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...

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Friendly gruner veltliner

I’ve got a few more videos left from the London International Wine Fair. I know it may seem like they’ll never stop coming but just one or two left. Some people complain that the show is too big, too much, too impersonal but I always have a great time and meet great people. I’ve had the Friendly Gruner Veltliner before, at Bibendum’s tasting at the Saatchi Gallery a few months ago, but here I had the opportunity to speak with the winemaker himself, Laurenz Maria Moser V. As you might be able to tell by the V., Laurenz is a descendent of the famous Lenz Moser clan of Austria. His grandfather was the legendary Professor Doctor Laurenz Moser III, who invented the Lenz Moser Hocherziehung trellising system now used all over Austria. Laurenz decided to branch out a few years ago and focus entirely on gruner veltliner. His goal is to produce “elegant and charming” wines, wines that are subtle and elegant yet still retain the spiciness that gruner is known for without losing it’s playful edge.  To that end, he is currently producing 3 different wines, the Friendly, Charming and Sunny Gruner Veltliners along with the Silver Bullet, a biodynamic gruner like no other. I had a quick chat and tasting with the very elegant and charming Laurenz himself…. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Corcoran Wines, more Virginia

The Winesleuth seems to have been MIA lately but that’s only because my laptop was stolen so I’ve been relying on the kindness of the local library for my computer fix and at half an hour slots, it ain’t much! Fortunately, before my laptop was nicked, I managed to download a couple more vids from the London International Wine Fair. I discovered the Virginia wine stand and had a lovely chat with Jim Corcoran of Corcoran Vineyards located in Loudoun Country, VA. I used to live in Washington, DC which is just a hop, skip and a jump from Loudoun! Little did I know what they were up to south of DC. I’m not sure if his wines are available yet here in the UK but if you’re interested in finding out more about Virginia wines in the UK, check out NewHorizonWines.com My times almost up! That’s it for now!!! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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The wines of Virginia at the ’09 LIWF w/video

I know it may seem like I’ve been banging on about English wine, English vodka, the English, etc., but I am living here, in England. I have however, not forgotten about my country…”My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty…”…ahem, um…now where was I? Oh, yeah…anyway, we all know about California wine, the wines of Oregon and Washington and New York’s cool climate offerings but what about Virginia’s wines? Yup, you heard me right, the wines of Virginia. The Jamestown settlers were the first to try and cultivate wines but without much success. Even T.J. (Thomas Jefferson, our third president) back in the day, brought over cuttings from France to his estate in Monticello in the hopes of producing fine wine but to no avail despite his efforts over 30 years. Until recently grapegrowing and wine making in Virginia were pretty much a quixotic affair. I remember going to a vineyard about 8 years ago and it was an “interesting” experience. Since then however, Virginia wineries have made improvements in leaps and bounds and now are known for producing aromatic, creamy viogniers and fragrant, full cabernet francs. There are now over 140 vineyards in Virginia and only California, New York, Oregon and Washington have more wineries. If you want to know more of the history, click here. I met the folks from New Horizons Wines, Christopher Parker and his colleague Judy at the ’09 London International Wine Fair. I had a chance to try the Veritas Viognier ’07 and have a chat with Judy… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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First English wine, now English vodka

Whilst wandering around the London International Wine Fair, I took the second day to cross the hall to Distil which is the little brother event to the LIWF. Distil is a showcase for spirits- tequila, rum, whiskey, vodka, liquors, they were all there. The only problem with Distil is you can’t really spend a lot of time there because you’d be blotto after a couple of tasters, esp. if you got dragooned by the tequila people. I was there with Penny to source some aged rum for an upcoming event at the Bluebird but got waylaid by Chase Vodka. Seems I’ve become a big fan of anything English recently. Well, I suppose if you’re in England you should buy English, you know all that think global, buy local guff and as much as California needs my support, it is a long way away. First we had English wine and all the incredulous looks that came with that phrase and now we’ve got English vodka. Gin yes, but vodka? Watch me down a shooter of Chase Vodka ( and speak to the Master Distiller, Jaime Baxter). Ever wonder what they do with the potatoes that don’t make it into the award-winning Tyrell’s crisps? Well, wonder no more because the folks at Chase Distillery use them to make vodka. As Jaime explained to me, there is nothing wrong with the potatoes, they’re just not the right size for crisps so into the hand-crafted copper batch pots and 3 weeks later, ta-dah! English potato vodka. There’s a lot more that goes into them then that but that’s the short version. To quote Chase: ” From home grown Herefordshire potatoes, to…custom-made copper still, to a hand finished bottle…” they are true artisans of vodka. And some tasty stuff it is! Retailing on-line for around £32.99 Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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