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29 December 2022

Rioja: 15 white wines.

The first of a few tasting reports gleaned from a right royal Rioja tasting in Dublin (by coincidence, Rioja resembles a word in Irish meaning majestic) focuses on white wines. Rioja Blanco was traditionally once as well known as the region's red wine, usually well-oaked in style, which over the years declined in fashion while reds became more and more in demand; but their white wines are definitely now making a welcome comeback.

19 October 2022

Malta & Gozo: food, wine and beer.

Not surprisingly perhaps, given their history and proximity to Sicily and southern Italy, Italian cuisine is commonplace in the Maltese islands in all its forms and price ranges. We discovered the particularly good family-run restaurant ('for three decades') Il Galeone in Sliema, a short ferry-ride across the water from Valletta (35 Tigne Seafront: galeonerestaurant.com).

13 October 2022

10 wines and a cider of the moment.

D'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2021 McLaren Vale, South Australia (14% abv): Asda £10 on offer, normally £13. Stylish and unusual full-bodied white, floral nutty and exotic with zesty yeast-lees and citrus tones; generously textured mouthfeel from a small portion of each variety being barrel fermented, otherwise not noticeable.

02 October 2022

A handful of unoaked white wines

A wide variety of five good-value unoaked white wines originally featured on WineWriting.com on Facebook (more photos there):
The Winery of Good Hope Chardonnay 2021, South Africa (12.5% abv). Flavoursome textbook unoaked Chardonnay from the western Cape: £8.50 The Wine Society.

06 September 2022

Roussillon: a dozen Vins Doux Naturels.

The fourth and final part of my summer Roussillon review features a (baker's) dozen Vins Doux Naturels (plural, VDN(s) for short), probably more naturally translated as (sweet) fortified wines, some of which are anchored in regional tradition while others are relatively 'modern'. Including whites - although their colour is often far from it for reasons explained below, a style called Ambré - and reds from Rivesaltes, as well as Maury and Banyuls, also white and red, of various types and ages.


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