Wines with style

Taste of everywhere….

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Sancerre origine domaine roblinsA recent trip to Bordeaux with a group of talented sommeliers opened my eyes to a mysterious side of the wine world not often seen by the public. Three days with these energetic, eclectic, enthusiastic and intelligent wine bods firmly put my impression of a sommelier as the ultimate wine snob to bed. Our little French fling was to our mutual benefit, I learnt from them as much as they ate the foie gras from my pregnant lady plate (that’s a lot).
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Whistles of the wine world?

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

31Dover“If you were a wine what wine would you be?” Is a question I get asked a lot. It’s one that I find as frustrating as those magazine articles annually on repeat “what summer style are you?” “Are you a ponytail girl or down and wavy: what your hair style says about you” as if we all need to be pigeon holed in an irritatingly patronising way. Funnily enough I was told what wine I’d be by fellow wine’o @Winebird – and of all the wines in the world she declared me a Côte Rôtie! If only I could afford it!

Following the recent DWCC (Digital Wine Communication Conference) wine is now firmly on the digital map so I can’t help thinking “if I were a wine website which would I be?” will be next on the list and since a recent online find has graced my browser  I will gladly answer it for you now: 31Dover.com
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There is very little other than praise that I can give for this site. It looks good, it’s easy to navigate and just as importantly the wine range is not only eclectic and thoughtful but affordable too. It’s the Whistles of the wine world down to the detail of the monochrome corporate colours. Here’s my edit of their winter collection:

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Music to your tastebuds…

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

If Mondial Wine Direct was a music app it’d be the Italian wine version of spotify: an overwhelmingly comprehensive database of every Italian wine style you could ever desire. From classic oldies like Barolo to the crowd pleasing likeability of Barbara d’Alba. They have an Italian wine for every mood, food group and time of day. And they have offered 20% off all wines until the end of the month. Bellisimo!

Don’t know where to start? Here are our top wines to look out for:

Barbera d'AlbaBatasiolo Barbera D’alba Sovrana 2011, Piedmonte
£12.96 (£10.37 with your Miss Bouquet discount)
That’s Bar-bear-rah, not Barbara, and it’s a beginning of the week wine, a treat on a Monday that will double your money if left open until Tuesday because it’s a mellower. A wine that mellows with time and tastes even better the next day. It’s earthy, oaky and a bit horsey but don’t let that put you off because with all disregard for nature it’s like a cherry tree that blossoms, blooms and fruits over night. By Tuesday it’s all cherries and freshness. #TastyTuesday. ………

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If you only buy one wine this week….

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The New Zealand CellarA non-wine-trade friend of mine is taking her WSET certificate for fun and asked me why she ‘s being taught wine country-by-country instead of grape-by-grape. “People I know are just as likely to select a wine by grape as they are by region” she said. Good point.

Although arranging wines in this way in supermarkets hasn’t been successful I love the fact that her freedom from the trade has allowed her to think outside of the wine norm and she’s definitely onto something. Could thinking of wine in this way help broaden our wine drinking horizons so that Argentina becomes known for more than just Malbec and Spain for more than Tempranillo? ………

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All that sparkles may not be gold….

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

ortrugo_framed_smProsecco: like an overgrown garden riddled with ivy, is everywhere. Everyone wants it, everyone is selling it but it’s caught what I call Pinot Grigio syndrome: an affliction that affects the cost of a bottle but not the quality.

Remember when Pinot Grigio was the cheapest white in the bar? And Prosecco the cheapest sparkling? Well, they too often taste as such but have a look next time you’re out and about, I bet you’re paying third or forth position prices on the wine list, si? The prices won’t come down, of course, but my gut and my purse tells me that given time all that sparkles may not just be Prosecco.

If you’re wondering what to turn to for a thoughtful alternative then stay in Italy, in the Emilia Romagna region to be precise, and look no further than Bonelli’s Ortrugo 2013, a frizzante style of fruity, summery, elderflowery goodness. At £12.95 from Park & Bridge you’d do well to grab a bottle and drink to the future of Italian sparkling wine. 

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Come on England!!

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Camel Valley vineyardThe World Cup is responsible for a lot of things lately; nervous excitement as we all grip to the thread of hope that England are still in; sleepless nights as Mr Bouquet stays up watching each and every game and a rise in the sale of all things Brazilian…. including wine.

Rather astonishing the UK is now the number one export market for Brazilian wines which considering we’re also in the game to win it makes me think that wine importers and retailers have got this a bit wrong. Pushing Brazilian wine while England are still in with a chance seems a little traitorous. Surely at moments of patriotism like this it’ll be sales of English wines that sore?

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