Vinothec Compass – golfing and wine -ing on the Greenwich Peninsula

Aug 19, 15 Vinothec Compass – golfing and wine -ing on the Greenwich Peninsula

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I’ve just discovered a place that combines 2 of my passions, wine and golf! I don’t get out on the course as much as I’d like to but I do enjoy the game even if my handicap is like, a 1000 (just kidding but not by much). Vinothec Compass is a new venture that’s just opened in North Greenwich. A parnership between Arnaud Compass and Keith Lyons, the driving range/restaurant/bar is bound to be a big hit! I wish they would open one up closer to Clapham (hint, hint). We started off the evening by sipping on Pol Roger 2004 paired with chorizo and shrimp skewers whilst we swung away on the driving range. We were hosted by one of their golf pros, Gary. I have to say, in just the few swings I took, Gary helped me to correct my slice to the left, can’t wait to try it again. There are 60 bays on two tiers and you get to swing your club into the twitlight of Canary Wharf as a backdrop. The standard is 120 balls which will you back £12 (£10 off-peak) or 60 for £6. For more info. including opening times click here Afterwards, we were invited indoors to partake of small plates paired with a selection of wines on offer at Vinothec Compass. The bar also doubles as a shop so you can take the wines home with you if so desired. We had a host of wines from not the usual suspects. Starting off with a Bulgarian Chardonnay, the Château Burgozone 2012, was quite good and had a nice citrus spritz to it. It was lovely with the tapas of baby squid, tomato and coriander. The head chef of Vinothec is Catalan, Jordi Rovira Segovia and you can see his roots reflected in the dishes. As well as Bulgaria, we had a Morrocan rose,  the Volubilia 2013 Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Vin Gris – very pale in colour but bursting with strawberry flavours and refreshingly dry. I love the fact that Vinotech has taken the...

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Summertime drinking…Mirabeau Roses

Jul 03, 15 Summertime drinking…Mirabeau Roses

Posted by in All, France

Now that the weather is cooperating, more or less, and giving us lots of nice and sunny days, I’ve been breaking out the rosé wines. I recently received a few samples of the Mirabeau rosés and loved them. Mirabeau have an interesting back story, actually, they have the one we all have about chucking everything in and moving to the south of France but they actually did it. In 2009 Stephen Cronk quit the rat race and upped sticks with his wife and three children, leaving the suburbs of southwest London for the foothills of Provence. I met Stephen recently at the Taste of London and he had no regrets about leaving the rat race. Stephen did loads of research finding the best vineyards in Provence before setting up shop. They brought an impressive international winemaking team together led by Jo Ahearne MW. It’s one of the most accomplished teams in their field and they employ the most current winemaking techniques from around the world, while concentrating on building lasting relationships with local growers. The result are award winning rosés, the Mirabeau Classic which has aromas and flavours of wild strawberry, raspberry and redcurrant , light and lively on the palate, it’s an absolute thirst quencher. Their premium rosé, the Mirabeau Pure has hints of grapefruit, cherry and orange blossom but is fuller and a wine with more depth. It’s a “gastronomic”wine as they say, meaning it would be a great companion at your lunch or dinner table. Mirabeau rosés are available in the UK at Waitrose and online. They’re also active Twitter users so follow them @mirabeauwine Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Cunard Cruise Lines New Wine List

Dec 08, 13 Cunard Cruise Lines New Wine List

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Recently, I was sent a few samples from Cunard Cruise Lines newest wine list. Cunard have been on the high seas for over 170 years and I’ve always wanted to sail on their flagship Queen Elizabeth II. Years ago, when I was a child in California, I visited the Queen Mary which is now ‘retired’ and moored in Long Beach, CA and was awed by the elegance and style of the ship. I haven’t quite made it to the QE II yet but if their new wine list is anything to go by, I think I’d be very happy on a trans-Atlantic crossing with them.  The list is quite comprehensive with selections from around the world. The wine list covers everything from the great vineyards of the ‘Old World’ , high quality ‘New World’ selections and some excellent examples of ’boutique’ wines from smaller, lesser known vineyards. As an example of ‘off the beaten track’, they have wines from Brazil, England and Israel on the list. I tried the carignan/shiraz dry red from Carmel Ridge. A very drinkable wine, it was delicious. I have tried Israeli wines before and been unimpressed but this wine was balanced, with juicy fruit and no hint of cloying sweetness. The wine finished on gentle spicy note.  I really liked it and would definitely recommend grabbing a bottle if you see it in the shops. Cunard have also added a sake list, with a small selection of sakes from the producer, Akashi-Tai. All their sakes are hand crafted and made with no artificial flavourings or preservatives. The Honjozo sake is one of the more traditional and favourites of sake lovers and after a few sips, I can see why. Dry but having citrus flavours and aromas, a delicate drink but one would expect no less from fine sake. Of course there is champagne on board, what would a cruise be without champagne? Veuve Clicquot and Cunard collaborated to create the first Veuve Clicquot champagne bar at sea on the Queen Mary...

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Video – Discover the Origin, Bourgogne

Sep 14, 13 Video – Discover the Origin, Bourgogne

Posted by in All, France, Videos

I visited Bourgogne not long ago and feel in love with the region. It’s a beautiful place, the rolling hills, small villages and of course the fabulous wines. My trip was sponsored by Discover the Origin and I recently received a video link from them which introduces the casual wine drinker to the region. I’m reposting it here because I think it’s a nice little ‘taster” of what you can expect when you visit Bourgogne.     Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Iittala’s Essence Plus wine glasses, does size matter?

Mar 25, 13 Iittala’s Essence Plus wine glasses, does size matter?

Posted by in Lifestyle

Does the size of a wineglass make a difference in your enjoyment of it? I think so but as a trained wine professional, I get paid to pick out the subtle differences in wine so anything that will help me when I’m tasting a wine is always welcome. But what about the average consumer who just wants to enjoy their glass of wine? I was asked to do a consumer demonstration with Iitalla’s  Essence Plus wineglasses the other day to see if the size of a wine glass does make a difference in one’s enjoyment of wine. The original Essence line from Iittala was released in 2001. Designed by Alfredo Haberli, the concept was focused on design types. The new Essence Plus line was developed with the intention to highlight the characteristics of  the wine. With that in mind, they have created 2 sizes of wine glasses — a larger one for full bodied older wines and a smaller one for lighter, younger wines. The full bodied wine glass having much more of a rounder and bigger bowl to hold the wine. I was intrigued by this idea and we had two wines to try – a Villa Maria Private Reserve pinot noir and a Villa Maria Private Reserve sauvignon blanc. New Zealand pinot noir is darker and heavier then more traditional pinots. In the bigger glass, most people did find that it enhanced the aromas of the wine but on the palate, the wine seemed to lose it’s energy and in the smaller glass showed itself more generously and made for a more enjoyable drinking experience. So, contrary to expectations, this NZ pinot noir was better in the smaller glass. I poured the sauvignon blanc into the smaller, traditional, “white wine” glass as well as the bigger glass. Again it was amusing for me to hear the reactions from the consumers, for them the aromas were more intense and the wine seemed to be lost in the bigger glass, it’s aromas dissipating and...

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