New Wine Society launching at 1 Lombard St in the City

Aug 10, 11 New Wine Society launching at 1 Lombard St in the City

Posted by in Food and Wine

Charles Dickens used to work in a bank at 1 Lombard St. That bank has since been turned into the restaurant 1 Lombard St and I was there the other night for the launch of their new Wine Society. The restaurant’s sommelier Matthew Mawtus is going to be conducting winetastings in the bank’s former vault featuring not only his favourite wines but also the wine makers who make those wines. I Iike Matthew’s favourite wines as well. It seems his Society will be focusing on some of the world’s greatest wines of which I’m always happy to partake of, being an Old World wine kind of gal. Monday night he featured white Burgundy, Bordeaux and a tokaji – yum! All of the wines came from the restaurants extensive cellar and there are plenty of big names on the list from all the classic wine regions, which I suppose is to be expected from a restaurant in the heart of the City. The restaurant is right across the street from the Bank of England and I can imagine many a banker’s meeting being held the modern brasserie dining room. We started with an elegant Chassagne Montrachet, the 2007 from Domaine Louis Carillon. I just love those elegant white Burgundies, complex but harmonious on the palate and constantly evolving as I was drinking it. It was paired with poached sweetbreads, which I’m not a big fan of, but the sweetbreads were so well prepared that I ate them all and the wine was well matched, lemony citrus finish and a subtle chalky note to it. Everyone knows I like a good Bordeaux or Bored-O as my friends say because I seem to drone on and on about them but I do love them and so does Matthew. The 2004 Leoville Barton was served with noisettes of lamb. A classic Bordeaux, savoury nose- leather, cedar, graphite, and a touch of brett, which I always enjoy. The Leoville was free flowing and much enjoyed by everyone round the...

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Wine speed dating at the 2011 Winebloggers Conference

Aug 03, 11 Wine speed dating at the 2011 Winebloggers Conference

Posted by in N. America

The 4th North American Winebloggers Conference has just come and gone and what a ride it was! I hadn’t been to the WBC since the inaugural edition in 2008 so it was great to see old friends and meet bloggers I only knew online. I have to say the Virginia Wine did a great job of showcasing their wines despite the inferno-like temperatures of the weekend. It just so happened that the weekend all us bloggers descended on Charlottesville, VA., the US was going through a heat wave. Imagine sitting in a steam room, fully clothed with the dial turned up to high. Now double that and that was more or less what it was like to step outside of the hotel during the day. Average temp during the conference was 38 Celsius. Thank god for air conditioning.  There was plenty of information throughout the conference about the wines of VA and loads of VA winemakers on hand to answer questions. I came to Virginia to learn about VA wines and that mission certainly was accomplished. Happily, most of the conference was inside the confines of the Omni Hotel and my favourite event other then the after-hours parties (more on those later) was wine speed dating. I love this idea. Are we going home hooked up with wines? Well, more or less. Like many speed dating events, it is hit and miss but you never know when you might find Mr/Ms Right (Wine). Much like speed dating, the winemakers had 5 minutes to impress us with their libations before a little bell rings and the next winemaker comes along. The added bonus (for us bloggers) is that we simultaneously tweet about what we are tasting. What would be worse than being on a blind speed date? How about your date giving running commentary to the world while you’re on said date? “Oh, not enough tannic structure…” “…a bit sweet for me…” ”Do they really think this wine has Burgundian qualities?” You get the idea....

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Paris comes to London,winetasting at The Dorchester with Le Meurice

Jul 13, 11 Paris comes to London,winetasting at The Dorchester with Le Meurice

Posted by in Hotels and Spas

Walking into The Dorchester, I was on time for once. No, I was early! And why was I early? Well, when Le Meurice of Paris says don’t be late on the invitation, one does not want to risk being left out in the cold. Le Meurice is part of the luxury hotel group, The Dorchester Collection and the Head Sommelier of Le Meurice was in London to give us a taste of their monthly wine tastings, held on the first Tuesday of each month. This being Le Meurice, it’s not any old winetasting but a tasting led by Estelle Touzet, the aforementioned Head Sommelier paired with canapes created in conjunction with the hotels Executive Chef, 3 Michelin star rated, Yannick Alleno. They call it Les Nocturnes du 228 because the hotel is located at 228 rue de Rivoli and the event is held in the evening, obviously. Estelle was extremely friendly and easygoing, full of information about all of the wines we tried as well as the food paired with it. Originally from the Loire Valley, Estelle started out in the kitchen before switching over to be a sommelier. She told us that she and Yannick work closely together so that each pairing is a seamless mouthful. Where does the wine end and the food begin, is the question. As Estelle is French and the hotel is in Paris, I thought all the wines would be French but I was wrong. Estelle is a young, adventurous sommelier and she likes to push the boundaries of the wine world. She has not only an extensive list of French and European wines on her list but also goes out to find new and exciting wines from Australia, America and New Zealand amongst others. We blind tasted four wines, 2 whites and 2 reds, along with 4 matching canapes. Estelle would give us hints and try to draw us out but even us seasoned wine pros were hesitant to begin shouting out names and places but after...

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What’s your Wine Sign? Find out in The Seychelles….

Dec 05, 10 What’s your Wine Sign? Find out in The Seychelles….

Posted by in All

I get lots of PR blurbs, all part of the territory when it comes to being a blogger and, after a cursory glance, they usually get discarded but I got one the other day that made me perk right up. I admit it, I’m a sucker for idyllic beaches and when I saw the word Seychelles, they had me. I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the beaches of SE Asia and have many fond memories of days lazing on the beach. So the Seychelles are not in SE Asia you say? Well, close enough for me, I say. And when you have wine thrown into the mix…. I also thought it would be a good idea to put up lots of pictures of azure seas and luxurious island villas since the UK is currently suffering through a bitterly cold Autumn and I managed to escape it all by jetting off to South America for a working holiday. I usually associate tropical islands with pina coladas but the MAIA resort in the Seychelles has come up with an interesting concept for the many wine connoisseurs who visit the islands scattered about the Indian Sea.  It’s called the Wine Sign. Here’s what it is: MAIA has just launched The Wine Sign and is the first and only hotel to offer this new concept.  The programme offers guests a personal consultation with a specifically trained sommelier where they blind-taste six  Grands Crûs. It is designed for them to take advantage of MAIA’s exceptional wine cellar and is in keeping with MAIA’s philosophy to create unforgettable personal experiences for each and every guest.  Participants  in The Wine Sign  record their reactions and experience by means of a simple electronic voting system, the votes are then analysed by The Wine Sign’s exclusive software and the individual’s profile and taste is outlined using the eight existing Wine Signs – Gourmet, Strong, Refined, Sensual, Rebellious, Adventurous, Eternal and Trendy. Each participant then receives a personalised cellar book which features a...

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Italian wines and Drink Price at the 2010 LIWF- videos

When I was at the 2010 London International Wine Fair, I came across DrinkPrice. Actually, they came across me as they were roaming the Excel Centre looking to interview wine people and what we thought were some of our interesting finds. I had come across some great Italian wines and did a brief tasting note with DrinkPrice presenter (and wine drinker) Nathan Nolan. DrinkPrice is a new website that aims to catalogue all the drinks available in the UK. The also have numerous video interviews and reviews on their site. You can see my picks for interesting Italian wines, including a  Sicilian Red, a Nero Cappuccio and a Marsala Superiore. Have a look to see what we thought of these wines and how they matched up with the food on offer.… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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