Wine Geek Newsletter #97
How’s it going out there in the real world? It turns out that starting a business isn’t all lie-ins and daytime TV; it’s more like meetings with Estate Agents, Banks, Solicitors, Design Agencies, Accountants, Local Councils, HMRC… and that was just today! The good news is that we are currently in negotiations for great premises and if all goes to plan (which it never does!) we are hoping to have The Grape Escape Wine Bar & Merchant open sometime in April
Until then I’m just twiddling my thumbs and looking for stuff to do… I wish! But I haven’t forgotten about you all so here is your weekly dose of wine info and nonsense, all packed into one perfectly formed Wine Geek Newsletter!
#newwinethisweek was a real success in 2014 so we are going to keep it going this year, but on a more leisurely fortnightly basis. That makes 26 topics for 2015, one for each letter of the alphabet…
And there is no messing about as we kick off with Amarone, a real blockbuster of a wine that will have you asking “what New Year resolutions?”
This is a bit of a weird section for mw this year, as come April I won’t want anyone buying and wine from anybody except me! I’m going to keep the section going for now… but I do hear that the supermarkets in Cheltenham are worse than anywhere else in the country (hint, hint!)
I got some Majestic vouchers for Christmas (thanks Dad!) and this is what I bought on my visit to the wine warehouse earlier this week (you get proper notes this week!)
L’Extra par Langlois Brut NV Crémant de Loire (£14.99, £11.24 in 25% Mix & Match)
Don’t bother looking for Champagne. You won’t find anything as good as this for the twice the price. The domaine is owned by Bollinger and we visited the tasting room just outside Saumur about 18 months ago. They sell it for about €8 there… but don’t let that put you off! This is fruit-driven bubbly goodness, with loads of crisp apple and citrus. It’s a Bland de Blancs made from Chadonnay and Chenin Blanc and you really get that honeyed hit from the Chenin. Lovely stuff.
Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Chardonnay 2012 (£17.99, £11.98 in 33% Mix & Match)
Leflaive is one of the best winemakers in the world; a bottle of his Montrachet Grand Cru will cost you a cool £3,000 a bottle! Olivier now buys in fruit from all over Burgundy and makes this fantastic entry level white Burgundy at a very sexy price. Peach & citrus with a lick of oak; sophisticated, elegant and superb with roast chicken
Martín Codax As Caixas Godello 2013 (£9.99, £6.66 in 33% Mix & Match)
Albariño has been “then next big thing from Spain” for a while now. I love the stuff, that delightful mixture of clean citrus, peach and that lovely salty finish… but it is about to be usurped by it’s Galician neighbour, Godello. I don’t actually like the Codax Albariño but the Godello is packed with apple and melon flavours, a lovely rich texture and just a delightful floral finish. If you having fish, have Godello too.
Domaine Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet 2013 (£12.99, £8.65 33% Mix & Match)
Ah, didn’t Picpoul become the “cool” choice a couple of years ago? Well I’m still in! Along with Muscadet this is a wine that should never go out of fashion because there is simply nothing not too like. It was perfect with my homemade prawn curry; citrus and crisp apple, ocean-fresh, you can almost taste the Mediterranean sea on the finish. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this one is just for the summer.
Matua Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013 (£12.99, £8.65 33% Mix & Match)
This is a great go-to wine. I love Burgundy but have you tried getting a decent bottle under £10? I gave up 5 years ago! This has a meaty and ripe cherry nose with a lovely minerality and smoky note. The fruit just explodes onto the palate; cherries, raspberries and even a touch of blackberry. Great intensity of fruit and a delightful texture; very good wine.
E Guigal Cotes du Rhône 2011 (£11.99, £8.99 25% Mix & Match)
I may have recommended this one a couple of time before… it remains the best red wine under £10 in the UK (when it’s in promo – and it nearly always is in either Majestic or Waitrose). I went in with the intention of picking up the Chapoutier CdR but they have moved onto the 2013 vintage – I like a few years on my Grenache. Brambly black fruit and smoke with delicious hints of dried herbs and just a touch of liquorice. Slightly chewy tannin upfront before the dark fruit shines through with a great blast of smoke and black pepper. More Cru quality than lowly Cotes du Rhone – stock up.
Wine in the news
Well there’s tonnes of the stuff!
Wine Searcher reports stabilisation in Burgundy prices…. At last!
Some under the radar Californian wineries:
Tasmania – one of the best wine regions in the world?
Italy declares war… against radical Prosecco!
Mosel Bridge fails to meet EU standards
Tesco is the worst supermarket for supplier to work with:
Everyone’s talking about the weather this week… I just hate to be left out…
It only rains twice a year in Manchester: August to April and May to July.
Why do mother kangaroos hate rainy days?
Because then the children have to play inside.
Why do hurricanes travel so fast?
Because if they travelled slowly, we’d have to call them slow-i-canes.
Jill: How did you find the weather on holiday?
Bill: I just went outside and there it was!
There’s a technical term for a sunny, warm day which follows two rainy days.
It’s called Monday.
Gosh, it’s raining cats and dogs, said Fred looking out of the kitchen window.
“I know,” said his mother. “I’ve just stepped in a poodle!”
What’s the difference between weather and climate?
You can’t weather a tree, but you can climate!
How do sheep keep warm in winter?
What did Santa Claus’s wife say during a thunderstorm?
Come and look at the rain, dear.
Why did your sister cut a hole in her new umbrella?
Because she wanted to be able to tell when it stopped raining.
If six children and two dogs were under an umbrella, how come none of them got wet?
Because it wasn’t raining.
What kind of umbrella does the Queen carry on a rainy day?
A wet one.
If a band plays music in a thunderstorm, who is most likely to get hit by lightning?
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Cheers and have a great weekend!