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Posts Tagged ‘petit verdot’

If you’ve been hoping to increase your knowledge and awareness of amazing wines this holiday season, make sure to sign up for some upcoming tastings. Spots are still available and cost is either by donation or £10 (until 11th Nov). Its a great way to get a handle of what types of wine will impress your friends and family as well as yourself this holiday season.

For the Nov 17th tasting, so far we have a yummy Port, some gorgeous Bordeaux, a few South African stunners and maybe even a cheeky Bierzo. Sign up today!

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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…

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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.

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After the last, amazing drop of Adina’s ’05 Petit Verdot was consumed by my partner and I, I had resigned myself to probably not finding another PV so deliciously more-ish. But alas! Not a few months later and I have found another scrumptious bottle of this amazing grape made by another Aussie producer – Brown Brothers. It is a reserve release but very reasonably priced. For any PV lovers, I would highly recommend this wine.

Brown Brothers Reserve Release Petit Verdot, 2007
$13.99 AUD (from TheWineSociety.com.au)

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I have done it…or shall I say my army of friends, my fearlessly thirsty partner and me have done it. After buying four cases (yes…four entire cases or 48 glorious 750ml bottles) of Adina’s 2005 very last vintage of Petit Verdot, we have officially finsihed the last bottle. I have written about this wine previously…and it has inspired many lively conversations about my love of Australian wine and the rouge and risk loving winemakers that create such jewels as a 100% Petit Verdot. So this is a sad day when the wine, every last dropplet, has been slurped up. Adina has chosen to not continue this wine for reasons that I can not really fathom (other than the pure economic sense of growing a more popular, mass production type of grape like merlot) and thus we will no longer have the joy of this rare and delightfully pungently pure varietal. Adina had put an attractive slant onto the grape that I cannot find replicated in other vineyards imitations. Perhaps they spiked it with something? Honestly though, all I know is that anyone who was welcomed to our home with a glass of Adina Petit Verdot ended up lying on our couch three hours later and two bottles down, happy and gurgling joyfully.

Rest in peace Adina Petit Verdot…you will be missed!

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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!

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Petit Verdot is a gorgeous grape. Usually used for blending because of its very strong character, I’ve seen some really beautiful examples of straight Petit Verdot recently.

Two of these for you to try are:

Adina Winery, Hunter Valley, NSW 2005 ($20AUD per bottle)
– My personal favorite. I bought a case last month and am savoring my last few bottles. Its been a great drinking treat for after work with my housemate and friends. Drinks best with light, mild cheeses and nuts. Oh – and chocolate also fits nicely…

Optimiste Winery, Mudgee, NSW 2006 ($18AUD per bottle)
– Gorgeous wine with great character. A must try for the price.

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