasting (lots of places offer tastings – speciality shops, wine shops, liquor stores, etc. Keep your eyes peeled), Talk to your friends (many people have a favorite bottle of wine that they use as their ‘go to’ tipple for any celebration. Ask people you know for suggestions and you may just discover a new gem!).
For my part, I will be hosting, attending and conversing about all things wine in the next two months (have a look at what I’m up to here and sign up if you’re interested). As always, if you want to swap ideas – pull up a chair and let’s chat.

Essentials for any successful holiday: 
Brandy – my favourite is Hennessy VSOP. Top it with a bit of ginger ale for a spritzy buzz or some spicy eggnog for a classic holiday treat
Sparkling wine – the holiday favourite in my household is Prosecco because of its light body, balanced flavour and general yummy-ness (plus it can be enjoyed at any time of day…)
Good, full bodied red wine – this is the absolute must have. I love picking a few favourites each year to share with my family. I am still in the discovery phase for this year’s celebrations and will be using my upcoming tastings to explore a few pre-selected Malbecs, Petit Syrahs, Bordeauxs and Tannats. Stay tuned…

Read Full Post »

My two lovely friends got married last Monday in London with 20 of their closest friends from around the world looking on. Our troupe was then shuttled into cabs, whisked away to the Champagne bar at St Pancras station and herded into Coach 15 on the Eurostar bound for Paris. After a quick transfer to the regional station in Paris, we were on our way to Dijon. Hop, skip and a 40 minute drive from Dijon, we entered our home for the next week: Chateau du Tailly, a gorgeous 18th century block of three buildings (all of which could have been individual houses)…

So many stories, such a wonderful week. Ultimately, it was about two people: Joel and Marc whose love brought all of us together for this incredible experience. We wined and dined our way through an awe-inspiring week throughout Puligny, Chassagne, Beaune, Mersault and many more. More updates to follow but will leave you with this for now.

  

The main Chateau and my two lovely friends, Joel and Marc, who hosted us during the week:

My home for the week:

        

The winemaker at Chateau Lahaye allowing me to ‘break through the must’ on their newest harvest.

  

Cheers!

Read Full Post »

Ahhh the day of love…or just another day to try an extra special wine??  Whatever it means to you, have a look at some ideas to mark the occasion with someone special (i.e. yourself!).
Here are some ideas to spark the LOVE….

A Valentines day MUST – BUBBLES!!
Grab a bottle of Prosecco. Honestly – it doesn’t much matter which one. Spend no more than 10 quid on it, make sure its chilled and pour for your loved ones at the beginning of the evening. If you don’t have champagne flutes – buy them. It is worth it. Never, never, never, NEVER serve a loved one a glass of anything bubbly in a regular wine glass. That is the definition of taboo. Plus – Sainsburys sells 4x flutes for 4 quid – don’t be a cheapskate…
For an example: This one is on sale! 

Want to upgrade and get a little bit fancy? Look for Blanc de Blancs. 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine. Yummy, special and sure to impress. My favorite is Argyle from Oregon (argylewinery.com)

If you would like to have another wine with food, here are a few sure to impress stunners:

LOVE: Petalos Bierzo, Castilla y Leon, 2009 Descendientes de J. Palacios
Ridiculously tasty red wine from a little known region in Spain. I have had three bottles of this in my house – the last was opened last night. Red Cherries galore with a strong acidity that will stand up to some really gorgeous cheese. I had a humble meal of garlic/onion soft cheese and dense sunflower rye bread made extra special by this fantastic wine…Read the reviews on Majestic’s site for more info (and more professional reviews!)

ONE TO TRY: Chateau Grand Faurie Larose, 2006 St-Emilion, Grand Cru
Never had it before but judging by the region and its Grand Cru rating, I would test out this yummy merlot based Bordeaux. Good price point for a classy wine – grab some cheeses, bit of cured meat and you are away!

ONE FOR DESSERT: Royal Tokaji Late Harvest 2009
Honestly, you can’t get much more impressive than Royal Tokaji. Have it on its own or with some gooey, stinky blue cheese.

Read Full Post »

I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and splashed into the new year with family and friends in grand style! We have Martin’s parents over from the UK so we took advantage of the view from Dudley Park Reserve in Sydney to watch the fireworks on the Harbour. After a bit of dancing and a bit too much Brandy we welcomed in 2010 with pizazz.
Whatever you did, I hope that you were able to enjoy some good sparkling. We drank a sparkling Verdhelo from Peterson’s Champagne House (Hunter Valley, $27 AUD). Absolutely amazing and one of our favorites.

Read Full Post »

I’m hoping to gather a list of good wine courses that are available in Sydney. Can you help? I’m looking for an introductory course on tasting, varietals, global wine regions, viticulture, etc. If you have been on a good course, please let me know.

Thanks!

Read Full Post »

There is nothing more exciting than the pop of a cork of sparkling wine. When it comes to sparkling though, I have found that you can be severely disappointed once that cork pops out and you slide the contents into an appropriate glass flute. Dry, sweet, flat, there are so many characteristics of a bad bottle of sparkling wine. Therefore, when I can find it, I always stick to the same varietal: pure, clean chardonay (aka Blanc de Blancs). Blanc de blancs sparkling wine is 100% chardonay grapes and thus displays the clean, fruity elegance that always guarantees a smile of satisfaction on my face. Its hard to find and is usually on the higher end in price.

My favorite:

Argyle Winery, Williamette Valley, Oregon 2000 ($40 USD per bottle)

Tasting notes (source: http://argylewinery.com/2000-Blanc-de-Blancs.php)

It is amazing that Mother Nature should provide us with the perfect growing season for phenomenal sparkling wines in the beginning of the New Millennium! I believe this wine to be the most exciting Blanc de Blancs yet derived from Argyle. Mere words cannot describe the balance between zippy minerality and ripe creamy elegance contributed by tree fruit aromas and flavors of apple, Anjou pear, and a splash of white peach. Rich, creamy, and balanced from start to finish, remember this wine as your benchmark for great Blanc de Blancs.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: