Unstuffy Learning: How to love Chardonnay – Chablis.(2/4)

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Chablis vineyard

If you refer to my last post on Petit Chablis you’ll remember ( won’t you ) that Petit Chablis lies on the outskirts of Chablis itself. Not on the best sites, not on the best vistas and certainly not on the most expensive corner of your wallet ūüėú

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Something to help you with !!

Chablis is probably one of the most pretentious topics for wine.

Don’t be put off by all the information, all the jargon its very easy

 

Chablis is a Chardonnay grape full of ………..

 with a healthy amount of minerality (think of licking these)

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Then you have Chablis.

Wine is not a stuffy subject. WE make it that way!!!

Chablis is different from Petit Chablis in that it has minerality (when you were a boy at school you liked the pebbles¬† or licked your knife at lunch.(i never did and still don’t) For the ladies its the smell tarmac after a downpour on a warm summers day) It has green apples and citrus (limes and /or lemons) SEE ABOVE as its primary characteristic and it is very fresh and crisp

Chablis

It has very little or no oak influence (contact with the barrels is very very minimal ) So much so it is made in stainless steel tanks (see below)

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The Chablis  region is the northernmost wine district of the Burgundy region in France.

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The cool climate produces wines with more acidity (refreshing mouth feel ) These wines often have a “flinty” note and sometimes “steely”. The grapevines around the town of Chablis make a dry white wine renowned for the clean aroma and taste directly in opposition to the rest of the white wines in the village,

There is an important process that is present in Chablis but for now it doesn’t really appear in Petit Chablis or Chablis.¬† Malolactic fermentation will be discussed in parts 3 and 4 of the series. Dont worry it wont be stuffy, pompous or hard to digest !!! But it does describe why Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru have their distinct characteristics

 3 Suggestions for Chablis-

please view thegrapewizard vintage chart for best years for Chablis then search the wonderful internet for a Chablis 2010

The ageing potential of Chablis is for the following from year of vintage

Petit chablis 0-2 1/2 years

Chablis 2-5 years

Chablis Premier Cru 4-8 years

Chablis Grand Cru 8-12 years

Obviously there are some exceptions but as a general rule these should be followed

BEST Grape Wizard VINTAGES
2010 , 1990 ,
2012, 2005, 2002, 1996, ,1995,
2015,2014,2013,2011,2008,2007,2000,1997,1992,
1989,2009,2006,2003,2001,1999,1998,1988,
1986,1985,1983, 2004,1994,1993,1982,1979
If you want to try the best years work from the top. If you want to invest – work from the top and you cant go far wrong !

One’s to buy now

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Laroche Chablis Saint Martin 2010 £36 

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Daniel-Etienne Defaix : Chablis Village “Vieilles Vignes” 2010 ¬£20

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Louis Jadot Chablis White Wine 75cl  £16.69

 

BEST Grape Wizard VINTAGES – Chablis
2010 , 1990 ,
2012, 2005, 2002, 1996, ,1995,
2015,2014,2013,2011,2008,2007,2000,1997,1992,
1989,2009,2006,2003,2001,1999,1998,1988,
1986,1985,1983, 2004,1994,1993,1982,1979
In order of grape wizard scores (scores taken from wine critics and assesed by myself) to give the best vintages.

Click on the link below for all chablis  producers

Chablis Producers

If in doubt with any wine please click on this link The Grape Wizard. I can tell you anything you need to know. just ask.

One thing that you do need to know about is that in the next two blogs i will be highlighting Premier Cru and Grand Cru. Both these classification have, on the wine labels the area within Chablis. They all vary in flavour and characteristic but Chablis, from one area of the village,  will be consistent from one year to the next. In effect defining an area. I will of course describe this in more detail in later posts !!

If you examine all the points raised above you will be better informed and can make some wise choices. So use the Vintage Chart, use the characteristics when tasting and just experiment with just Chablis for a while. You will gain an understanding of minerality and will appreciate that Chardonnay isnt that bad after all……..

 

So what you need to know

Chablis is fresh crisp and citrussy with a good hint on minerality.

Pair it with tomatoes, Some Hams

Goes very well with clean white fish (Salmon Bass and Skate) and Shellfish

 

Music Pairing Bruce Hornsby and the Range

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Unstuffy and Chilled !!

 

 

Wine and music¬†– don’t laugh, it will enrich you !

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A study has shown that people can get 15% more pleasure out of their wines by simultaneously drinking and listening to the right kind of music. (and that’s fabulous news )

Professor Spence of Oxford University discovered that the brain (yes yours, no matter how big or small ) and therefore taste, is influenced by ‚Äėoutside‚Äô forces when eating and drinking.

So to make your wine taste better choose your background music wisely.

He found that humans want to match sensations to taste and said the following apply

Malbec works well with instruments like the organ

The Grape Wizard suggests the following Music for Malbec

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Mike Oldfield

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Prodigo Malbec Honest Grapes £27.20

 Sauvignon Blanc,works well with light white wines and is suitable to listen to harp music.

The Grape Wizard suggests the following Music for S.B

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Anne Roos

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Greywacke Wines Direct £15.95

  • Sweet wines, such as a Late Harvest Riesling, matches with music with an even rhythm, slow tempo and high pitch yet soft. Piano music is best.
  • Sour wines, like red Italians such as Barbera, correspond with music that has a syncopated rhythm, fast tempo and a high pitch. Brass instruments are good.
  • Fino Sherry and other salty wines are also good with brass instruments but prefer staccato.
  • Wines with fruity aromas such as Beaujolais matches with a high pitch, whereas wines with smokey (Margaux), dark chocolate (Nero d‚ÄôAvola) or cedar (Bordeaux) match with a low pitch.
  • High tannin wines correspond with rock guitar of chunky, gritty strings and full bodied wines match with a symphonic orchestra.

The Grape Wizard suggests the following Music for high tannin wines

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Foo Fighters

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Nebbiolo Lea and Sandeman £12.75

 

Sound can also entirely change the taste and texture of the wine. For example, if you listen to powerful and heavy music, this will make the wine taste more powerful and heavy, or if you listen to mellow and soft music, the taste of the wine will correspond.

He also found ;

  • Wines with a strong orange aroma such as Sauternes, correspond with music that is bright, sharp and dynamic. A rhythm that is lively and fast. Think Bieber
  • Vanilla flavours, such as American-oaked Chardonnay match with music with a soft even rhythm and a slow tempo. Sting

Charles Spence explaining his theories at Google UK Sept 2015. Have a look !!

https://youtube/JgUVjKsP_wc

You can even match wine to musical genres…

See if you agree :

Rock n’ roll  is Cabernet Sauvignon = host of styles and quality,  but when its good its really good. Chuck berry is favourite

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shopping

Inglenook Cab. Sauvignon 2009 £93

Jazz is Cabernet Franc. Roy Ayers

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Ricitelli Cabernet Franc Great Wines Direct £27.60

Gamay and Electro just work.¬† Gamay is sharp, funky, fresh. It’s the aperitif to the main course¬† Bonobo

2015-aus-bonobo-dj-tour

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Moulin a vent Fraziers Wine Merchants £19.99

“Moscato is like pop music. Sweet as honey and straight forward. Ellie Goulding

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I could talk this week about a different wine,  a different region or even a different grape variety but I think its important to have the bigger picture in front of you .

Enjoying wine is not just about trying the 20 point test that most individuals in the wine industry are programmed to learn characteristic by characteristic.

Available on request ( just seeing if you are reading this !!!)

What is important is to surround your self with the appreciation of wine (what ever the cost) and enrich the moment irrespective of value.

Expensive watches and expensive cars are trappings of perceived success and cannot be savoured over a good wine and good music (no they cant ! ) wine can enrich the moment……. but wine with music is a different kettle of fish

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“a kettle of fish “

once you have this right your life is complete

Have the right mood and you appreciate the right music. Which is why we listen to relaxing melancholy music when we want to chill out and upbeat modern music when we want to exercise.

I was laughed at by my peers a few years ago for daring to suggest wine and music in the same sentence and yet here i am.

If you have looked at my blog over the last 10 weeks you would of noticed that at the end of every blog I add a music pairing , some cool , some on trend, some even out of fashion  but all recommendations can be enjoyed in the moment with the right wine.

But after all of this you know what I’m going to say. Either you believer this or you don’t.

If you look at the very notion of pairing wine with the Lunar Calendar and listening to suitably paired music and you agree with it and then put this in context with wine then………

Then you must have a Zen moment. Things are in sync. and the wine music pairing works.

Trust me I’m a dog !

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Only you will know if only you will try

Go on be a devil !!!

Do you believe music can be paired with wine to enhance the experience ?

Please click on link ABOVE  to take part in the poll

As a treat here’s this week overall¬† music pairing in video format from a discovery this week – enjoy

 

Enjoy life, enjoy the moment but above all enjoy the wine !

Welsh vineyards РThe hidden gems ! 

Just look how beautiful the set of photos are  Рhighlighting almost every single welsh vineyard in the UK

On the quest for an unstuffy world i thought how could i make this topic of Welsh wine unstuffy. I thought I would highlight  rather than state facts.

So over a period of weeks if you would like me to talk about anything – let me know. This will grow organically

EMAIL ME !!!

thegrapewizard@gmail.com

 

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That’s me folks !!!!

Of course i cant speak from authority if the following are not true

1. I am Welsh (born in St. Asaph 13th August 19…)

2. A passion for everything Welsh

3.  Not been on Holiday to my homeland more than once

All are true

We have great producers producing award winning wines.

Indeed some producers don’t rely on the obvious varietals (grapes) to increase their revenue. They work with what they know will grow according ¬†to the climate and the terroir

Grape Varieties Grown in Wales

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SEYVAL BLANC (White Grape)
crops heavily even in the most unfavourable of summers and has effective disease resistance. It is a good ‚ÄĚňúall rounder‚Äô and is often used for blending –¬† well suited to oak ageing and used for still or sparkling wines. Can produce a neutral white wine with crisp acidity.

TRIOMPHE (Red Grape)
French hybrid. Very vigorous in growth and disease resistant. Produces close knit bunches of small red grapes which give a dark red juice – flavours of strawberries and blackcurrants.

BACCHUS (White Grape)
Bacchus is considered to be one of the best grape varieties of Wales and in 2003 was the third most widely planted grape in the UK. Its grapes are intense and aromatic, with high sugar content. Bacchus wines age well and develop interesting flavours.

KERNLING (Red Skinned Grape with White Flesh)
produces a typical Germanic-style white wine with high acidity.

HUXELREBE (White Grape)
 Huxelrebe produces large tightly packed bunches of grapes which produce a pleasant medium wine It has a high natural acidity and strong aromas of elderflowers, producing very fruity wines that age well.

REICHENSTEINER (White Grape)
this German variety ripens early and regular cropper producing grapes with good sugar levels. It is reliable but a little neutral and is often used for blending in both still and sparkling wines, having good sugar levels.

SIEGERREBE (White Grape)
A small berried and intensely aromatic variety. It is often used to bolster blended wines and a few growers use it as a varietal in its own right

MADELEINE ANGEVINE (White Grape)
It flowers late and crops early. It is useful for blending since it ages well and its relative low acidity will blend well with higher acid varieties. On its own it produces wines that are light and fruity with a pronounced muscat bouquet.

 

Vineyards of Wales – some not included as is neither a commercial business or not enough information is known

  • Pant Du Vineyard
    Pant Du Vineyard and Orchard has been planted on the south facing glacial slopes of the beautiful Nantlle Valley.Selling wine, cider, apple juice, and spring water, it’s a family-run business with a café on site. Tours, private parties and wine tastings are available. www.pantdu.co.uk
  • TŇ∑ Croes Vineyard ¬† The vineyard covers two and a half acres of vines that have now been turned into delicious Welsh wines. Producing white wines from Phoenix and Seyval Blanc, and Rondo which is red, you can pop in for a tour of the vineyard and you can have a tipple tasting too.¬† www.tycroesvineyard.co.uk
  • Penarth Vineyard
    Situated on a unique riverside location in Powys, they say their Welsh wine is unique because they grow varieties which are believed to be unsuitable for the climate, yet the grapes face the elements giving them a richness of flavour and depth of character.  You can make an appointment to visit the vineyard, or visit, Quince’s, their delicatessen in Newtown, to sample their wine, or indulge in chocolates and local produce.www.penarthvineyard.co.uk
  • Kerry Vale Vineyard
    Planted in 2010, the vineyard covers six acres of farmland in Churchstoke. The land it’s situated on was once part of the ancient Roman site of Pentreheyling Fort, and pottery found on the site is displayed in the vineyard shop.You can visit the vineyard for tours from June to September, scheduled for every Saturday and Sunday throughout the season, plus bank holidays and occasional midweek times. They also take bookings for group tours at other times by special arrangement. www.kerryvalevineyard.co.uk
  • Llaethliw Vineyard
    A new, family run vineyard, the first grapes were picked in October of 2013 and the first 2000 bottles of white, red and rosé came in May 2014.  Llaethliw Vineyard is situated on the coastal plain at the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains in Neuaddlwyd, Aberaeron, on the West Coast of Wales.The winery, shop and café/restaurant are under development.www.llaethliw.co.uk
  • Jabajak Vineyard
    Previously a working farm and stables Jabajak has been converted and restored into a restaurant with bed and breakfast accommodation, set within a vineyard. Self guided, guided and private tailored tours available, including cellar door and lounge tastings.www.jabajak.co.uk
  • Cwm Deri Vineyard
    A working smallholding which first opened to the public in 1992, Cwm Deri is surrounded by the Pembrokeshire National Park.  Taste their wines and liqueurs and sample home-cooked food in the conservatory restaurant.www.cwm-deri.co.uk
  • Meadow View Vineyard
    Benefitting from the rich clay loams of the Vale of Glamorgan and the relatively frost free environment, Gwin y Fro (Wine of the Vale) is produced from grapes grown at the family-run vineyard. Vineyard tours by appointment only.
    www.meadowviewvineyard.co.uk

So the Total Hectares of Welsh Vineyards is 34.72 or 34 football pitchs

with 26 Vineyards.

Some are not listed here as there is not enough information but this brings me onto my next point. This is a blog first.

It is going to be interactive.

I have highlighted grapes, vineyards and size . What I would like readers to do is ask me any questions about any information above or if you would like to know something else let me know.

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Waitrose cellar £11.99 Glyndwr White

 

email me !!!

 

thegrapewizard@gmail.com

 

Music Pairing

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Unstuffy Learning: How to love Chardonnay – Petit Chablis.(1/4)

Chablis Grand Cru. These are of the highest quality vineyards, particularly Les Clos,  and have both freshness and age well.  Six other Grands Crus include Blanchots, Bougros, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur and Vaudésir.
The map of Chablis, below, shows these seven Grand Crus all packed together tightly on the same hillside.
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Secondly, Chablis Premier Cru which lie on the west-facing hill immediately above the village of Chablis also and should be drunk young. (also highlights Petit Chablis)
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Town of Chablis

 Petit Chablis principally found on the outskirts which were all planted to keep up with global demand

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Beauregards, Beauroy, BerdiotBeugnon, Blanchot, Bougros, Butteaux
Chapelot, Chatains, Chaume de Talvat,¬†Les Clos,¬†C√īte de Br√©chain,C√īte de Cuissy,¬†C√īte de Fontenay,¬†C√īte de Jouan, ¬†C√īte de L√©chet

C√īte de Savant¬†C√īte de¬†Vaubarousse,¬†C√īte des Pr√©s Girots,¬†Les Epinottes For√™ts¬†Fourchaumes, Les Fourneaux,¬†GrenouillesL‚ÄôHomme Mort, Les LysM√©linots,

Mont de Milieu, Montée de Tonnerre, MontmainsMorein, Pied d’Aloup, Preuses, Roncières, Sécher TroesmesVaillons, Valmur, Vau Ligneau, Vau de Vey, Vaucoupin, VaudésirVaugiraut, Vaulorent, Vaupulent, Vaux Ragons, Vosgros

 

 

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So forty seven Climats in total: Forty for Chablis Premier Cru, and seven for Chablis Grand Cru. The latter are all on the right bank of the Serein, whereas the Climats of Chablis Premier Cru are on either side of the river, twenty four on the left bank, sixteen on the right bank.
So in essence: Grand Cru Chablis has the most presence of oak, Premier Cru less so, followed by Chablis which shows some sign of oak and finally Petit Chablis which has little or no oak at all
BEST Grape Wizard VINTAGES – Petit Chablis
2010 , 1990 ,
2012, 2005, 2002, 1996, ,1995,
2015,2014,2013,2011,2008,2007,2000,1997,1992,
1989,2009,2006,2003,2001,1999,1998,1988,
1986,1985,1983, 2004,1994,1993,1982,1979
If you want to try the best years work from the top. If you want to invest – work from the top and you cant go far wrong !
(taken scores from a host of leading authors on wine and assesed in a best overall GW score.)

Petit ChablisProduction surface area

Area under production = 884.15 ha.

 Over the coming weeks I will be highlighting more Chablis and Premier Cru as well as Grand Cru Chablis. Each has their own style, each has different characteristics to suit different foods. It is a versatile as it is noble. 

But for those of you who like little to no oak, try this Petit Chablis from DOMAINE MILLET Petit Chablis 2014
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 shopping
Uvinum £18:12
Music Pairing
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Elements

ÔĽŅFrom Montelauro to Ochio Rias – well almost!! Just a little closer and arguably a lot prettier !¬†

Having spent a wonderful 2 weeks in Puglia 2 years ago I thought this time would be time repeating itself . ¬†Puglia has grown to be one of my favourite places in the world. Gone are the glitzy sidewalks of California. ¬†Gone are the elegant Parisian pavements. Even the mere hint of a passigiata is rarely seen. ¬†I was here ( with the better half ) for a wedding down in the heart ‚̧ԳŹ of Italy. In a place where only locals go and in a place so tranquil you can hear a cat ūüźĪ tiptoe.

The wedding was for a good work friend of mine and his long suffering (now) wife  The hotel was fabulous and so was the hospitality. (Please visit the website : Montelauro)

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Monopoli

I did have a booking at grotto palazzese (Restaurant in the rocks) but having read the  reviews i saw that you would be paying premium rate just to have the chance of sitting at potentially 1 of 6 tables sea-side with overated food and super expensive bills  . The odds were against it we declined this time !. We had earlier in the week visited La sommita and that was out of this world (michelin starred and didnt dissapoint !)

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Because the Wallet was in meltdown we opted for this view from the terrace of the restaurant in Monopoli …

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Wasn’t a hard choice to make !!!

We settled for¬† Terrace restaurant . Fabulous setting and super great location. We watched the ūüĆÖ and settled down to 3 courses. Being a seaside town we had a glorious choice of the best fish. What we got was very average ¬†squid ūüźô and dishes that were a bit bland. It seems like this part of Italy has the sun and location but what lets them down is¬† the lack of specialist abilities that offer modern twist on cooking.¬† It’s not often I refuse food but this time too much of one thing made me feel ūü§Ę. Great atmosphere,great location just ok food !

One thing Puglia has to its credit is the emerging cottage industry that is gin and olive oil and the very recent observation that Italian cooking is getting modern and sexy.

( Cucini Komera)

 

Late on in the week long holiday we stayed in a lovely apartment hosted by Albergo diffuse –¬†¬†A stones throw from all the action of Monopoli

We even found through chatting to locals that there was a guy who was making gin out of olive oil EVO Gin

Wine ūüć∑ we bought primitivo a lovely gin (with cinnemon )& negramaro

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(All three will be tasted and reported on , i promise )

but here are the links in the meantime

Quota 29

Jerry Thomas project

Polvanera

 So after a busy week  which felt like a 2 week holiday we were ready to return to the uk.

In essence this holiday could be life changing. A lot of love was felt for this region but is this experience mearly just a dream or will we jump off into the unkown , only time will tell. Reading between the lines i think what will happen is that this event contributed to what’s about to happen ¬† Enriching the soul ( and I’m not spiritual) is becoming a central part to most people’s lives as we grow ever more stressed at the day to day .9-5

Apologies for short blog this week

Jason

 

Wimbledon 2017 : Strawberries and Champagne ! A very British affair !

It’s that time again in a little corner of SW London . That every year the peace and tranquility of Southfields is shattered by the sound of thousands of feet marching up to the tennis in Wimbledon Village

Wimbledon has the honour of being the largest single annual sporting catering operation in Europe and the average quantities supplied by Championships’ caterers include a 40-year-old relationship with

It is during the 2 weeks that 29,000 bottles of Lanson are drunk. A mighty feat in any producers handbook. To complement the amount thats drunk,  28,000 kg (140,000 servings) of English strawberries are consumed.

strawberries-wide

This is the time to celebrate , to worship the “god of tanning” of which turns us Brits from¬† pasty white into

Lobster red !!!

We can only do this, it seems by drinking lots of champagne in the hot weather and loads of strawberries to boot.

Strawberries and  raspberries will always be the fruits of summer for the UK  but what about drink.

The historical bit……….

Champagne was originally produced in England, where the technology for bottling and corking drinks containing carbon dioxide was developed in the latter part of the 1500s,¬† In 1662, scientist Christopher Merret reported to the Royal Society of London that adding sugar “promoted effervescence,” lending champagne its signature sparkle.

However, determining the right amount of sugar required careful experimental processes to avoid bottle explosions. 100 years later and champagne was perfected. The original, sweet version became trendy in Paris among the wealthy, whilst the English preferred dry champagne and the English wine-making method became popular throughout the wine-making world.

The tradition of drinking champagne started in the Royal courts of Europe prior to 1789, where champagne was viewed as a status symbol and became very popular in the late nineteenth century. Today, it’s often used to commemorate joyous occasions, from launching ships to throwing champagne glasses on the floor at Russian weddings and Wimbledon.

 I can think of no better way to celebrate a relaxing time with friends or a trip to wimbledon tennis  than a nice chilled bottle of the following :

Billecart Salmon Cuvee Nicholas Francois 2002 champagne £120 The Whiskey Exchange

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or Bollinger Grande Annee 2002 Bollinger G.A. 2002 Millesima £130

This champagne are restrained refined and  elegant and one of the best years for vintage in the last 15 years.

Lanson Brut (Wimbledon’s preferred champagne) on the other hand is composed of 35% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir, and 15% Pinot Meunier, aged for three years.

The wine is fresh and fruity, with fresh apple notes and a grassy, mineral characteristics coming on later. Refreshing and well-balanced although I found it a little one dimensional. Ok if you want an unassuming champagne and 1/2 the price.¬† There is a champagne for everyone out there .and even sparkling wine’s from the UK¬† Although far to mention on here in this short piece , I will however highlight a few which i think is worth of a mention

some great producers  include

Camel valley Camel valley rose  £26.95

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Really individual English style in the best possible way. Delicate salmon pink colour, lovely floral and strawberry aromas, pure refreshing palate.

 

Bolney

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A simple, light and refreshing English sparkling wine. Very easy to drink with a charming elderflower creaminess. £23.99 Bolney bubbly

not to mention Wales

 Jabajak vineyard

Welsh Blush Sparkling 2014

A delicate sparkling rosé produced from our hand-picked Seyval and Phoenix grapes. Blushed with Rondo giving fabulous hints of strawberry on the nose leading to summer berries on the palate with a crisp dry finish. £35.00 Welsh sparkling

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As a footnote to the piece , there is so much talent and so many producers, now is the time for the government to support UK producers and UK brand in wine and champion the fabulous products we have on offer.  Champagne will be forever a celebration but there is nothing wrong in having sparkling wines as an alternative to it.  We have a slight restriction in that the size of the vineyards and yield of the grapes might be a little on the small side. Local grapes mean distinctive characteristics, so gentle interaction from the winemaker is needed to appeal to the palate of the consumer. But what ever the case champagne or sparkling wine should be drunk in times of happiness, in times of tears,in times of victory and in times of despair. It is a wine for enjoying.

A point worth thinking about ….

Do we as consumers pay champagne prices for champagne

or

Pay champagne prices for UK sparkling wine as the price of loyalty/patriotism or look to alternative markets !

Email me your favourite champagnes + photos   at  thegrapewizrd@gmail.com or merely just your comments

and sign up at thegrapewizard.com

Sorry its a short one this week !!!!

 

Music pairing

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Chilled to perfection…?

¬†June has seen scorching hot weather, some of the hottest days on record. ¬†The last time the mercury edged this high was in the 1970’s and no¬†fashionable summer dinner party was complete until someone had opened a bottle of one of Portugal’s most famous exports Mateus Rose to accompany their Parma ham and melon balls! ¬†One of the things I love about wine is that just like food there is always a new taste to discover so let me introduce you to one I’ve discovered recently.

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Chilled red. ¬†Yes I’ve discovered recently that there are many¬†reds which are perfectly suited for chilling. ¬†Lighter bodied reds such as Beaujolais, Barolos and even Pinot Noir can be delicious when served a few degrees lower than “celler temperature”. ¬†Because of their low tannin content, they don‚Äôt see the negative impact that low temperatures can bring to heavier reds¬†such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and many countries and cultures have a wine drinking tradition based around light, airy, bright and zippy red wines, served nicely chilled.

On a hot summer’s day, along with some charcuterie (maybe even Parma ham and melon balls) or similar, I can think of few things finer than a pleasantly cold (not fridge cold) glass of Pinot Noir.

Try these two from Berry Bros.

2015 Reuilly Rouge, Les Pierres Plates, Denis Jamain 14.95 Berry Bros
2013 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Sandford & Benedict, Santa Ynez Valley 44.50 Berry Bros

And if you’re sipping your Pinot in the Caymen Islands¬†ūüáįūüá嬆this summer, tell ’em “the Grape Wizard” sent you because this beauty Furst Spatburgunder , Pinot Noir Kyd 44 is Fab.¬†Jacque Scott

Traditionally, red wines are served between 62-68 oF (15-20oC) and whites  between 49-55 F (9-13 C). Try one of the reds at the white wine temperature.

Or try this : Pour a glass of red at room temperature. ¬†Chill the rest of the half bottle and try a little. ¬†Notice how temperature affects the experience and character of the wine. But as always what you like is more important to me than doing whats right or what’s fashionable.

While some wines, like Lambrusco and Beaujolais, are traditionally consumed chilled, experiment with Merlot, or a young Spanish Rioja or Chilean carmenere
You can’t guarantee fab results but it’s fun trying. ¬†There are no rules!

So at your next Summer Soiree try sharing your experience

” Hmmmm ¬†I don’t think this Cab Sav is ideally suited to be paired with lobster. “.

” I’d say this Chardonnay has a little too much oak to be paired with a Phaal “

Although these statements sound pretentious, just go with your instincts! ¬†One day you’ll get it right!

Now back to chilled reds…..try some of these:

1. Lambrusco
Lambruscos are light-bodied sparkling wines made in NE Italy. Wine results when yeast eats grape juice; if a winemaker stops fermentation before the yeast has passed, there will be sugar left in the wine.

Some Lambruscos are therefore sweet (sugar left in the wine), some are medium-dry (small amount of sugar in the wine) and some are dry (little to no sugar left in the wine itself). You can try all three but for the purposes of this article I would just ask your nearest wine merchant for a dry Lambrusco and serve it chilled

Heres a recommendation for you … 

Cavicchioli, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Vigna del Cristo, 2014  £12.29 Tannico

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2. Beaujolais

Beaujolais is the wine that comes from the Burgundy region of France. It’s made out of the Gamay grape, which produces some of the lightest-bodied reds out there. There is a relationship between how big a wine’s body is and how long it needs to be aged in bottle before release. It’s Gamay’s petit personality that enables some Beaujolais to be released as quickly as possible after a harvest as “Beaujolais Nouveau.”

Patrick Chodot Brouilly 75cl £9 Tesco by the case

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Even try your hand a Beaujolais Nouveau.  Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques Morgon 2009, is complex and fruity, and lovely chilled.

3. Pinot Noir
Though some people first heard about it in the movie “Sideways”, Pinot Noir is one of the world’s most revered wine grapes. It’s the basis of the red wines of Burgundy ‚ÄĒ one of France’s most iconic regions ‚ÄĒ and it’s planted lots of other places, including New Zealand, California, and Oregon. It’s lighter bodied and produces famously complex and delicious wines.

2013 BOURGOGNE Pinot Noir Domaine François Raquillet £17.75 Lea & Sandeman2013-BOURGOGNE-Pinot-Noir-Domaine-Francois-Raquillet.240x700.17515

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Cristom Vineyards Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir £32.50 Honest Grapes

One of the problems with Pinot Noir wines is they’re labor-intensive to produce and therefore it’s hard to get good ones on the cheap.

4. Barbera d’Asti
Also in NE Italy, the Barbera D’Asti region relies upon the Barbera grape, which is the third-most planted grape in Italy. Barbera D’Asti wines have relatively high acid, aren’t tremendously complicated and aren’t usually aged for a long time, which is all good news for chilled drinking.

Araldica Barbera D’asti Superiore ¬£8.99shopping-1

Araldica Barbera D’Asti Superiore, Italian, Red Wine ¬£8.99 Waitrose

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Barbera d’Asti Superiore Trinchero DOCG Organic ¬£17.90 ¬†Vorrei

5. Zinfandel
Zinfandel is arguably the flagship red grape of California ‚ÄĒ for a long time, in fact, people even thought it was native there. (Since genetic testing came about, it’s been discovered it’s the same as a red grape from Italy called Primitivo.) The biggest bodied of the wines on this list by a long shot, Zinfandels are not often consumed cold, but they can be.

As with the Pinot Noirs, you can break the bank with Zinfandel ‚ÄĒ but there’s no need to for these purposes. You want something inexpensive, bright, and jammy. Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley is a great place to source from.

So chill out and try something new!

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So for those of you sipping your chilled red in the Caymen Islands or even the rest of us on our sun lounger in the back garden, remember wherever you are, you are in a pretty place indeed. Its summer, sit back, enjoy the sunshine and suck (or sip) the marrow out of life!

Enjoy this moment. It is a moment of reflection and relaxation.

And as such you need some music. So here it is this weeks music pairing

Pair wine with.

Unknown-4Ben Howard.