Bolli in the morning

I was going to save this post for Wineblogging Wednesday#53, “Wine for Breakfast”, hosted by El Bloggo Torcido of Calaveras County, CA but then I read the fine print and realized that sparkling was out. As well as rosé, dessert wine and no mixing, i.e. mimosas or other cocktail-y type drinks. Our assignment this month is to match a dry red or white wine with breakfast food. That’s going to take some pondering on my part but I’m confident I’ll come up with something. Before my bubble was burst, so to speak, I had planned on featuring a bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvee NV for breakfast. Ok, it may be rather cliché but who doesn’t love champagne for breakfast, brunch, lunch, mid-afternoon, etc…To quote one of the grande dames of Champagne, Lily Bollinger, regarding when one should drink champagne: “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and I drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I’m thirsty.” What makes Bollinger so special? Well, 10% of it’s reserve wines  have been aged in oak and the wine spends 3  years on it’s lees before disgorgement. All of which makes for a more complex non-vintage champagne then other NV’s on the market.  First off, the pop! Some purists say that the cork shouldn’t be popped but rather slowly, gently twisted off. Now, where’s the fun in that?!? I always go for the pop, to me that’s part of the magic of champagne. After the satisfying pop, then the pour, a very fluffy, frothy mousse gushing out, slowly dissipating before allowing me to continue pouring. Looking at the millions of tiny bubbles, heaps of them flying off the bottom, they are a continuous, fast moving, jet stream moving up towards the surface. The nose is slightly toffee-ish, a bit yeasty, reminds me of fresh brioche just out of the oven.   The bubbles...

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De Martino Malbec ’06 for Wineblogging Wednesday #52

 Today is Wine blogging Wednesday (#52)!! Our mission, given to us by Cheapwineratings.com, was to pick a Chilean wine for under $20 bucks or value reds from Chile as they put it. With the exchange rate what it is now, we settled on a Chilean for under £14 (approximate, but with the pound sinking it might be less now).   At Oddbins we have quite a nice selection of  Chilean wines, both red and white but since my assignment was red, I went for the  De Martino Single Vineyard Malbec ’06 (£11.49),  from the  Maule Valley. De Martino pride themselves on travelling the length of Chile, choosing only the finest terroir to bring out the best of the chosen  varietal and employing expert consulants to make fantastic wines.  Marcelo Retamal, their winemaker, is a rising star in Chilean oenology and it shows. This  particular malbec vineyard is located in an isolated (and one of the driest) parts of the Maule valley with  granitic  soils and bush-trained 80 year old vines.  According to the website, the vineyard is run by one man  and his horse so I guess you could say there is minimal intervention in the production of  the wine. I think Chilean wines are amazing value for money and this malbec did nothing to dissuade me. On pouring it was a deep, intense garnet, almost inky – staring into it, it was impossible to see the bottom of the glass. On the nose first off, black fruits, concentrated cassis, and spices – a bit of nutmeg, hint of cinnamon, almost smelled like baking cookies with vanilla bobbing about and violet notes coming through on the tail of it all. I had to let it sit for a few minutes because I was interrupted but I was glad I did because the aromatic notes coming off were even more spicy now. Although they were not as intense, they had evolved into molasses and the the smells of rich mince pie. Perfect wine for Christmas.     Despite it being so rich on the nose, on the palate, it was...

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Almost time for Wineblogging Wednesday

Wine Blogging Wednesday is coming up once again. I love WBW. WBW is the chance for us bloggers from around the world get to get together and blog about a pre-determined wine. This month Cheapwineratings.com is hosting the blogging event and they’ve chosen Chile as their wine of the month. Chile has been sending some great stuff to England for some time now but in the States, it seems that they haven’t gotten as much exposure to Chilean wine as we have here. I’ve drunk and written about some great Chilean wines available here in London, ranging from Vina Leyda Pinot noir to Montes Alpha M and there are plenty of others available. Our task is to choose a wine priced below £14. That shouldn’t be too hard to do. I’m going to pick my wine tomorrow. Watch this space for my Chilean write up. All posts are due by Dec. 10th. If you want to join in, just follow the WBW link above. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Wineblogging Wednesday – Alsatian Grand Cru ’03 Riesling

A rural country path, leading off into the wilderness…. …it’s not really that rural but I had to make my urban hike look a little bit adventurous… …just to keep up with all those other macho bloggers who, I am sure, were scaling near vertical hillsides along the Rhine while blogging about this months Wineblogging Wednesday choice – Riesling, hosted by Russ Beebe of winehiker. I hacked my way thru the perils of Wandsworth Common to get to Northcote Rd, where a quaint little wine shop called The Grape Shop quietly goes about it’s business of selling hidden gems. I found a fabulous Alsatian Grand Cru from the cooperative, Cave de Turckeim. An ‘03 Riesling from the Brand Grand Cru vineyards. There are only 50 hillsides within Alsace that are qualified to call themselves Grand Cru. According to legend, the hillside of Brand was the location of “an epic battle between a dragon and the sun which set the forested slopes alight. The following spring, vines grew where once there had been trees.” Pretty nifty story, I think. Much more exciting then the usual banal explanations about “sun-soaked” hills, etc. I didn’t consume my wine on the way home so I don’t get any bonus points for that but I did combine it with pan-seared pork chops in a honey-dijon mustard sauce. How was it? Amazing. I used a bit of wine in the sauce which produced a faint vinous echo on my palate. The sauce enhanced the citrus character of the wine and also brought into focus a gentle orange marmalade character lurking about. The wine, when I first opened it, had vibrant nose of ripe red apple, honeysuckle, wet rocks and a whiff of petrol that you are likely to find in rieslings that have a bit of age on them. Dry and crisp but with a bit of heft on the hips, so to speak, plenty of ripe white fruits, white peach, a nice dose of minerality and a refreshing lime/grapefruit...

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