Puglian Chardonnay it’s oh so GOOOOOD!


The idea of bringing a typically “northern” vine, such as Chardonnay, into Apulia, represented a great wine making challenge for Rivera. The transfer required long years of experimentation; first in the vineyard, researching the correct stock and the most appropriate training system, and then, once the vine was acclimatised, in the wine cellar, to identify the right time to harvest and the most suitable system of winemaking. The results were certainly positive, thanks to the fact that on the hills of the Castel del Monte DOC area,  the Chardonnay vine has found a habitat which fosters its complete, correct maturation, exalting the variety character. The wine that has resulted, the Preludio n°1, is one of the most prestigious Chardonnays from southern Italy.

This and the Barale Chardonnay, also from Italy are two of my favourite examples of this much insulted and slighted grape but boy  does this wine do a lot to change a chardonnay haters mind.  Straw yellow colour with fragrances of fruit salad, citrus, pineapple and apple aromas. Clean and fresh with a  full and fruity palate, with good balance. Try it with, classic pasta dishes, as well fish and poultry.

 Currently on Offer at 25% Off



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The list includes some great wines like:

Tacchino ‘Di Fatto’ Rosso 2007 Normally €24.95 Now 30% OFF @ €17.47

Lengs & Cooter ‘Old Vines’ Shiraz 2003 Normally €24.95 Now 25% OFF @ € 18.71

Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2008 Normally €16.95 Now 20% OFF @€13.56

Vina Los Valles 50/50 Rioja Crianza 2005 Normally €14.95 Now 30% OFF @€10.36

Redbank Pinot Gris 2009 Normally €12.95 Now 30% OFF @ €9.06

Rivera ‘Preludio No.1’ Chardonnay 2010 Normally €14.95  Now 25% OFF @ €11.21

Domaine Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner 2010 €12.95 Now 20% OFF @€10.36

New to wine don’t be afraid.

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Always try an emphasizes the positive, that’s what my mammy always says! It’s a great way to live life but on these long quiet January Mondays and Tuesdays its hard to put into practice, there is only so much dusting or re-organising you can do. But every now and then something great happens some one with a cheery out look crosses you path. Today was one of those days a young couple came into the shop today who had never tried wine before besides the odd glass in a restaurant or at a dinner party. They were looking for advice on where to start their new wine Odyssey. What to start with and where to go, essentially looking for a road map of what to do, asking us for a proverbial Route 66 of wine. We were only to glad to help. Here are 4 basic pointers when it comes to selecting wine we can all follow.

1) Ignore the Critics Score, read the tasting note instead or ask the staff what the wine is like. Unless you have had wines rated by a specific critic and find you enjoy the same style of wine as he/she does these scores can be misleading, in the sense that the critic likes this style and will score it well.

2) Trust the staff they are there to help you. They want you going away satisfied, and will do their best to point you in the right direction. In Many cases the staff will have tried a lot if not all the wines in the store and will have a good working knowledge to point you where you need to go.

3) Trust yourself. This can be the hardest of all, if you don’t like  a wine that doesn’t mean that there is a) something wrong with you! or b) that there is something wrong with the wine. We all have different likes and dislikes, wine is no different, you might love the €12 bottle of Valpolicella you got last week, but be less keen on the heavier, more expensive Ripasso you got this week, neither you nor the wine is at fault it is simple human nature to prefer one over the other. As time goes on you will notice your likes changing the wine you loved last month might not do it for you anymore and you find your self drinking something different. WHEN IT COMES TO WINE ONLY THE SNOB THINKS HE IS RIGHT AND EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG!

4) Nearly as important as all the others put together EXPERIMENT, there are a plenty of different styles of wines out there. No two Valpolicellas from different producers are the same, likewise no two Aussie Shirazs are the same, the may contain similarities but the will never be the same. Wine is an easy way to try something new every week!

There is more to Portugal than Port

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Up until recently we have ignored Portugal as a wine-producing country here in Woodberrys, like most people we paid lip service to this great wine-producing nation by stocking a few wines from Portugal but our main concentration was on Port, the fortified wine they produce that is the epitomey of that particular style. but with the explosion of interest in recent years in Spanish wines people started to ask about quality table wines from their Iberian neighbour, we looked into it and found some great wineries.

But Portugal like Italy likes to use its many many own indigenous grape varieties including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca. Another grape they use plenty of is Tinta Roriz which is called Aragonez in the south of Portugal and Tmepranillo in Spain.  Of the Portuguese varieties named Touriga Nacional is the most important not only for Port but for high quality reds. Touriga Nacional is a relatively tiny blue-black grape produced in very small quantities by vines that have a tendency toward rampant growth if not regularly pruned. Because the yield is smaller than that of any other commercial grape variety, and because the vines are so unruly, some wine makers steer clear of Touriga Nacional, but as I said already it is used in the best Ports and reds Portugal has to offer.

It’s important to understand that, where this grape is concerned, quality, not quantity, is of the essence.  Touriga Nacional plays an important part in any blend, however, as it lends structure, body, texture, and warmth. It is full of strong tannins and bright acidity, two factors that help to increase the longevity of wine, and add to its complexity over time. Despite the grape’s tannic quality, Portuguese reds blended with Touriga Nacional tend to be soft on the palate and easy to drink.

Give it a go: Zinfandel/Primitivo

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So again another while has passed before (nearly a year an a half oops, but we had some really interesting things to say in the mean time right? Right?), sorry bout that! Anyhow we go back to our Give It a Go series.  But today we focus on Zinfandel/Primitivo a grape that we really enjoy but rarely gets a look in bar the Californian and southern Italian aficionados.
It took DNA fingerprinting in the 1990s to prove that Zinfandel and Primitivo from Puglia in Italy were one in the same, yes CSI of grape world have solved another case.  The grape has adapted to it new home in California and under its new name Zinfandel, has developed a different personality the Californian tends to big, brash with plenty of unrestrained ripe sweet red fruit flavour and a touch of spice. While his Italian brother tends to be earthier with more plummy and cherry notes and Mediterranean spice notes. Both are clearly products of their environments.
Anywho, back to the post we think you should give Zinfandel and Primitivo a go. Why not try Rivera’s ‘Triusco’ Primitivo. In the local dialect, Triusco refers to a red wine that is ‘exceptional, full-bodied, and mouthfilling.’ It is a wine that personifies the happy fusion of big bold fruit and depth of flavour, with a classy old world elegance.