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09 July 2021

South of France, Pays d'Oc part three: Rosé.

These five rosés are all IGP Pays d'Oc from the Languedoc.
Marselan 2020 Les Caves Richemer (13.5% abv) - As I said in two previous posts about IGP Pays d'Oc (part 1 and part 2), Marselan is a crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache that's been around for a few decades and has adapted well to the Languedoc. Well-made easy-going tasty rosé combining juicy red fruits and white peach with creamier food-leaning mouth-weight and fresh zingy finish. Not bad match with a kinda 'surf & turf' pasta dish: spicy sausage tortelloni topped with bolognese and sardine sauce with courgettes, garlic, ginger and smoked paprika! France cellar door €4.30, Netherlands €8.95, US €9.99.

07 July 2021

Three whites of the moment: M&S 'Found'

Moschofilero & Roditis 2020 (12% abv) - One of the newish M&S 'Found' range sourced from the Peloponnese, the southernmost part of mainland Greece, and produced by Semeli Winery from these two indigenous varieties (80% Moschofilero in fact) grown in two different high-altitude vineyard areas. Very aromatic with citrus and grapey Muscat-like notes, zesty yeast-lees tones too, concentrated zingy palate with lingering aromatic fruit on its crisp elegant finish. Highly recommended dry white: try with smoked salmon or haddock, prawn curry, asparagus or goats' cheese. £8.50

05 July 2021

Belgian beer of the moment: Duvel Blond


Admittedly it's a big brand, relatively, but this smooth and serious Blond(e) beer is a long-time favourite and still offers more quality and flavour than many other bottled beers, even in the welcome days of trendy craft beers (I think the Belgians may have done 'craft' for some time already). Definitely a sipping or foodie beer in moderate amounts due to its powerful 8.5% abv, I love its irresistible combination of refreshing hoppy bite and full fruity flavour.

01 July 2021

Chile review 2021 masterclass

Valle de Elqui

Two tasting sessions featuring very diverse wines were held live via Zoom at the end of May, hosted by Wines of Chile UK, Tim Atkin MW and several leading Chilean winemakers also online commenting on their wines as we sampled from home. Tim picked sixteen whites, reds and a rosé to showcase the latest developments on the ground in Chile, enhanced by lots of up-to-date information on vineyards, grape varieties and wine regions. Atkin produces a substantial report every year on the Chilean wine scene, which can be purchased from this website here. Wine geek warning: this post is quite long and 'serious' (but does contain some great wines to look out for)...

03 June 2021

'Apples of the moment': Aspall Cyder and Boulard Calvados

 Aspall is an almost 300 year-old cider house (hence ye olde spelling of cyder on the label), as the website tells us: "In 1728, Clement Chevallier planted the first large-scale cyder orchards in Suffolk (England)." Their modestly named Premier Cru Cyder (with serious 6.8% abv) is described as "the first cyder produced by Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild when they joined the business - seven years in creation - and still their favourite drink." I wouldn't argue with that, cider-wise at least.

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