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Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

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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I started off the weekend with a hike in Surrey with my good friend. Just a 40 minute train ride from London Victoria and we were in the countryside, bathed in fall colours and surrounded by rolling hills. The wind has gotten really cold this past week and we were very much unprepared for just how chilly it would be but the fresh air and gorgeous scenery made for a truly enjoyable trip. 5 miles later, we gratefully plunked ourselves on the warm train back to London.

Our friends were getting together for a Halloween party later on in the day so we parted at Victoria in order to head to our respective homes and get ready. Even though I was freezing, I love being able to walk around the city when I have time so I decided to wander back to Battersea on foot. I took advantage of the great little food shops on Warwick Way and Lupus Street and picked up a few nibbles for my afternoon at home. While the fresh pesto and pecorino was ooey-gooey deliciousness, the stunning part of my afternoon was opening up this gorgeous South African Chenin Blanc that I had received as a gift from a dear friend. I have not explored South Africa very much and after tasting this wine, I have realised that I need to get cracking. This wine is best described as pure elegance. Instead of waxing lyrical about the tasting notes, I am just going to steal a quote from ‘All About Wine‘:  “Arguably South Africa’s top ‘Award-Winning’ Chenin Blanc is purity itself! A sumptuous, flavourful Chenin from this excellent Tulbagh estate, which manages to combine richness with a delicate, elegant palate.” It isn’t cheap but nor is it overpriced at £17. It would be perfect with a Sunday lunch and would impress the socks off any Chardonnay lover.

Rijk’s Private Cellar, Chenin Blanc 2008, Barrel Fermented & Handpicked. £16.99
www.rijks.co.za

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I know a lot of people in jobs that they are just not happy with. They are looking to change, mould or just scrap the whole thing in favour of finally pursuing something they are passionate about. I also know people that have long since gone on that pursuit, many to find a greater happiness and fulfillment if not a bigger pocketbook. Many come back to their careers at least part time but others find a way to sustain their newly passion-filled life.

I am a big proponent of following your passion. Nearly everything stands in your way when you are forging the path – people don’t believe you are making the right choice, the risk feels just too big, your other life plans don’t align, you don’t feel like you have the time, etc.
This morning, I am focusing on what I love and taking another step towards my passion. Who’s coming with me?

Happy Friday wine lovers Xx

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I have been asked by my lovely artist friend, Blair, to choose a wine for her upcoming currated art show in Shoreditch. She has selected a theme for the tasting: ‘Go Bananas!’ and I am meant to select a wine that is both in line with the theme and an artist’s budget. I am tasting a few options this weekend and will let you know what we end up selecting.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about the show check out the details at www.hatchedgallery.com. Her show opens on the 11th November and runs Monday through Friday, 10AM -6PM, until the 2nd December.

I am also going to host a full wine tasting out of her gallery at the conclusion of the show on December 2nd. If you are interested in attending, drop me a line. Sign-ups are taken for £10 pp until November 11th, £15 pp thereafter.

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I have just returned from a whirlwind 3 weeks abroad: 1 week in Burgundy, 1 week in Fontainebleau and 4 days in Tel Aviv/Jerusalem. I rode a bike through Premier Cru vines in Pommard, ate grapes off the recently harvested vines in Volnay and celebrated my birthday in a gorgeous restaurant in Puligny filled with my Aussie friends and run by a Burgundian chef and his Belgian wife. I graduated from my marketing certification program at INSEAD and celebrated with 40 new friends and colleagues, leaving campus with a branded French beret to boot.
I touched the stone slab that Jesus Christ was prepared for burial, saw the empty tomb where He was buried and walked in His footsteps through Jerusalem. I prayed at the Wailing Wall and watched a class of Israeli Army graduates celebrate with their families. I dove in to Israeli wine, trying many stunning varieties, and experienced the exquisite delight of Israeli hummus. I floated in the Dead Sea, dunked my head (don’t do it…) in the mineral baths and rocked it out with 80 of my colleagues from across Europe at a nightclub in Tel Aviv. I arrived back in London yesterday, went in to the office to say goodbye to a lovely colleague who is shortly getting on a plane to move to Sydney. I am taking over his responsibilities for the UK market and took this last opportunity to glean all I could from his experience – while passing on my favourite things for him to go, see, do in Sydney (and living vicariously through him). Coming back to my flat in London last night was a surreal experience. I feel a bit lost and deflated yet full of energy. London is colder and more gray than when I left but the trees are changing colours and my flat is taking on a cosy and comfortable feel. I am happy to be back but have a sense of anxiety about what’s next, perhaps because of the crazy sequence of experiences that I have just come away from. I suppose the best thing to do is what’s most natural to me: just dive in, roll with the punches and figure it out as I go…

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My father, John, turns 71 today. Here’s a shout out to my favourite guy (and wine lover!):

Happy birthday, live it up and enjoy your special day! Love you Xx

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