Spent ages writing out an awesome blog and then deleted it all… so annoying! Anyways take 2 will be even better! So couple of things- first off its been a while since i last blogged or did much with the Facebook… but i have a perfectly good excuse! I was on my holidays- so there was no time for blogging! Second off the title! Mushroom walks into a bar and orders a drink… the bartenders like what? I’m not serving no filthy mushroom! And the mushroom is like “why not I’m a fun-guy!”  (pause for laughter) thank you thank you!

So there is basically two types of botrytis- the first is grey rot, which is brought about by constant damp conditions, and actually ruins the fruit. The second is known as noble rot, and this stuff is brought about by damp conditions as well, but when followed by dry conditions they dry up. So then they are left with grapes that are left with loads of sugar and very little water to dilute them with. So we get deliciously sweet dessert wine.

The origins of this technique are a little sketchy… so i decided to pick the one i thought sounded the most interesting! Apparently… there was this vineyard in germany where they had to wait for word to come from the owner of the land before they started picking the grapes… but as the messenger was on his way to give them the news, he was robed! And in the following 3 weeks Botrytis took over the grapes and shrivelled them up(dom dom dommmmm!) So thinking that the grapes were useless they sold them on to someone else who then produced the most delicious sweet wine ever! This apparently where the german style of  Spatlese (late harvest) comes from… couple of problems with this theory… first off why would the owner who’s so far away that he needs to send a messenger, be the one who decides when to pick the grapes??? And secondly (pretty much the same point) these grape pickers can’t show just a little initiative???? The grapes are rotting before their eyes and they still insist on waiting for word from someone who’s 3 weeks away????

So anyways the most famous place for this style of wine is Sauternes in Bordeaux, France. They use Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle… but because this style is sooo… whats the word…. unstable…. you can bet you will have to pay a fair amount for wines from this area! Really?? the French charging a lot for their wine??? But lucky for ye they’re not the only ones who have discovered this technique- in fact there are several New World Botrytis wines that are fantastic and not nearly as expensive! So there you have it!  quick little blog to slowly bring ye back to the wonderful world of wine after my absence! Talk to ye soon!