Alain Geoffroy’s corkscrew museum in Chablis

Mar 29, 13 Alain Geoffroy’s corkscrew museum in Chablis

Posted by in France, Travel

When we arrived at Alain Geoffroy’s tasting room,it was the end of a long day of tasting in Chablis and while it had been an illuminating day of tasting, I must admit by this time my teeth and palate were ready for a small break. When Alain’s daughter, Nathalie, came out to greet us and asked if we wanted to tour the corkscrew museum, how could we say no. I love visiting these little out of the way museums that seem to be dotted around French wine regions. I once visited a seashell museum in Champagne, but, I digress. The collection is comprised of more than 3000 corkscrews, corkpulls and other types of accoutrements to get the cork out of the bottle. In addition, Alain has also collected antique viticultural tools used in the vineyards and has a whole collection of tank spigots – I know it may not sound all that interesting but it is kinda cool to compare the old days technology with what they use now, especially considering that some of those tools were used in the not so distant past. There was also a slightly disconcerting assortment of mannequins used for the displays. I think it’s safe to say that they spent most of their money on acquiring the corkscrews and not the mannequins. The museum is officially open the same days and times as the tasting room. There is a nominal fee to pay but Natalie says that’s mostly to ensure that people are really interested in seeing the museum (and probably not looking to nick an antique corkscrew). Afterwards, we did indeed have another tasting of Geoffroy’s wines including a few older vintages from 2009 and 2008. The tasting room is open most days as is the museum so if you are looking for something off the beaten track, Alain Geoffroy’s corkscrew museum is pleasant diversion from all that wine tasting.  Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Friday night flight – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000, 2002 & introducing the 2004

Nov 18, 12 Friday night flight – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2000, 2002 & introducing the 2004

Posted by in Champagne

There are plenty of things to do on a Friday night in Soho but I couldn’t think of a better way to spend last Friday then in the company of Vitalie Taittinger going through a flight of vintages of her family’s prestige Comtes de Champagne at the Groucho Club. Taittinger is one of the few big houses that is still owned (again) by the family so I find it fascinating when you get to meet someone like Vitalie or her brother Clovis (he was in town a few months ago) who share a name with a great champagne house that has been around for hundreds of years. Ok, I admit it, I am a bit of a champagne groupie 😉 Vitalie was in town to showcase their latest vintage of the Comtes, the 2004 but they also had on hand plenty of Comtes de Champagne 2000 and the 2002 for comparison purposes. The Comtes is a prestige blanc de blanc (100% chardonnay) made from the finest crus of the Cotes de Blancs. 5% of the blend is aged in oak which gives the wine nuance and complexity. So what did I think of the 2004? I liked it, showing a lot of fruit character, it was tasting young and is still developing in the bottle. It’s certainly got a lot of finesse on the palate and I think this champagne is just starting out. Of the 3 we tasted, the 2002 was my favourite. Finely balanced on the palate with brioche and ripe fruit notes on the nose, it was a pleasure to drink and the first one gone. We had to settle for more of the 2000 in the end. The 2000 has certainly matured into a rich champagne, very toasty on the nose and palate, it has evolved into showing dried fruits and has an earthy,savoury character to it. The Comtes de Champagne 2004 has just been released here in the UK. I was recently introduced to a new wine website, CellarvieWines. They have...

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Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, this weekend, Nov. 17-18

It’s that time of year again, yes, time for the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter! I went to the last one in the Spring which was the Italian Fine Wine Encounter so I can tell you that they are fantastic events. The last one was at the gorgeous Landmark Hotel in Marylebone and this weekend’s event will also be held there. Decanter puts on wine masterclasses as well as a grand tasting so if you’re into your Fine Wine, you really shouldn’t miss it. This year, over 600 of the world’s finest wineries will be there including Champagne Taittinger, Casa Marin, Fontodi, Meerlust and Château D’Issan.  Saturday is sold out but Sunday sessions are still available, which include the following: 11am Château Figeac Speaker: Comte Eric d’Aramon, owner − 1.30pm Henschke Speaker: Johann Henschke, winemaker − 3pm Wine Grapes: A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, their origins and flavours Speakers: Authors Jancis Robinson OBE MW, Dr José Vouillamoz and Julia Harding MW So what are you waiting for, tickets for Sunday will be available on the door and cost £55 per person. Masterclass and entry, £95 When: Saturday, November 17th SOLD OUT, Tickets still available on the door for Sunday, November 18th 11am to 5pm Where: Landmark Hotel, 222 Marylebone Road, London NW1 6JQ, UK Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Video – tasting the 2009 Quinta do Noval Touriga Nacional with MD Christian Seely

Oct 18, 12 Video – tasting the 2009 Quinta do Noval Touriga Nacional with MD Christian Seely

Posted by in Portugal, Videos

The Douro not only makes great port wines but they are now also beginning to produce their own “terroir” driven red and white table wines. While I was in the Douro recently at Quinta do Noval, I got to taste some of the great red table wines they are producing. Christian Seely, MD of Quinta do Noval and I had  a brief tasting of the 2009 Quinta do Noval Touriga Nacional and here Christian tells us why he thinks the Douro does and will in the future make great table wines. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Judging for the Skyscanner 2012 Airline Wine awards

Oct 04, 12 Judging for the Skyscanner 2012 Airline Wine awards

Posted by in Argentina

Earlier this week I was invited up to Edinburgh, Scotland by the Skyscanner people to take part in a blind tasting to judge the best Economy airline wines. Being a frequent flier, I was intrigued to see how the airline wines stacked up against each other. Truth be told, when I’m flying, all I want it a drinkable wine, the wine tasting part of my brain turns off and I try not to thing about the red wine I’m glugging down with my beef stew and rice. For those of you unfamiliar with Skyscanner, it’s a price comparison flight/travel site. I like Skyscanner a lot and they are my first port of call whenever I’m looking for flights online when I’m planning my holidays. I know it’s sounds like I’m pitching for them but I’ve been using them for the past few years and I’m always happy with the flights their search engines finds for me and usually buy via their site. So, I was pleased when they asked me to participate in the judging. Although we didn’t get to taste at altitude, we were on the 5th floor of the Point Hotel Conference Venue  which has a lovely view of Edinburgh Castle. Tom Cannavan was the judging leader/host and he gave us a few pointers as to what to look for when judging these wines. Mostly, we were looking for wines that were expressive and aromatic. I’ve heard that wine changes a lot up in the air and that wines that are full of fruit and body do best up there, nevertheless, it was with some trepidation that I came along to judge the wines. We tasted through the Whites first. It was a blind tasting and the wines came in a variety of packaging, from Tetra-Pak, to plastic 35 mls to standard 750 mls bottles. I have to admit the first wine we tried was very good indeed. It certainly got my attention. After that, the wines ranged from good quality to non-descript...

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