"Buy my book about the Roussillon wine region (colour paperback or eBook) on Amazon UK HERE or Amazon USA HERE. Or order it direct from me (UK & EU only). Also available in the US from Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback or eBook. For other countries, tap/click on the link over the cover photo (below right)." Richard Mark James

15 October 2021

Wines of the mo: Zweigelt, Chardonnay, Fiano & Grecanico, Pinot Noir, Riesling and more.

Hmm, where's that Chardy from then?

It's not just that desperate label which grabbed me about this consistently tasty unoaked Aus Chardy - perhaps add a picture of Dame Edna sniffing it on the back-label to be sure - one of Aldi's Specially Selected range, it's great value too for €7.99 at Aldi Ireland or £5.99 in the UK.

03 October 2021

Bubbly of the moment: Cava

Frankly, almost always more interesting than Prosecco (unless you pay for some of the top names), here are five Catalan fizz favourites enjoyed in recent times.

Vilarnau Rosé Brut Reserva (12% abv) - Toasty, red-fruity and full-flavoured, this delicious Cava Rosado is based on Garnacha (Grenache) and Pinot Noir.

17 September 2021

France, Roussillon: Domaine of the Bee

Bees like lavender.

This is the first full update on Roussillon wine producers since I published my book on the region (did I mention it already?! Click there for details), focusing on new vintages and releases from wineries featured in the book, and potentially any new-to-me places that would then be slotted into the winery guide sections for a future edition. Domaine of the Bee was tentatively launched in 2004 (some old vines purchased) by Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, wife Amanda and business partner Philippe Sacerdot, with their first 2007 vintage unleashed in 2009, and who are working on the 15th vintage at the moment. You'll find the full story and commentary on their wines over the years in the book. Notes on 2019 vintage reds, 2020 white and rosé and English bubbly are posted below.

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.

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