Oh my God-ello

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A little known grape that has become ever more fashionable over the last year is Godello (god-ayo). It is found mostly in the Spanish province of Galicia, the bit of spain over Portugal, unlike it’s more famous neighbour Albarino, Godello thrives a little further in land in an are known as Valdeorras.

Godello wines tend to be fragrant and can have lemon, limes and chalk notes.  They tend to be and lively and with good crisp acidity. But they tend to have a fuller palate than you’d expect with  fruity notes of a more subtle variety, like apple and pear, lime and grapefruit.  In other words, it’s a versatile white that, as it happens, can stand up to spice and also pair well with lighter seafood.

How to Read Sparkling wine Labels pt.1

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When buying sparkling wine you quickly find out that you need a translator or a good dictionary, because you’ll need to know more than just the name of the wine although in some case that’ll do the trick! The first step in figuring out which sparkling wine is for you might begin with price, followed by style. While there are value-priced Champagnes on the market you might find you’ll get a better bang for your buck opting for a Cava from Spain or a Prosecco from Italy, even though these wines can be very different from Champagne. And then there are the Metodo Classicos, or Methode Champenoise, from around the world that emulate Champagne. It can get very confusing very fast.
The easiest place to start is with champagne, the most famous sparkling wine. Also because much of what works in Champagne also works around the world for the multitudes of Methode Champenoise wines that are now produced. The only thing I can’t relate here may very well be the most important, and that is each Champagne house’s or sparkling wine producer’s individual style. The best bet in learning more about the house styles is to try the wines. See which is light and crisp, or one that is toasty and rich. The next step is after you’ve discovered which house style you like is to determine what type of champagne it is:
1) Blanc de Blancs refers to wines made from white grapes, such as Chardonnay, in particular, when it comes to Champagne. These tend to be crisp and elegant with vibrant orchard-fruit tones

2) Blanc de Noirs refers to white sparkling wines made from red grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in Champagne. The juice of virtually every red grape is actually clear so a quick pressing off the skins results in white wines such as these. The flavor of the wines retains hints of red fruits and tend to be somewhat richer than their Blanc de Blanc cousins

3) The third type is a blend of all three grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and this style tends to incorporate elements of the both of the above styles depending on the blend.

Australia Day 2011

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Happy Australia Day the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, the date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over Australia.  And luck for us the first settlers to this large mass of land in the PAcific brought with them the vine. The first exports of Aussie wine were in 1820s when Gregory Blaxland exported his wines, and the rest they say is history so in honour of this country’s proud wine heritage why not raise a glass of Shiraz or Chardonnay and celebrate Australia day!!!

What is Vintage? And Why is it Important?

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The short answer is vintage is the year the grapes were harvested, and its important because in some regions it can determine if the wine is good, bad or just plain ugly.

The long answer is a vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all, harvested in a single specified year. In certain wines, it can denote quality, as in Port wine or Champagne, where Port or Champagne  houses make and declare vintage Port or Champagne in their best years. They then only use grapes harvested in those years to produce their vintage wine, normally their house style is made by blending wine to get the flavours they want.

The importance of vintage is disputed these days with certain commentators suggesting that all our advancement in modern technology it allows the wine maker to create good wines in bad years. Also in many wine producing regions, particularly in the New World the conditions in which the grapes are grown are not subject to as wide a variation in conditions as Bordeaux or Burgundy in France say. As a result vintage is more important in these region than it would be in say the Barossa valley in Australia. That is not to say that they can’t have great vintages and growing years in Australia, just that they are less likely to have bad ones. Or that the french don’t cheat a bit like adding a bit of sugar to under-ripe grapes to get the alcohol level up! 

And Now For Something Completely Different

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The title of this post sums up perfectly this wine Muddy Waters’ Deliverance, I know I could have gone in for some banjo music and Jon Voight pictures but I felt the boys at Monty Python had a better phrase.

Anyway back to the wine The Delivernece is a blend of Syrah and Pinotage, yes Pinotage, that weird and wacky grape that the South Africans do some times really well some times really badly. It can be as annoying as the Vuvuzela was at the World Cup and is oddly another South African invention. Anyhow, Muddy Water reckon they’ve got the most southerly grown Pinotage in the world, on New Zealand’s South Island, and they’ve blended with Syrah from their own vineyards to give us the Deliverance. 

Whats it Like?  The wine has a deep purple colour with ripe red fruit flavours of plum and dark cherries with a touch of cracked black pepper. Savoury and dense, this wine shows a good depth with firm, ripe tannins as well as earthy and spicy notes.  

My Riesling For Being!

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Some people really take their love to far.....

So its official almost all the wine authors I read this past Christmas have declared Riesling the greatest of all white wines. The question now is why is it almost completely ignored by the public as a wine. The critics love it, but the man or woman in the street seems to prefer Sauvignon Blanc or even Chardonnay or some of the more exotic Italian or Spanish varieties.  Why?

 
Well one reason maybe Riesling versatility it can produce wines in many different styles from Sweet to Bone dry, see an earlier post, The other other white grape. So as part of your New years resolutions why not experiment with some Riesling.

Why do wines need to Breathe?

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Simple answer wines are living things and allowing a wine to breathe brings it to life.Wonderful things happen when a wine takes a breath.  The oxygen in the air can soften tannins, aromas become more vivid, and in general a wine can seem to get better!

For reasons not  known to me, each grape variety seems to have its own ideal system of oxygenation but in general  younger wines benefit from decanting and the large area in contact with air softens them and makes them more drinkable quicker. If the wine is older decanting it off its sediment can work wonders and wake the wine up. It seems to help many older wines, but the process of allowing an older wine to breathe may reduce the amount of time it is at its top drinking level, so you may have to god forbid drink the bottle over a couple of hours. Like most things wine it’s a case of each bottle as it comes.

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