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13 November 2012

Wine courses and tastings in Belfast 2013

These wine tasting events and courses, which I'm planning to run in Belfast in the first half of next year, are now up on the Wine Education Service website (link takes you there). So get booking now to have some fun in 2013 tasting and learning about wine... or buy one as an alternative Christmas gift for a wine loving friend or family member!

Essential Wine Tasting 5 week course £125 five sessions
Tuesday evenings Feb 5, 12, 19, 26 and March 5.
Tuesday evenings April 23, 30 and May 7, 14 and 21.
More details about this course here: wine-education-service.co.uk/introductory

Classic Wines of Southern France 5 week course £150 five sessions
Tuesday evenings March 12, 19, 26 and April 2 & 9.
More details about this course here: wine-education-service.co.uk/intermediate

Classic Grape Varieties 5 week course £150 five sessions
Tuesday evenings May 28 and June 4, 11, 18 and 25.
More details about this course here: wine-education-service.co.uk/intermediate

One-day workshops Saturdays £75 for the day including lunch (and wine).
Grape to Glass Feb 2
Wines of France April 6.
More details about these workshops here: wine-education-service.co.uk/workshop

Tutored tastings Thursday evenings
March 28 Classic Grape Varieties - £30
May 30 Wines of Spain - £30
June 27 Champagne & Sparkling Wines - £35
Book these three tastings with Paypal:


Select tasting:



Overview and booking for courses and one-day workshops on the WES Belfast web page HEREOr go back to the homepage from there for details of wine courses and tastings running in London, Manchester, Aberdeen and other UK cities.

SUBSCRIBE FOR JUST £10!

YOU CAN NOW SUBSCRIBE (click there or on the Paypal button on the right) TO MY TWO WINE BLOGS USING PAYPAL FOR JUST £10 A YEAR (approx $17 or €12.50)! AND ADVERTISING HERE NOW ONLY COSTS £100 FOR 12 MONTHS (or equivalent in $/€). Go for it!

06 November 2012

Rioja: old and rare CVNE and Contino

I recently rediscovered and have just re-posted a rather nice Rioja blast from the past entitled "a tutored tasting of CVNE and Contino old and rare Riojas by winemaker Jesús Madrazo Mateo," (click there to view it) originally scribbled in 2001. Includes (at times slightly surreal) notes on elderly Viña Real and Imperial Gran Reserva reds and Contino Reservas with vintages going back to 1952. But quite a few from the best years of the 70s, 80s and 90s; as well as "an oddball finale" from 1939... Enjoy a little retro Rioja chic! Mind you, one or two of them were towards dodgy though.

05 November 2012

Rhône: Clos de Caveau, Vacqueyras

Bungener family
with all-singing all-dancing dog.
Henri Bungener has been running his 12-hectare (30 acre) vineyard organically since 1989, which is located all in one secluded sheltered spot up in the hills on the wild-side slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail. You'll eventually find Clos de Caveau a couple of kilometres out of the little village of Vacqueyras (see closdecaveau.com for directions), which is about 25 miles north of Avignon and 15 miles east of Orange. And handily enough, they also own three different-sized holiday gites on or near the property if you fancy taking in a bit of fresh air and sunshine in the middle of Provencal nowhere. Henri's Vacqueyras reds are made from about two-thirds Grenache, one-third Syrah; and apparently are available in Switzerland, Germany, USA, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan. That's useful then!

2008 Fruit Sauvage (Grenache, Syrah) - perhaps a tad past it and lean but it does have hints of nice savoury vs 'sweet' fruit still lurking underneath. €6.30 ex-cellars.
2009 Carmin Brillant (Grenache, Syrah) - aromatic ripe fruity nose, very firm yet peppery and has good depth of fruit, a touch extracted though in the end perhaps. €8.70 ex-cellars.
2007 Lao Muse (Grenache, Syrah) - smoky notes with a hint of oak too, concentrated maturing fruit showing lovely 'sweet/savoury' style and peppery edges, firm and gutsy vs delicious fruit. €18 ex-cellars.

Chile: a couple of 'Carmeneres of the moment'

Juicy Carmenere
from en.wikipedia.org

There's a feature I wrote HERE on Chile's love/hate affair with Carmenere, or Carmenère to give it its French accent, told from leading winery De Martino's perspective about their trials, tribulations and eventual success with this quirky variety adopted more or less by accident. As that piece touches on, DNA tests in the early 1990s confirmed that much of what was believed to be Merlot was actually Carmenère, a once fairly common variety in Bordeaux before the phylloxera bug invasion destroyed vineyards in the 19th Century, but was never widely replanted. So, to cut a no doubt long story short, it ended up in Chile the following century when people brought over cuttings and seedlings of 'Merlot' presumably.

'RED'

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