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Posts Tagged ‘red wine’

I’ll admit it – I tried this wine a few months ago and thus don’t remember exactly why I liked it. But I obviously enjoyed it enough to take a picture of it. So here you are – a really nice Rioja for you to try. In my opinion, good Rioja can be hard to find (there is a LOT of it in the UK to meet the demand of the supermarket consumer – i.e. around £6 per bottle. I remember this being around £30 in a restaurant so would guess you could find it for £10 – £15 in the shops (Majestic as usual would be my first checking point). I would recommend buying a few bottles – a) to get the likely discount of 10 – 15% off and b) so you can try it on a few different occasions.

Rioja is a wonderful wine for parties as it is likely to please most people. For this gem, make sure you share it with only your best friends or at least people who care enough to recognise its amazing-ness. Enjoy!!

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Long week? Its the WEEKEND! Enjoy the warm(er) weather in London and all the opportunities to try some gorgeous wines. My fail safe weekend wines? Prosecco, Cotes du Rhone and if you are feeling a bit crazy, an ooey gooey but structured Malbec (just tried an amazing one: Domingo Molina, 2010 Valle de Cafayate – Salta…probably the best Malbec I’ve had – YUM!!)
Whatever you try, enjoy. Kick your feet up and take a second to breathe. Life is good.

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I have been meaning to post this for a while now and am only now getting around to it. I need to share the names of two wines I had while in Fontainebleau for an INSEAD marketing course in January. I picked them at random for our 8 person dinner on a Monday night and we were so pleased with them that we came back with 40 people on Wednesday and ordered the same wine for the whole group! The Sancerre was something special – crisp, fruit, floral wonderfulness. The Gigondas was ridiculous- Rhone Valley Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre…spicy and balanced, gooey and moorish. I would highly recommend these wines to anyone honestly – either for drinking alone or with a gorgeous feast.

Joseph Mellot, 2010, La Graveliere, Sancerre AC
Pierre Amadieu, 2009 Gigondas AC, Romain Machotte Rouge

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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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So with my first proper wine course finished, I am proud to say that I am at last successfully navigating the world of French wine! Focusing mainly on red wine (because its just too good to deviate from) I have been trying Bordeaux, Burgundy and everything in between. I learn more each time I buy a wine and quiz myself to see if I can figure out what varietal the wine is (including right bank / left bank in Bordeaux!). I am convinced the reason people need to “study” wine is only to understand French wine!!
With all this “studying” I have decided that I absolutely love Cotes du Rhone – i.e. Syrah and Granache! I cannot get enough of the stuff – its smooth, more-ish and just heavy enough to show you its beauty. I must confess that I don’t have any favorite vineyards/producers at this stage – but really anything the £6- £10 range has my vote!!
Let us know if you have a favorite…

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What will be on my table this year:
– Majestic wines is having a sale on Lindauer Sparkling so I’ll be picking up a few bottles of their rose sparkling to start the evening off. It will have a bit of berry fruit and lots of big bubbles to make a delightful, festive start to the meal. We’ll be serving up salmon / cream cheese and onion dip w/ crinkle chips. YUMMO!

– I have also picked out a great New Zealand Pinot Noir to go with my meal (also on sale through Majestic. Don’t judge, its a bad economy!) – Wither Hills Pinot Noir, 2009. Its big, spicy and perfect for my roasted meat, sausage/sage stuffing and creamy potatoes.

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Using my new favorite wine delivery service to prepare for my in-laws coming into town this weekend, I bought a case of wine a week ago. My goal? Keep the cost per bottle to £5 on average (keeping a look out for deals). I also wanted to buy a mix of red wine and sparkling (red = easy to find cheap bottles, sparkling = difficult).
One of the bottles that was already reasonably priced at £6.99, but which was on sale for £4.99 if you bought two, was the Neblina Carmenere (which I previously blogged about as being a new favorite). Naturally, I had to sample my purchases prior to the in-laws visit!!! Unfortunately, I ended up enjoying this bottle of wine SO MUCH that out of the three that I bought, only 1/2 a bottle is left to share with them…
Me thinks I’ll be ordering this one again – a good staple wine for your table. Works any day of the week though its a big, plummy, juicy wine with a dry finish and semi-strong tanins. The bottle recommends pasta and fresh cheeses – I drank it this evening with a toasted cheese sandwich and a bowl of potato and leek soup (from a can…).

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