Bibendum & Twitter Taste Live!

Bibendum had their annual trade tasting last week and what a show! It was at the new Saatchi Gallery in the old Duke of York’s HQ in Chelsea. They’ve done wonders with the old barracks, perfect gallery space with lots of connecting hallways and stairs to who-knows-where. Every turn revealed a delightful surprise of winetasting. The show was an opportunity for Bibendum to showcase their catalogue and they had everything from Asda own brand to Krug vintage with plenty of stops in between. I was there not just to taste but also to participate in the firstever Bibendum Twitter Taste Live! Dan Coward of Bibendum and Rob McIntosh of  wineconversation organized the event. There were about 10 of us. Lots of food bloggers, not enough wine bloggers. C’mon winos,  you need to show up! Surf4wine, Spittoon, wineconversation and me, The Winesleuth,  representin’ the wine-rs. Food Stories, Eatlikeagirl, Hollowlegs, CheeseandBiscuits, a couple others I can’t remember and Documentally, who, I think, was the techie guy. He certainly seemed like it with his Mac, I-phone and portable router. We twittered on 3 wines, the Austrian Laurenz V. ’07 Friendly Gruner Veltliner, the Spanish Dinastia Vivanco ’05 Rioja crianza and the Californian Delicato ’06 Old Vines Zinfandel. The twittering was a blast! Lots of bloggers from around the UK and one even stripped off his shirt (via webcam) for us ( thanks for the suggestion, HollowLegs!). I lost my twitter notes but if memory serves, the Gruner was med bodied, nicely peppery, with notes of hay and grass. The Dinastia Vivanco (or “dinosaur” as one twitter so eloquently put it) – loads of cherry and spice and the Old Vines Zin, bit confected and full bodied, smokey with lots of black fruits. That’s all I remember. Have to remember to save Twitter notes next time! I had a chance to speak with David DeBoer, VP of International Sales of Delicato at the end of the day, more on that in the next post or two. For now, back to editing my next video. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Sunday dinner, Pt 2 – The dessert wines

 I got a bit sidetracked last week with wineblogging Wednesday but here is pt. 2 of  my Sunday dinner. Since I was tweeting all night long ( and those were the only notes I took), I’m posting the tweets verbatim. Unfortunately, after dinner and all that red wine, the tweets got shorter so I’ve add a comment or two now that I’m a bit more sober. We had 4 dessert wines, 2 Tokaji Aszu, a German icewine, an Alsatian vendage tardive pinot gris, and an unplanned Cognac. The desserts were apple tart, raspberry pavlova – some sort of meringue-y thing with raspberries in the middle, and two cheeses. Tweets says : tokaji, icewine and alsatian pinot gris ’96 gassman, vendage tardive for dessert . That about sums it up. There were two Hungarian tokaji’s, an ’88 and a ’96, both 5 puttonyos (sounds dirty but it’s not). The botrytis affected grapes are made into a paste and collected in baskets called puttonyos which weigh about 55 pounds. The puttonyos are then made into wine, the more puttonoys, the sweeter and richer the wine. So 5 puttonyos is a pretty rich wine (thanks for the 411 epicurious.com). The tweet: Tokaji 88 – nutty, almost sherry-ish, dried apricot, almonds, luscious but lite for a tokaji. Ch. Messzelato ’88 (Oddbins, £14.99), we all agreed it was a major disappointment. It was past it, certainly didn’t taste like a tokaji. This wine was a bin end and I can see why. Next up was Penny’s contribution, an Alsatian tokay pinot gris vendage tardive, which mean late harvest. Even though it’s called tokay, it’s not made the same way as the Hungarian tokaji’s or even the same grapes. The tweets: vendage – Vin d’Alsace Rolly Gassman ’96– orange blossoms noses, quite herby a bit tropical, dried fruit, guava and pineapple  – wonderfully complex,excellent with apple pie  – Another comment on the ‘88 tokaji : more like a sherry – oloroso or sweet amontillado. vendage tardive ’96, James says it’s nice and tropical, pure elderflowers  –...

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Reds (mostly) and lamb for dinner

  Sunday dinner at mine. Rack of lamb, good friends and lots of fab wine. Ayesha, John and I provided the food and everyone else had to bring a wine. The aperitifs –  ’02 Blin vintage champagne and the Balfour Brut Sparkling Rose. The Balfour again getting rave reviews, Penny said that it could easily be confused with the Taittanger Rose. The Balfour was great with the bacon wrapped chestnuts but not so good with the chili olives – live and learn… I twittered the evening so I have some record of what we drank. Here are the highlights. Starting off with Albert Bichot ’06 Puligny Montrachet and garlic prawns. A lovely village level wine from the Cote de Beaune, still quite fresh and lemony with a great balance of fruit and alcohol, washed down those prawns in no time. What to have with the rack of lamb? I started with Penny and Paul’s contibution, the Rene Bouvier ’03 Cote de Nuits-Village, fantastic gamey, savoury, meaty pinot noir with plush raspberry and other red berry fruits – perfect with the lamb. According to my tweets, the next wine was the Qupé Los Olivos Cuvee ’06. A Rhone style blend from the Santa Ynez Valley that I had picked up when I was CA for the WBC in Oct. Comments on the Qupé – black fruits, a bit alcholic, slightly unbalanced we thought because of that but full and rich with hints of sweet spice and a  licorice finish. Penny said it was a bit scatterbrained, still needed time to age but the potential was definitely there.  Great structure with a long lasting finish. Back to the Old World with a St. Julien, Ch. Lagrange ’96 that James dug up. Amazing nose on this bordeaux, it smelled like a butcher shop, dried blood, mint, wood spice, cigar box notes – Ana observed lots of secondary characteristics. It was excellent with the food, the tannins still quite evident  but not harsh and standing up to the lamb beautifully.   Jumping across the Atlantic, the Chilean Domus Aurea...

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