Sherry, baby….

“Sheeeeerrrrrrrryyyyyyy,baby. Sherry baby, Sherrrrry, can you come out tonite….” That old song by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons always pops into my head whenever I hear the word sherry. Most people unfortunately, usually associate sherry with grandmothers, rocking away the afternoon with a knit shawl on their lap and a small glass of sherry close by. Tio Pepe is trying to shed that image of fustiness and have come up with the Sherry and Tapas trail. A trip round some of the best tapas bars London has to offer. Between 12th – 18th July 2010 you can enjoy a free glass of Tio Pepe when you order a tapa (worth £4.50 or more) at any of the 9 restaurants on the tapas trail route. Participating restaurants are: Barrafina, Pinchitos, Fino and Barrica on the Central leg of the trail and on the Northern leg: Camino, Bar Pepito, Moro and Pinchitos (Old St.). I joined Eatlikeagirl for part of the Central leg. We visited Fino on Charlotte St. and Pinchitos on Bayley St. Our drink of choice was the Tio Pepe en rama Fino dry sherry. A special edition, unfiltered, dry sherry. If you think sherry is sticky and sweet, drink again! The en rama was dry and crisp, minerally and full bodied with a slight salty, nutty tang to it. The sherry has been taken from the middle of the cask where all the flor (the yeast that grows on the surface of the wine and gives it it’s distinct yeasty overtones) congregates. We tried it with a variety of tapas at Fino, starting off with the most tomatoey pan con tomate I’ve ever had, an explosion of tomato flavours thinly covering the bread, working our way through the morcilla with quail egg, braised pig cheeks and chorizo and potato chips, which were little chorizo sausages wrapped in thin slices of potato. Only the finest ingredients and mouthwateringly good. We had to stop ourselves ordering more as we were heading out to Pinchitos...

read more

“Brut Nature” Cava from Montau de Sadurni

Here is another wine from Casa Leal that I got to try when I was sidetracked into the Restaurant Trade Show but rather then a Portuguese wine, it’s a cava from Penedes. The cava is produced by Montau de Sadurni.  The Sadurni family have been growing grapes near the village of Begues, 15 miles from Barcelona, since the 16th century and probably been making wine just as long but they have been marketing their wines and cavas under the Montau label since 1987. The Arrels Montau de Sadurni is an extra dry reserve cava, we jokingly referred to it as a “diet cava” as it is a brut nature because it has only 2 gr/litre of sugar – now that is what I call a skinny cava! The cava is produced in the champagne methode meaning it is fermented twice, in vat and then in bottle, aged for 2 years and then sent on it’s merry way. Cava is usually made from xarello, parellada and macabeu and this is no exception. I really liked this cava, lovely, aromatic notes of baked apples and dried figs it had a certain creaminess on the nose that carried onto the palate – nutty, briochy, no bitter notes which can be found in cava sometimes, with spritely bubbles that weren’t too aggressive. A clean finish to round it off.  11.5% alcohol. The family only produce 40,000 bottles a year and it’s going to be retailing here in the UK for £8 so snap some up if you see it. Available from Casa Leal Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

read more

At Covent Garden, naturally (wine and otherwise), Spanish red this week

Eatlikeagirl and I have been doing the Covent Garden  Real Food Market now for over a month and having a blast! This week we’ve branched out from Bisol Prosecco, as much as we love it, and gone on to biodynamic wines. Stands to reason since I do run a natural wine bar! Niamh made slow roast shoulder of pork with spiced apple relish served in a homemade blaa  (no, not blah, it’s anything but!) served with rocket  – yummy!! FYI – blaa is a traditional Irish bread from Waterford. My task was to match a wine with the pork, what to match,what to match? I went with the Macatela 2006, a spanish red from Tierra de Castilla. We stock this wine in the bar as one of our house reds and it is a great value at £2.90 a glass. We both managed to grab a sandwich and enjoy this juicy red. The Macatela is a blend of tempranillo, garnacha and a bit of cab sauv. for structure, aged 3 months in American oak to soften it up a bit. Totally organic but not, alas biodynamic, it’s still made with minimal intervention and no chemicals, harvested to the strictest procedures. A lovely deep ruby in colour, fruity nose with hints of red berries and spice. Lovely bit of earthiness and spice on the palate, fresh cherries, a juicy wine with a toasty finish. It went quite well with the pork, a happy combo, a lively wine, racing around my palate, the cherries jumping out of the glass and around my tongue. Too bad I was working the stall but on the otherhand maybe it was a good thing because I could have just spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying this one!   Available at Artisan and Vine Retail: £8 in the A&V shop Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

read more

Time is running out to register for the ’09 European Winebloggers Conf!!!

Last year I had the pleasure to attend the inaugural 2008 European Winebloggers Conference in Rioja. I had a fantastic time,  met some great people and got to drink lots of quality Rioja, among other wines. I mean, that is my kind of conference! The purpose of the conference is to help all us on-liners meet in real life, exchange ideas and hopefully come away with plenty to think about in utilizing social media. It’s great when you get the chance to meet the people you twitter with, blog with or about or just read their posts online. I’m sooo looking forward to this year’s conference in Portugal. The same folks who organized last year’s EWBC, Ryan and Gabriella Opaz (Catavino), and Robert MacIntosh (Wine Conversation) have  teamed up with Viniportugal, the premier sponsor, to bring us winebloggers an event to remember. The weekend kicks off on Thursday,Oct 29th with a pre-conference EWBC gathering at the Cortes de Cima winery, which promises to be a great day out before heading back to Lisbon for the conference proper. Tickets for the event are 95 euros for bloggers and 195 euros for non-bloggers and industry types. What does your ticket include? Discount on a hotel room (which includes breakfast) at the VIP Grand Lisboa – location of the EWBC 2 sponsored lunches 2 sponsored dinners 2 sponsored grand tastings A full day of winery visits in 1 of the 3 Portuguese wine regions: Setabul / Terras do Sado, Ribatejo or Alentejo A full day of sessions on everything from monetizing your blog to videoblogging 101 Enormous amounts of networking opportunities A chance to taste wines from across Portugal An opportunity to attend the Douro Boys Press Junket trip to the Douro after the conference And much much more! Hit up the official website for all the lastest info and watch this space for details on videoblogging 101, as yours truly, The Winesleuth will be participating as a panelist, stay tuned… …And speaking of videos, check out a rerun from...

read more

Matsu – sounds japanese but it’s Spanish (w/video)

I found one other video from the London International Wine Fair which I just have to post because I really liked the wine and Ricardo Arramberi Perez was such a lovely fellow. It’s another tinta de toro. That’s tempranillo masquerading as yet another varietal from the west of Spain. I wrote about tinta de toro in a previous post so won’t bore you with too many details but you can click here if you want to read the original post. I met Ricardo at the Catavino Spanish and Portuguese tasting that they hosted at the Westbridge Pub in Battersea during the LIWF. Charley McVeigh was also a very charming host and came up with a delicious array of cheeses. Unfortunately, I lost all the photos when my laptop was stolen so you’ll just have to take my word for it! Anyway, here is a quick tasting of  the 2006 Matsu, a wine made from tinta de toro. Ricardo and his family are originally from Rioja but now they’re in the province of Zamora, producing wine from the D.O. Toro. Check out the video to find out what I thought of it and a bit of history from Ricardo….salud! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

read more

Toro!toro!toro! – sippin’ on the bull at the LIWF, video

Tinta de Toro. Wine of the Bull? Is that like the Hungarian wine, Bull’s blood? The origins of the name may be lost in the mists of time but I can tell you that tinta de toro is a local varietal found in the western half of Spain, near the town of Zamora. It’s thought that the varietal is an adaptation of that traditional Spanish varietal, tempranillo. Tempranillo does go by so many names, ojo de liebre, tinto fino, tinto del pais, ulle de llebre and tinto roriz (in Portugal) to name a few. The province of Zamora, where the D.O. Toro is located is in the extreme western part of the region of Castillo Y Leon in western Spain, near the border with Portugal. As a matter of fact, the river Duero (or Douro as it’s known in Portugal) cuts through the region.  The D.O.Toro vineyards are in the southeastern part of the province. The region was demarcated in 1987 but they’ve been growing grapes there since Roman times and the wines were quite prized during the Middle Ages and beyond, even being sent on ships to the New World to sustain the conquistadores on the tough job of subduing the natives.  There are currently 8000 hectares under cultivation. Toro is best known for it’s tinta de toro but they also grow malvasia, garnacha and the white varietal, verdejo. The Tinta de Toro red wines are known for being lusher and richer versions of tempranillo due to the vineyards more southernly situation.  Whilst wandering around the London International Wine Fair with Gabriella of Catavino, we came across the Munia brand of tinto de toro and decided to give them a try, the video says it all…. [viddler id=64f1ab91&w=437&h=333] Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

read more
%d bloggers like this: