Make it a bottle of Sauternes.
Indulge Your Senses - It’s almost the only time of year we have the chance to indulge our senses with a really sweet bottle of wine. But, I often think that if we only knew the effort that goes into making these unctuous offerings we would pay them more attention.
Sweetness - In order to achieve the high levels of sweetness the grapes need to hang long into the autumn when all the other wine grapes have been collected. This brings the hazard of rains, frost and hail that can destroy the precious sugar laden grapes
Nobel Rot - Therefore a warm dry autumn is required with misty mornings and in perfect conditions warm, windy sunny afternoons. These vintage conditions promote the development of the Botrytis cinerea fungus or Nobel Rot. As the rot develops the grape berries shrivel, water content reduces and the sugar and flavors concentrate
Single Berry Selection - Because this can happen at different stages on different vines and bunches Sauternes growers often collect their berries in three, four or more trips into the vineyard, often harvesting individual berries from individual bunches
Château d’Yquem - of course the weather does not oblige every year and in 2012 the most famous Sauternes producer Château d’Yquem has not made a wine as the grapes were deemed to be not good enough quality
Flavor - Although these wines have an overall impression of sweetness there are so many other flavors to seek out honeysuckle, saffron, white flower blossom to name a few and the best Sauternes have enough acidity to balance the sweetness perfectly
With food - the obvious choice is with desserts but these wines show beautifully with blue cheese, pate, stewed fruits and are incredible with spicy Thai food - a trend which is very de ri•gueur in Bordeaux.
Tags: Sauternes (1)
We are holding our pre budget prices on our promotional wines until January, so here are some suggestions as to what you should stock up on this weekend for festive entertaining.
For guests on arrival do something a bit different and pour a rose. It goes with all festive food, its pink so adds fun to the occasion. The 2012 vintage of the Delheim Pinotage has just arrived from South Africa and is fresh as a daisy perfect festive drinking.
For affordable white Domain Duffour is still our favourite. Aromatic and zingy on the nose like Sauvignon Blanc, crisp and dry on the palate with ripe slightly exotic fruit coming from the Colombard grape. Versatile food wine goes with nibbles, chicken, pasta and goats cheese.
Protocolo never fails to win over the hearts and minds of guests. It’s an ideal arrival glass for guests who like red wine and can be continued throughout the party or meal as it is light enough to go with dips and canopies but also stands up to red meats and cheese.
For fizz Rizzardi Prosecco is worth the couple of euro extra, it is estate grown and is made by Giuseppe Rizzardi. It has the classic fresh pear aroma profile but on the palate it has more concentration, finesse and lingering richness than most. Add a fresh strawberry to the glass for added luxury.
By this stage everyone knows that wines are set to rise in price thanks to the budget but what many may have not realised is that the biggest impact will be on sparkling wines - bad news for Prosecco lovers! However the good news is we are holding all our promotional prices*- including our bubblies - and as such this is as good a time as any to trumpet the merits of our big name Prosecco, Mionetto.
When it comes to Prosecco few names have a bigger reputation than Mionetto. They are arguably the most consistent big player in the Prosecco stakes.
Mionetto was established in 1887 by Francesco Mionetto in the now famous Valdobbiadene hills north of Venice. After a lot of toil and many ups and downs the business really took off in the 60’s when Francesco’s grandsons, Sergio &v Giovanni Mionetto took over the winery. To this day Mionetto has been at the forefront of innovation and experimentation in the region and the proof of the pudding is in the quality and originality of their wines.
Everything from the bottom up delivers exactly what it should for great Prosecco; that is a aromas and flavours of very pure pear & peach fruit made in a soft approachable way with bubbles as small as possible.
The range is huge but we focus on three main wines. At the value end their La Pieve DOC Prosecco Frizzante (€9.99 or 2 for €18) is head and shoulders above every other Frizzante in this market. It is clean, pure and a delicious mouthful of frothy, peachy fruit, so very easy to drink and the perfect party starter.
A step up from this is a wine that we love and regularly recommend as a Prosecco look-alike, it’s called Mionetto Vivo (€12.99 or 2 for €22) and comes from the same area. However instead of using the Glera grape which entitles use of the name Prosecco, Mionetto uses a five grape blend to achieve aromas and flavours akin to Prosecco. The result is a fully sparkling wine that tastes like Prosecco but offers tremendous value and a slightly drier profile.
Mionetto Treviso DOC (€16.99 or 2 for €30)is a step up again, here you enter the territory of an outstanding dry Prosecco. This is a beauty; a fully sparkling Prosecco that shows off impeccable white peach, floral character and an incredibly long fruit-cocktail finish. With very fine bubbles and perfectly judged acidity there is an elegance and class to the Treviso that leaves many others in its wake.
Prosecco is good all year round but it is the one sparkling wine that doesn’t really need food , so party season is an ideal time to stock up - just get in before it’s all gone!
*NB: Promotional prices will remain until Jan 6th or while stocks last.