Summer is Coming: The Best Wines for Summer Evenings

Jun 09, 15 Summer is Coming: The Best Wines for Summer Evenings

Posted by in All, Food and Wine

We’ve had a heatwave (sort of ) and so it’s official. Summer is on the way! This means long evenings out in the garden and barbecues. It also means a whole different load of wine to drink. Yes, even more different than the spring wines. After all, nobody really wants to sit inside nursing a bottle of red when the sun is out to play. To celebrate the imminent summer, here are the best wines for those warm evenings. Chateau Sainte Marguerite Organic Rose There’s something so refreshing about rose wine on a summer evening. Try to avoid the dark and rich looking wines, these are reserved for chilly, winter nights. Instead, opt for a rose that is pale in colour. The Chateau Sainte Marguerite sums up all that is right with the world of summer wine. It’s crisp and refreshing, a bit like taking a bite into a strawberry. This French wine is a must-have for dinners on the patio. Hunter Valley Chardonnay Looking for a dry white to accompany your fishy supper? This is the perfect wine to serve with prawn, salmon, lobster… Or even fish and chips if you fancy. The Hunter Valley is a prime example of Australian Chardonnay, which has become very up and coming in the wine world. It has all of the oakey undertones you would expect from a good Chardonnay too. Aglianico 2012 For those who refuse to put down their red, even when the sun is shining, this is the wine for you. After all, who can say no to a dark and fruity Italian wine? Although this may have an everyday price tag on it, you’ll find it tastes quite out of the ordinary. Serve this with some real Italian favourites – anything with tomato and basil in it, basically. It will go down a treat. Mount Bluff Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc NV Everyone has to have a bit of fizz in their life! Plus, summer is the perfect excuse to pop open a bottle....

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Penfolds Re-corking Clinic

Oct 27, 13 Penfolds Re-corking Clinic

Posted by in All, Australia

I had heard of Penfolds re-corking clinic but really didn’t know what it entailed. I just assumed people would bring in their old bottles of Grange and have the cork replaced periodically. Not so, as I found out when I was invited to see how a Penfolds re-re-corking clinic actually works. Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago was in attendence (he attends all of the Penfolds clinics around the world and examines many bottles personally) , along with 3 other Penfolds winemakers. They had set up shop in the ballroom of the Berkeley Hotel in Mayfair for a day of re-corking. Peter bubbled over with enthusiam while explaining the entire process to us. It turns out that Penfolds will only re-cork a wine once in it’s lifetime and have a very strict traceability system in place. Peter explained that once an old wine has been opened and certified, they refill it with 15 mls of the current vintage. This translates into 2% of new wine which will not affect the wine. Imagine if you had the wine re-corked every few years, after awhile, it would no longer be a 1950-something Grange, it would be something entirely different. Peter said that in the past they used to have difficulties persuading people that they should wait to have their wine re-corked but now they have a handy coloured guide which they can use to measure the amount of wine in the bottle. If the level falls below a certain zone, they will re-cork it, otherwise, they advise the owner to come back next time. The clinics are not only a chance to check on the state of a particular bottle but also a chance for Penfolds to hold what Peter calls “authenticity” clinics. In China, Penfolds does 3 day clinics where people have the opportunity to not only check on the vintage but also ensure that what they have really is a Penfolds wine. The clinics are also a chance for Penfolds to educate the consumer , informing...

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Featured Post – Visiting Australian Vineyards

Oct 10, 13 Featured Post – Visiting Australian Vineyards

Posted by in Australia

Australia offers some of the most incredible vineyards and wines that are well known all over the world for their distinct flavors. There are also many more wine regions than you might expect in Australia, allowing the country to achieve a world-renowned reputation for its award-winning wines. Discover Australia’s incredible wine regions and vineyards and find out how you can enjoy some of the best Australian wines. Barossa Valley, South Australia Barossa Valley, where European immigrants first settled in 1842, is one of the oldest wine producing regions in Australia. It offers around 150 different wineries, with plenty of wine trails to discover. You can even tour this beautiful wine region by motorbike, helicopter, vintage car or hot air balloon. Clare Valley, South Australia Clare Valley, one of the oldest wine regions in Australia, is renowned for its Riesling wine. In fact, it is often referred to as the home of Australian Riesling. Clare Valley offers over 40 wineries, the majority being small wineries located between the towns of Clare and Auburn. This South Australian region has a Mediterranean-style climate making it perfect for producing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, Semillon and Shiraz grapes. Hunter Valley, New South Wales Hunter Valley is the oldest wine growing region in Australia, renowned for its broad selection of wines from over 150 wineries. Explore the gorgeous vineyards and sample different wines at wine tastings available throughout the region. McLaren Vale, South Australia McClaren Vale, which has some of the oldest grape vines in the world, was the starting point of the wine industry in South Australia. This region has around 65, mostly boutique-sized wineries, in addition to around 270 independent grape growers. You can take a walk, bicycle ride, or horse ride along the Shiraz Trail in McClaren Vale to explore the beauty of numerous vineyards here. Mornington Peninsula, Victoria Mornington Peninsula, which is located not far from Melbourne, offers over 200 vineyards, the majority of which are located around Balnarring, Main Ridge, Merricks, Red Hill and Shorham. Mornington Peninsula is well known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and hosts a...

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Guest Post – How to drink your Hunter Semillon

Oct 06, 13 Guest Post – How to drink your Hunter Semillon

Posted by in All, Australia, Guest Post

I get approached often to host guest posts but as I have such a backlog of material, I don’t have much room for them. But Australian blogger Lisa Johnston (The Wine Muse) submitted this post on Hunter Semillon and I’d like to share it with my readers. Enjoy!  Guest Post: How to drink your Hunter Semillon As a style, straight varietal semillon seems to be low on the list of favourites and yet, like riesling, it is one of the most versatile whites in the world. The Bordeaux white grape has found many expressions within Australia from 100% oak fermentation such as Mount Horrocks Watervale Semillon to the austere Hunter Valley versions. As a fresh ripe semillon, with or without oak, food matching is easy as the grape lends itself to a wide range of food. Hunter Valley semillon is one of those varietal wines that is beloved by the wine trade – winemakers, writers, sommeliers and all but continues to be under appreciated by drinkers. In one sense, I find this hard to reconcile considering how we expect our celebrities to be size zero with angles and personality in their youth developing rounded cheeks & elegance in their prime. And our white wine? No, we seem to want them to be the opposite – flamboyant, plumper for our immediate enjoyment. On the other hand, there are enough styles of Hunter semillon being produced, particularly with the likes of McGuigan Semillon Blanc, that there is something for everyone. While 100% semillon is still uncommon in the world, because of its purity, lack of oak and longevity, Hunter Semillon has earned its place as one of those distinctive styles, like Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine and Barolo. Picked early with naturally low alcohol, the best shows a fine line of acid, pure citrus along itslong length in its youth developing a toasty, honey and lanolin complexity in its prime. I have recently tasted a 10 year old Hunter Semillon from one of the best vineyards that only shows a hint of waxiness in deference to its age. A good wine to enjoy sitting in a...

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Saturday Snapshot – The Widow Hen from Wirra Wirra

May 25, 13 Saturday Snapshot – The Widow Hen from Wirra Wirra

Posted by in All, Australia, Saturday Snapshot

As it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, here is a tasty little wine to have with, why not? chicken! It’s called The Widow Hen and comes from the Australian producer Wirra Wirra. I have written about Wirra Wirra before and as you may recall, it was founded by a rather eccentric fellow, Robert Wigley. The story goes that The Widow Hen got its name from a boisterous rooster that insisted on crowing when the sun came up. This rooster’s crowing always awakened Robert far earlier then he preferred and one day he took axe in hand and that was the end of the rooster. Robert got his sleep but there were a lot of sad hens moping around the chicken coop. The current winemakers of Wirra Wirra liked the story so much that they named The Widow Hen in honour of it. A shiraz and cabernet sauvignon blend, it’s easy going, full of red and black fruits on the palate and quite simply, delicious. I had this with a roast chicken and suffice it say, it was very good. The Widow Hen to go with a plate of hen, so to speak. You can get the 2010 Wirra Wirra Widow Hen from Ocado, rrp £9.99. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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