Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Casa Silva CarmenereEvery January London’s streets become a training track for the Christmas over indulgers and crazy London marathon runners. After April the pavements are cut some slack but come May a swathe of women take to the streets. Have you noticed? They’re all a similar age, all desperate to tone up & lose some weight and all sporting a diamond or three on their left hand. Beware the Bridezilla’s!

It’s a horrible term isn’t it? Bridezilla. A cross between a bride and an oversized gorilla, it’s no wonder anyone given this label is going fitness crazy! As one often averse to following the herd my impending nuptials have also lead me to a jog or two. Weirdly though I can’t remember what made me first put on my trainers. Is it one of the many things that brides-to-be inherently start to do? Like chickens are pre-programmed to peck (there’s a hen joke in there somewhere but I’ll let that one slip) Maybe it’s not so odd, there are stranger interests that have recently taken hold. Like my passion for ribbon colours and shades of fabric petals. And whilst I’ve been trying hard not to become one-of-those attention starved women all desperate to get down the aisle it seems the predefined characteristics of all brides-to-be is a stamp we can’t avoid but be brandished with. Bridezilla or not!

When you think of it we could do with a bit more guidance to help us identify a wine’s predefined characteristics. Take the Old World for example, often given flack for an overly complicated use of names there is some comfort that can be taken once you have cracked their wine code. The strict wine making rules and laws that countries like France, Spain, Italy and others put in place means that when faced with a Chablis or a Rioja Reserva you can be more confident that you’re avoiding mutton dressed as lamb.
Casa Silva quote
Rioja Reserva is a classic example. To be labelled as such it must have been aged in oak barrels for at least a year and stored in bottle for a minimum of two before it can be released for sale. But where this labelling helps guide us in the Old World, cross over to the New World wine aisle and you’ll find the liberal wine laws there using the word Reserva and Grand Reserva no more than to distinguish between the entry, mid level and premium ends of a wine range. Which let’s face it the price will do for you anyway.

More often than not the credibility of the airs and graces given to New World wines can come down to the integrity of the wine producer. Take Casa Silva, a family owned and run winery in Colchagua Valley in Chile. Their Gran Reserva Los Lingues Carmenere 2009 is truly worthy of its grand title and at only £10.95 its status is barely marked by its more than reasonable price tag. Delicately perfumed with violet, stewed garden plum and cherry aromas. The palate is full but smooth with raisin and sultana flavours, hints of plum jam and bubbling caramel on the finish. Its rather prim packaging fits its elegant character too. Not a mutton, lamb or Winezilla in sight.

Casa Silva Los Lingues Gran Reserva Carmenere 2009 is available from:,

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