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06 September 2021

Coventry & Manchester: bars, beers, restaurants.

The Gourmet Food Kitchen seems to be a unique idea in UK City of Culture Coventry, launched by local chef Tony Davies (pic. below) 'who has worked in kitchens across Europe.' Located in Fargo Village just out of the centre (Far Gosford Street, Coventry CV1 5ED), which has the feel of a burgeoning trendy boho kind of spot. Tony offers 'a chef table experience' reserved in advance on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for 12 guests only, whether one large group together or a few smaller tables and seated outside when the weather's good, serving up a slow onslaught of seven flavoursome elegant and varied mini-courses across the evening, each one introduced by the chef.

06 August 2021

Bubbly and white wines of the moment

Photo from saint-chinian.pro
Château Viranel Intuition blanc 2020 Saint-Chinian Languedoc (60% Grenache blanc, 15% Roussanne, 20% Vermentino, 5% Bourboulenc, 13.5% abv) - This delicious mix of southern French grape varieties undergoes a modest 15% of the blend fermented in barrels (and all the better for it) with the completed wine stored and stirred on the yeast-lees for three months to maximise flavour and texture. Lovely aromatic floral nose with grapey honeysuckle and aniseed tones, lightly lees-y palate with full rounded and oily mouthfeel then fresh and zesty finish, concentrated flavour too. Tasty and classy. €10-€11 France and Belgium, £16.99 Bancroft Wines London, 185 KR Sweden, €12 Germany.

30 July 2021

Old Luxters Farm Brewery: craft ales of the moment.


This multi-faceted business is also known as the Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery and Old Luxters Vineyard and Barn (wedding reception venue), with a luxury farmhouse B&B (four rooms) and cookery school too; in addition, they make a range of fruit liqueurs and sell local cheeses, honey and chocolates among other things! Certainly couldn't accuse them of not being enterprising.

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

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