A Bold Red Wine to Complement Barbecued Steak

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The Garnacha grape produces reds with lower tannins and a fruit forward palate making it an amazingly easy to drink wine. Its typical flavour profile include stewed strawberries, plums, and leather.

Originally native to Spain and often blended to add roundness to the more tannic and fuller bodied Tempranillo. It is also immensely popular in the Southern Rhone Valley of France where it is known as Grenache. Here it is also used as part of a blend due to its ability to add more fruitiness without tannin structure.

On the eastern coast of Spain lies the region of Valencia and just a little further inland lies Bodegas Vegamar producing their exceptionally fine and affordable Garnacha. They are grown using organic fertiliser and without the use of chemicals in their vineyards. The climate here is warm and sunny and also benefits from the soft and cool winds that the Mediterranean Sea brings.

Vegamar Huella de Garnacha 2018

TheVegamar “Huella de Garnacha” 2018 is made from 100% Garnacha and has lots of redcurrant with slight oak and black pepper aromas. Full bodied with low tannins and a touch of acidity on the palate leads to a nice dry finish. Be sure to let it breathe for at least thirty minutes and it will become a super smooth red! Recommendations for pairing with food include grilled or roasted red meats such as beef or lamb and grilled pork sausages. So if you are firing up the barbecue this summer and fancy an easy going red, give this a try.

Fragrant? Yes. Sweet? Yes. Creamy? Yes.

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A Classic Moscato from Italy

What do you look for in a white wine at your local independent retailer? Does the wine need to have lots of fragrant aromas working together in harmony? Does it include a sweet creamy texture with a strong depth of tropical flavours? If you find yourself answering yes to all the questions above then look no further! The La Vita Moscato D’Asti 2017 by Cossetti has all the characteristics and more to satisfy your thirst for sweet white wine!

The small town of Asti is located in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. It is widely known for making the classically light fizzy Moscato with typical notes of white peach, white flower, and bright citrus. La Vita Moscato D’Asti 2017 is no exception! Coming in at only 5% abv it is deliciously approachable with full of bold flavours. The aromas of peach and elderflower are big and fragrant. On the first sip, elderflower notes take over before a medium finish of lovely lychee with a small touch of that classic fizz in the background. This Moscato is full of light creaminess and sweetness and is perfect for sunny days or even for breakfast (it must five o’clock somewhere!). If you are looking to pair with food, any fruity desserts would be excellent. If you are planning to pack a picnic basket, make sure to take some apricot Wensleydale cheese with some crackers. I promise, you will not regret it!

Sunny Weather Calls for Tasty Rosé

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Rosé is that aesthetically attractive pink coloured wine which is the embodiment of Summer in a glass. Drunk mostly on days when it is warm and bright outside due its main flavours of red fruits, flowers, and citrus. For example, the Pungirosa 2018 by Rivera (Castel del Monte, Italy) has aromas of wild strawberry, grapefruit, and subtle floral notes. Medium-light bodied with a little acidity and a dry finish on the palate. A nice balanced wine to quench your thirst when it is sunny and 20°C.

Credit: http://www.winefolly.com

A common misconception about rosé wine is that it is made by blending red and white wine together. Whilst this is only true for very few sparkling wine regions like in Champagne, it is rarely made in this process for still rosé.

The most common way in producing rosé is through a maceration process. After the grapes are harvested and pressed, the grape skins are left to macerate in the juice usually between 2-24 hours. This allows the red pigment from the skins to leech out into the grape juice. A longer maceration time usually results in a darker colour in the final product. After macerating it is strain and then fermented without the skins. On the other hand, red wine is usually fermented with their skins, seeds and all then strained. This is one of the main differences in making rosé and red wine in addition to barrel and/or bottle ageing in reds amongst other things.

Wine is always more appreciated when the atmosphere is right, so let us hope it will be a sunny season this year so we can enjoy more barbecues, more picnics and most importantly, more Rosé!

An Exciting Wine from Germany!

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The Old World is often regarded as having the “best wines” due to their long standing history of traditional winemaking and perfect environmental conditions for grapes to grow. Whilst the most expensive and sought after wines can originate from Italy, Spain and more notably Bordeaux (France), there are also many other extremely good value wines from countries in the “New World” Due to climate change and advancing technologies, it is now more possible for vineyards to flourish in places once thought to having unfavourable growing conditions. And so, it would be foolish to adopt this mindset when there are lots of amazing wine being produced in countries like New Zealand, Austria, and the United States.

In Appenheim of Germany, Silvaner grapes are grown to produce The Gruner Silvaner 2018 vintage from Jurgen Hofmann’s portfolio. The vineyards are cultivated on soils of shell limestone which really highlight the minerality in the resulting wines. On each bottle of the Hofmann collection, there are individual pictures associated with it. The Gruner Silvaner features ‘four aces representing the playful exchange of aromas’.

The Gruner Silvaner 2018 has fragrant aromas of stone fruit and green apple. The green apple follows through bringing a refreshing acidity with lots of minerality on the palate with a dry medium finish. An exciting wine for those who are looking to be adventurous and want to experience that stoney minerality and refreshing acidity in a white! Especially more so if one has not tried a wine from Germany or from the Silvaner grape variety!

Learning Wine One Glass At a Time

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unnamedAs a novice to wine culture it can be very daunting to learn all the technicalities such as the geography, terminology and even the varieties of grapes is so huge. Nevertheless if you really open yourself up to the experience of tasting wine, the knowledge will follow, one glass at a time. I, myself have been a bartender for most of my career and know many things spirits and cocktails, however wine is so vast and complex I never gave it a chance to learn more until now.

This week I will be learning about Peique Tinto Mencia (2018) from the region of El Bierzo, Spain. Located about three hours northwest of Madrid, the terrain is mostly hilly and so the grapes are hand-harvested. The Mencia grapes are grown on vines between forty five and fifty five years of age on clay and sandy soil which surprisingly comes through in the tasting of the wine. Currently, it is run by Bodegas Peique with Jorge, Mar and Luis Peique looking after the whole operation.

The wine itself gives off a beautiful deep ruby colour. The aromas include hints of red fruit on the nose. Tasting notes include slight acidity at first which then evolves into a nice dry earthiness with subtle notes of blackberry in the background, before finishing with nice and easy tannins.  Medium bodied, overall a genuinely nice bottle of wine for those who enjoy dry and earthy notes in a red. A new drinker of wine, there is no need to over-complicate flavours. See what you can taste by comparing it to flavours you had before. If you have a bad memory like myself, jot down your tasting notes so you can compare it to futures wines.