Friday drinks

Post work, leaving do… ticks all the boxes for a raucous night. However…. am being rather civilised at the Hide bar in Bermondsey street, next to the wine & spirits edycation trust hq

As a graduate, I get a discount in the bar. Life’s hard I must say.

Anyway, on the cremant de loire, smooth, creamy and elegant. Apples and citrus on the nose and citus almost grapefruit on the palate. Lovely stuff.

Beats most prosecco hands down

Have a great weekend. Tomorrow. .. wines for a barbecue

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A rather pleasant Friday night tipple

After a very long day on a rather dull study day at work, came home to rummage through the wine racks.

Almost had forgotten that this little number was nestled within, hiding its light underneath a few bottles of dessert wine.

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It’s fresh, almost grapefruity, with an appealing pettilance. Were the weather any better,  I’d be dragging out the barbecue and shovelling prawns into it. A real zinger of a wine. Recommend heartily.

Ok, I know, I have to sort the wine racks out. I do have a sort of system in place. Stuff to lay down at the bottom, the odd bottle that I’ve picked up from wine tastings or shows which I’m keeping for special occasions, & the everyday stuff.

Its just the everyday stuff I need to sort. Possibly with the intention of an enjoyable shop on the wine society website. (Anyone who knows me will immediately recognise that the word ‘possibly’ should be immediately replaced with the word ‘definitely’).

Have a lovely weekend.  More suggestions later.  Happy drinking

A rather pleasant Friday night tipple

After a very long day on a rather dull study day at work, came home to rummage through the wine racks.

Almost had forgotten that this little number was nestled within, hiding its light underneath a few bottles of dessert wine.

image

It’s fresh, almost grapefruity, with an appealing pettilance. Were the weather any better,  I’d be dragging out the barbecue and shovelling prawns into it. A real zinger of a wine. Recommend heartily.

Ok, I know, I have to sort the wine racks out. I do have a sort of system in place. Stuff to lay down at the bottom, the odd bottle that I’ve picked up from wine tastings or shows which I’m keeping for special occasions, & the everyday stuff.

Its just the everyday stuff I need to sort. Possibly with the intention of an enjoyable shop on the wine society website. (Anyone who knows me will immediately recognise that the word ‘possibly’ should be immediately replaced with the word ‘definitely’).

Have a lovely weekend.  More suggestions later.  Happy drinking

Lady Petrol

I found this description of Rose in the Times magazine today – still not sure if I absolutely love it or feel rather patronised.

Until I figure this out, will be drinking this rather quaffable strawberry/cranberry perfumed and tasting numberImage

wines I now love

This is from the Wines and Spirits Education Trust level 2 course, based on my tasting notes (& occasionally hazy recollections!). The wines we tasted were available in a variety of places and covered a range of price points. They were all expressions of the grape varieties, from Hardy to AOC.

I’m working from week to week of the course, so these are in no particular order:

Pio Cesare Barolo DOCG 2008 £36.99

Ripe red fruit on the nose, some vanilla from oak aging. Dry with high tannins and acidity but with lots of red fruit and a real peppery finish. One for food or keeping for a few years and having with cheese and prosciutto

Royal Tokaji Azu 2007 5 punts £18.99

I now love, love, love sweet wines. This one is a corker with aromas of figs and orange peel. It’s sweetness is balanced with a good acidity, flavours of ginger, honey and candied fruits. Absolutely loved this and there are now a few bottles lurking in the wine racks

Bernard Chereau Chateau de Chasseloir Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, 2011, £9.49

A lovely Loire valley Muscadet. Really good value summer wine. Lots of green apple on the nose and on the palate. Also a certain creaminess from being kept on the lees. Great with seafood or just when you’re sitting in the garden contemplating getting the barbecue out from storage.

Billaud Simon 2009, £21.49

A rather pleasant Chablis. It ticks all the Chablis boxes – minerality, citrus etc, etc. but not sure it merits this price. Much as I enjoyed this, I have a sneaky feeling that most retailers  have a version at a much lower price

Domaine Arland Gevrey-Chambertin le Cru Aux, 2008, £44.99

From the Cotes de Nuits. I fell in love at this point…..Ok it’s expensive, but blimey it’s worth it. If you ever feel the need to celebrate and want a Pinot Noir that will make your taste buds sing then this is it. Its an old world wine, which means it doesn’t have the cherry/strawberry freshness of new world equivalents. It’s complex with pronounced dried fruits and a real savoury, gamey note on the nose. Pepper, cloves and red cherries dominate the palate. If I had the money, the Grahame wine racks would be groaning with bottles of this.

St Hallett Barossa Faith Shiraz, 2011, £12.95

A rather gluggable number, full of soft tannins, dark cherry & blackberry

fruits and a hint of mint. An outstanding barbecue wine

Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Reisling Spatslese (Von Schubert producer), Pradikatswein, 2011, £19.00 from the Mosel Valley

The week I learnt to really love Reisling! Honey and ripe stoned fruit on the nose, followed by a gorgeous sherbert, banana spritzy flavour. High acidity but with a balanced sweetness. Would be gorgeous with sushi, delicate cheeses, light desserts or in a sunny garden…

Ok, signing off on this one. Hope you can find these wines or their equivalents. Happy drinking.

 

 

 

I’m back and I’ve been a bit busy on your behalf!

Ok, apologies out of the way first – sorry for not posting for a few days/weeks actually – ok months. Have been busy sampling stuff. Anyway – I’m back and will be putting a few posts together rather than lumping it all into one. So (again) I apologise for the number of posts aiming at your inboxes.

How to start…. well. Firstly, the Wine and Spirits Trust course. I can only reiterate how much I loved this course. I recommend it to everyone with even a passing interest in wine (and I guess you already have this otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!). 9 weeks of slurping, spitting, analysing (and frankly guessing) lots of lovely wines. Halfway through we had a blind tasting and had to guess all sorts of stuff, followed at the end of the course by an exam – 50 multiple choice questions, I spent 2 weeks cramming info on my daily commute and still felt I had a mental block on the differences between rhone and burgundy appelations.

For the first couple of weeks, we were all sizing each other up, who were there because their bosses asked them to be, who had a genuine interest, and who were likely to be rather fun. I can’t explain why but the table I ended up on tended to be the most raucus, irreverent and possible the most interesting. Thank you to all who were there.

I’m going to indulge myself for a moment and just state that I managed to get 94% int he blind tasting (yes I felt rather smug and insufferable for about a week) and 86% in the exam (pass with distinction – if you’re interested!).

One thing I learnt was that the wine bar next door to the WSET offices offers 10% discount to students – we made full use of this after the exam. Ok and as it’s near work – feel I ma make full use of this in the future!

I’m definately going to be doing the level 3 course but am looking at dates. It’s very expensive so may be asking for sponsors at this rate!

Next post – my favourite wines from the course – a purely personal view but there was a number of use that tended to agree …..

And so to the next post….

 

busy sampling!

Sorry for the lack of posts, in my defence, I’ve been a bit busy on the Wine and Spirits Education Trust Course and the odd incident at home (enough to drive me to drink but have womanfully resisted).

Ok so to the update…. have progressed through week 3 of my course and can honestly say that it is worth doing if you even have the remotest interest in wine. By comparison, I went on a course at my local college which claimed that it worked to the WSET syllabus and was regulated by them, you could even do an exam which gave you the level 2 certificate. However…….. the tutor, course materials and wine provided was truly shocking.

Hopefully you will have realised by now that I’m a girl of taste and refinement. Unfortunately the local course had me spitting in public (actually onto a table and not into a spittoon which apparently can be considered polite). The tutor gave us wines which were so bad… he considered a Black Tower Red an acceptable wine to demonstrate German wines!

The WSET course is like chalk & cheese to this. Professional tutors, most of whom are judges at international competitions, like minded fellow students and some truly excellent wines.

The only drawback is that they give us 6 ISO standard crystal wine tasting glasses, which we have to take home at the end of each session. They are rather fragile to say the least, so I’m terrified of breaking them. I was on crutches at the start of the week and had to commute to London clutching my glasses and hobble. Not a good look and rather distracting!

Anyway, will report back with full tasting notes of all my favourites. Sorry but some of them are rather pricey. For example, last week we had a chevrey-chambertin, a monumental pinot noir at a monumental price of nearly £45. It was worth the money but a definite pay day/special occasion treat.

This evening, I am cosying up to a rather nice rose, celebrating the almost spring-like weather. Pale salmon in colour, wild strawberries on the nose, medium acidity and ripe berry fruits on the palate.

I will also post details of my latest venture – I did a tasting session for my colleagues and friends at work – 6 wines, all hopefully representative of their type. A great session, seriously good fun, hosted by a great cook Lucie, to whom we all owed thanks.

Signing off for now. again, apologies for lack of posts – promise to make it up to you all asapImage