Video winetasting – Wakefield Chard from Oz

There seems to be a lot of debate in the twitterverse at the moment about free samples and whether or not we bloggers seem to “owe” it to the wineries (or PR flacks) positive reviews. And how objective are our reviews if they’re free? I don’t think I “owe” anyone a good review because they’ve given me wine. Although they’re probably banking on me writing a positive one. It may be a tough balancing act but I find that I write about wines I’ve enjoyed  as opposed to wines I’ve disliked. Why? Well, there are enough negative people out there and intelligent readers of my blog have probably already figured out what syle of wines I prefer anyway. Besides, my motto is “always looking for the good stuff”, do you really want to read about the bad stuff? If so, drop me a line and I’ll start bashing wineries and their wines left, right and centre.  I do consider myself lucky in that, since I work in the wine industry, I have trade access that other winebloggers  may not. And, living in London (which really is the centre of wine universe) I’m lucky enough to be able to attend the numerous trade tastings that seem to be constantly on the calendar.   So why am I talking about samples? Because I got one the other day, that’s why! It’s from Wakefield winery, based in the Clare Valley, South Australia. Wakefield Estate wines were the first estate grown and bottled wines from Wakefield winery and were first released in 1973. Since then they have been consistently winning national and international awards. The estate is situated in the Clare Valley on Australia’s famed “terra rosa” . Check out their website to get the full story. In the meantime, I received the ’07 Wakefield Cabernet and the  ’07 Wakefield Chardonnay. I did a bit of winetasting and cheesematching with the chard, check out the video…. [viddler id=d2973d84&w=437&h=333] And the ’07 Wakefield cabernet? I liked it, here are my brief notes: nose –  first impression, fresh – ripe, rich blackcurrants, lots of minty goodness,...

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Sambrook’s Brewery in the heart of south London

I know I usually blog about wine but what’s more traditional then real English cask ale in the heart of London? Being an American and a winedrinker primarily, I’ve never really gotten into the whole ale thing but I was given the chance to tour Sambrook’s brewery in Battersea to learn more about this very English beverage. At one point, London was a huge producer of English ales but most breweries have closed, with Fuller’s in Chiswick being the only major brewery still in operation. Duncan Sambrook just thought it was plain wrong that London had only one brewery. Duncan had a vision to open his own London based brewery. By a stroke of luck, he met and partnered up with David Welsh, formerly of Ringwood Best Bitter, to open up a twenty barrel plant in Battersea. The place has only been in operations 4 months but they are doing gangbusters. Real English Ale is made with only 4 ingredients, water, malt, yeast and hops and the cask ale is similar to champagne with it’s second fermentation, it’s technically “alive” when it leaves the brewery because it’s not pasteurized so the yeast is still able to work it’s magic.  I found out that the ale even “ages” in the bottle and although it has a limited shelf life, it does improve with age. I guess you could say it’s an accelerated version of aging wine. They also use isinglass to fine it, just like wine. I was liking the sound of this ale more and more. During our tour we got to see the malt before it’s ground up, they aim to use as many traditionally produced ingredients as possible and Duncan told us all about how the malt was roasted and then turned by hand for 3 days with a special pitchfork! That was pretty cool. He also showed us the hops, they use 3 to give their ale it’s distinctive flavours- Fuggles, Goldings and Boadicae (they sound like a law firm to me). Boudicea was specially produced for English ale making. We even got to stick...

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Cline ’06 Ancient Vines Mouvedre – The video tasting

The other night, after we closed up the shop, I persuaded my colleague Ayesha to go halfsies with me on the Cline ’06 Ancient Vines Mouvedre.  I even talked her into doing a video tasting but she chickened out in the end so all you see is her hand. The Brixchicks out in Nor Cal  recommended this wine on their blog. Technically, the vineyard is in Contra Costa  County appellation and the price is £12.99 NOT £13.99. Click to see what I thought of it. [viddler id=ddb63858&w=437&h=333] Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Prosecco in a can – The video

Well, the Winesleuth has taken her very first steps into video blogging. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now and finally found a very easy site to make videos. My friend Ricard recommended Viddler and it was as easy to use as falling off a log. I found prosecco in a can (£1.69) at Lidl ( a German supermarket discounter here in the UK) the  other day and thought, “What the hell…I’ve had other wines in a can and they’ve been quite good”.  Well, click on the video to see my thoughts on this particular prosecco. [viddler id=425d6dee&w=437&h=333] Making the video was fun but I’m not going to be doing it everyday like our friend Gary V! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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