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Bordeaux En Primeur 2014 – The Words

We’ve been busy collecting all the comment & analysis from this year’s Bordeaux En Primeur campaign. And there’s been a LOT!  The bigger & bolder the words, the more they were used.

Full analysis to follow..

 

OVERALL

 

All press wordle

WINE TRADE PRESS:

Trade wordle

 

UK BROADSHEETS:

BROADSHEETS wordle

 

FINANCIAL TRADE PRESS:

 

FINANCIALS wordle

 

We find them very interesting indeed..

 

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  • Calendar Month Ahead – May

    May should be renamed MOW. Month of Wine. Really.. It’s quite something.  Diaries are bursting at the seams with all sorts of titillating fare.  From the old world (Bordeaux is particularly well represented) to the new (2 Swartland-focused events on Thursday 14th); the experimental (Wine & Dim Sum pairings on Friday 15th) to our very own indigenous fare with ‘English Wine Week’ running from Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st.  And speaking of weeks, May (sorry, MOW) is the season, funnily enough.  With London Wine Week (18th to 24th), London Wine Fair (18th to 20th) AND the aforementioned week of local produce, I challenge even the most diary-shy amongst us to go thirsty this month.

    As if the weeks in themselves weren’t enough of a palate-prod, they also mean a whole wealth of wine talent in the UK, from far, wide & closer to home.  This influx, coupled with the collaborative spirit of the weeks (if in doubt see the line-up of organisations, growers & bars/restaurants involved in London Wine Week!), make for a very exciting melting pot.  A time for tasting, meeting & sharing ideas; where consumers & the trade can come together.  We’re excited. (And thirsty..)

     

    Tuesday 5th
    Jura Wine Tasting
    Westminster Boating Base, SW1V


    Thursday 7th
    Bordeaux & Rhone Tasting
    South London Wine School; The Mitre Greenwich

     

    Friday 8th
    Australian & New Zealand Wine Tasting
    Nicholls & Perks, DY8 1TA

     

    Saturday 9th
    Decanter Bordeaux Fine Wine Encounter 2005, 2009, 2010
    Landmark Hotel, London

    World of Wine Taste Experience Day
    London, Cambridge Manchester, Edinburgh

     

    Tuesday 12th
    30-50 Wine Tasting, Leicester
    Hotel Maiyango, Leicester

    The Wines of Hiersch & Loco
    Roberson Wines W14 8NS

     

    Wednesday 13th
    Classic Wine Dinner
    Rhubarb, Prestonfield House Hotel Edinburgh EH16 5UT

    It’s Ghana be Grape!
    King & Co Pub, Clapham SW4

     

    Thursday 14th
    Mullineux Swartland Tasting
    Handford Wines, South Kensington SW7

     Swartland Dinner
    Fulham Wine Rooms, SW6

     

    Friday 15th
    Wine & Chocolate Masterclass
    Scotch Malt Whiskey Society, EH2

    Grenache/Garnarcha Seminar
    Institute of Fine Wines, EC2V 6BR

    Osteria Supper Club, from Tuscany to Apulia
    Frizzante, Hackney E2

    Scoff & Quaff (Wine & Dim Sum)
    School of Wok, Chandos Place W1

     

    Saturday 16th
    30-50 Wine Tasting, Bristol
    Jamie’s Italian, Bristol

    Introduction to Bordeaux & Burgundy
    Handford Wines, South Kensington SW7
    Sunday 17th
    Osteria Supper Club, from Tuscany to Apulia
    Frizzante, Hackney E2

     

    Monday 18th – Sunday 24th
    London Wine Week
    All over London

    Monday 18th –  Wednesday 20th
    London Wine Fair
    Kensington Olympia

    Monday 18th
    Chateau de’Angludet Vertical 1995 – 2005
    West London Wine School, Fulham

    Wine Society Eurovision Wine Contest
    Harpenden Public Halls, Herfordshire AL5

     

    Tuesday 19th
    Wine Society Eurovision Wine Contest
    The Parade, Royal Leamington Spa, CV22

     

    Wednesday 20th
    Fine Wine Loire: Domaine Huet Vouvray Tasting
    West London Wine School, Fulham

    The Lawn Club, Celebrity Cruises (Tasting)
    The White Space, WC2H

     

    Thursday 21st
    Taste of Scotland Masterclass
    Abode Hotel, Glasgow

     

    Saturday 23rd – Sunday 31st
    English Wine Week
    All over UK (but predominantly SW & SE!)

    Hanwell Wine Estate Open Day
    Hanwell Wine Estate, Melton Mowbray

     

    Thursday 28th May
    South West Vineyards Wine Tasting & Dinner
    Bordeaux Quay, Bristol

     

    Friday 29th May
    Chardonnay Grape Debate
    West London Wine School, Fulham

    English Wines with Nancy Gilchrist
    Hotel du Vin, Tunbridge Wells, TN1


    Saturday 30th May
    30-50 Tasting
    Brasserie Blanc, London SE1

    Introduction to Old World Wines
    Handford Wines, South Kensington SW7

     

     

     

     

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  • Wine Words 5

    This week 2 very different descriptors, one specific & one general.. both equally as delicious.  If you find yourself using them to describe a wine, the likelihood is that you’ll want more of the stuff!

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    Lushness | lʌʃ ‘nəs |

    Referring to pretty much everything, rich, generous & juicy.. lushness suggest a wine that coats your mouth, both with flavour & texture. An indulgent gift that keeps on giving.

    Like: Black Forest gâteau

    For example: “This 100% Merlot cuvee has put on weight since I tasted it last year. It reveals a beautiful, exotic, coffee bean, sweet cherry, and cassis-scented bouquet as well as superb charm, lushness, and fruit. Reminiscent of a lighter-weight Le Pin, this beauty can be drunk now or cellared for a decade. It will not make old bones.”

    Robert Parker reviewing Certan Mazelle 2004

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    Toast | təʊst |

    Refers to a very particular taste & smell – often used & yet not always fully understood; toast the nutty & warm smell that you get from grains crisping up – gently warms the back of your palate; familiar & more’ish.

    Like: Toasted seeds

    For example: “Atypically opulent, flamboyant, and extravagantly rich for a 2006, this tiny garagiste operation has fashioned a gorgeously sexy 2006 boasting sweet creme de cassis notes intermixed with kirsch, coffee, and subtle smoked herb and toast characteristics in the background. Full-bodied, round, and delicious, it is impossible to resist, so enjoy it over the next 8-10 years. Great value.”

    Robert Parker reviewing Croix de Labrie 2006

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  • 7 Unusual Wine Innovations

    Our world is ever-evolving, not least thanks to our quest for continuous innovation to better everyday existences.   The world of drinks is no exception, & with competition fast & furious, the more traditional world of wine tries its best to hold its own.

     

    And of course success has to be tempered (& indeed built upon) by less success. Sometimes something hasn’t been brought to market for good reason.

     

    Herewith a round-up of a few of the more unusual & arguably less useful innovations brought to the party..

     

     

    Wine Sling

     

    Whilst we appreciate arm waving is important, so is being able to move freely around the room without sloshing wine down your front. However, if hospital-chic is your thing, look no further.

     

    3 bottle wine glass

     

    THREE bottles. In ONE glass. Whilst we see where they were going with this, we shall politely stick with the good old fashioned 6 glasses per bottle rule. Thank you.

     

    Wine chain holder

    There’s guarding your goods &, ahem, guarding your goods. Wine is, of course, infinitely guardable AND shareable, but slightly intrigued as to how this chain combats a corkscrew. It is however, magic.

     

    Bosch Power Tool corkscrew

     

    No words describe this appendage from Bosch. It does however leave you with a particularly tickling image of DIY Dan taking on a bottle after some manly drilling for picture hooks.

     

    Tree root carafe (by Etienne Meneau)

     

    Beautiful, alluring & yet wholly impractical on pretty much all levels aside from an aesthetically wow display piece.  Breathing & pouring inside, the idea of cleaning is really quite terrifying.

     

    Wine Monkey Caddy

     

    Cheeky chappy Mr Monkey doesn’t want you to see the label. & will do his best to warm things up to branch-swinging rainforest climes given half a chance.

     

    Get a Grip Wine Glass Grip

     

    For the most streamline of stems comes the most rubbery of gadgets. One size fits all; should you want your wine glass to double-up as a bicycle handle, the solution has arrived.

     

    The beauty of the above is, of course, that they all lend themselves to being subjectively interpreted. For some the idea of having 3 bottles in 1 drink, or indeed fastening down the dust mask & drilling into the bottle may well be the dream. And the best innovations often fail first time round. We do, however, draw the line at the sling. For now.

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  • Guide to Labels: Bordeaux

    Fine wine’s tour de force Bordeaux spans 120,000 hectares of vines, more than 8,500 growers & 60 appellations. Throw in a prevalence for all sorts of classification (blame Napoleon), it’s no wonder that there is rather a lot of information to absorb from its labels. And that’s before the content even comes into consideration.

     

    Predominantly what came to be known as claret, reds dominate in the Bordeaux region, but one shouldn’t forget the wonderful sweet wines of Sauternes & Barsac; neither the small percentage of dry whites, rosé & cremant.   Sporting a heady mix of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, petit verdot, sauvignon blanc, semillon & muscadelle, Bordeaux has something rather special when it comes to producing what are arguably the best wines in the world. And it lies in both their climate & soil. Being next to the Atlantic, & with not one, but two source rivers dividing things up makes for a very changeable both. And goes some way into explaining how so many different grapes & styles of wine flourish in this area.

     

    With such variety, labels do not, of course, follow a steadfast set of rules, but we hope that the below will help give some pointers. Or maybe a dinner party conversation or two, at least.

     

    Classification

     

    Bordeaux flies the flag for French wine classification. And in doing so created it’s very own asset class. It all stems back to the ‘Grand Exposition” of Paris in 1855. And Napoleon. Who wanted to create some a quality-based grading system to showcase the finest French wines to the rest of the world. Bordelais brokers opted for a price, production & location approach which favoured vineyards on the Left Bank of the river: 59 of them to be precise & 1 from the Right. Not wanting to be completely leftist, they also picked out 26 of the sweet white wines from Sauternes & Barsac with Chateau d’Yquem defining its very own class, ‘Premier Cru Supérieur’ (a little liquid gold never goes amiss, especially in Gaie Paris).  Over 100 years later, in 1959 the Right introduced it’s own ‘Graves Classification’ & popped a humble 23 chateaus on its books. If you can’t beat’em, join’em.

     

    All this classy classing has left us with what we have today, with 5 growths: Premier right through to Cinquieme, collectively known as the ‘Grand Crus Classés’.

     

    Image

     

    The Bordelais are proud of rather grand homes, & justly so. Generally an image of the chateau takes pride of place on its bottled fare. If not the castle, then the family crest; the more aristocratically authoritative the better.

     

    Vintage

     

    Not the trickiest to grasp given we all abide by the Gregorian calendar.   A given vintage is often sold en Primeur (in the Spring after it was harvested) & kept in barrel for up to 2 years. Good things come to those who wait. And Bordeaux’s maritime environment makes sure there’s plenty of variation year to year, so eventual release is not without suspense.

     

    Château / Domaine

     

    Bordeaux is all about the brand & the name of the château or domaine is just that.. Big family names like Rothshild & Lurton are often included in the domaine name; no space for shy or retiring in this particular world!

     

    Appellation

     

    Bordeaux is far larger & more diverse than it’s singular city name suggests. With 57 different appellations, or areas, that are easiest to place into 6 main categories: Red Bordeaux & Red Bordeaux superieur (generally Right Bank & Entre Deux Mers & not classified); Red Cotes de Bordeaux (hilly outskirts & again not classified); Red Libourne (Right Bank); Red Graves (Left Bank); Dry White and, last but by no means least, Sweet White.

     

    Like Burgundian terroirs, appellations are dictated by their soil & the climate. Bordeaux, being by the sea, has all sorts of interesting subterranean differences going on: Left Bank is closer to the Atlantic, its nutritious & gravely top layer is particularly adept at the late ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes; Right Bank’s Saint-Emillion is further from the sea & predominantly limestone which is great for balancing water whereas Pomerol’s clay retains liquid & stops its merlot from over-ripening.  Sauternes sits between the Garonne river & its tributary, the Ciron; the difference in water temperature (Ciron is from a spring source) makes for the all-important morning mist that allows botrytis to work it’s noble magic.

     

    The most famous appellations have become household names & are synonous with the quality of wine produced there: Margaux, Pessac Leognan/Graves (the name changed in 1987), Sauternes, Pauillac, Saint Julien, Saint-Estephe, Pomerol & Saint-Emilion. Quite the stellar line up!

     

    Bottling Info

     

    Most Bordeaux is ‘Mis En Bouteille au Chateau”; unless it’s cooperatively grown fare (therefore not classified) & bottled by a Négociant, who will bottle from an array of sources & generally under their own brand, as per their Burgundian counterparts.

     

    Alcohol Content

     

    The Bordelais have come under fire for increased alcohol over the years; currently averages gradually creeping up to 14% which edges towards fortified territory & quite rightly helps deter from over-zealous swigging. Bordeaux definitely deserves its due respect!

     

    So there we have it – reassuringly complex & steeped in all sorts of grandesses. Napoleon would be proud indeed.

     

     

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  • Farewell to Grande Dame of Burgundy

    Anne-Claude Leflaive, know as the ‘Grande Dame of Burgundy’ sadly passed away at Domaine Leflaive on Monday 6th April. Her death is a great loss to the world of wine; a strong woman who was seen both as pioneer & maverick, constantly standing for what she believed in.

    She joined the family business, Domaine Leflaive, in 1990, taking over sole responsibility in 1993. She was one of the earliest biodynamic propagators, & over the next 4 years converted the entire domaine. Her conviction, & charisma in conveying it, led for her to be one of the most respected & celebrated biodynamic wine growers & a pioneer for excellence, especially in her beloved Burgundy.

    Accolades flew thick & fast, from her work on the actual domaine to within the industry at large. Her energy, enthusiasm & ability to articulate her passions touched all those she met, & those much further afield. She led by example in creating some of the finest wines in the world, inspiring many & fearing none.

    Her legacy lives on through the domaine & the wine school she co-founded in Burgundy: “Ecole du Vin et Terroirs”. Whilst the wine world is in shock, they will be coming together to celebrate her life this Saturday. Our thoughts & respect are with her family & friends.

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  • Calendar Month Ahead – April

    Just as white rabbits start springing from hats, the wine world too delves into magic realms of its own. April sees the Bordelais gather round cave cauldrons for the tie up of 2014 Bordeaux En Primeur; it also sees the kick-off of the big global trade exhibitions with Vinitaly in Verona.  Closer to home, wands are twitching too, particularly with a series of Australia-themed events & tastings.  From The Wine Society ‘Wizards of Oz’ to a D&D’s ‘Wonderful Wines of Aus’, something must be in the air when it comes to celebrating the viticulturous fare of Down Under.  If that all sounds too yellow brick roaded, there’s plenty of the more traditional goings on too.. Read on for some fool-free inspiration:

     

    Wednesday 1st
    Wine & Dine Wednesdays
    Vinopolis, London SE1

     1st to 5th
    Austraila vs France drop in tastings: Burgundy
    Pont de la Tour, London SE1

     

    Monday 6th – 12th
    Austraila vs France drop in tastings: N Rhone
    Pont de la Tour, London SE1

     

    Tuesday 7th
    Your wine PT – ‘More pretty than plump’
    10 Bells, Commercial, London E1

    Eurovision Wine Contest, Wine Society
    Assembly House, Norwich NR2

     

    Wednesday 8th
    4 Decades of Lopez de Heredia Rioja: Tondonia
    West London Wine School

    Wine Society Eurovision Contest
    Essex County cricket ground, Chelmsford

     

    Thursday 9th
    Austrian Masterclass
    West London Wine School, Fulham

     

    Monday 13th
    Wine Australia’s Tasting Blind Club
    Australia House, London WC2

    13th – 19th
    Austraila vs France drop in tastings: S Rhone
    Pont de la Tour, London SE1

     

    Tuesday 14th
    Flirting with Fruit & Wood
    10 bells, Commercial St, London E1

    ThirtyFifty Wine Tasting & Appreciation
    The Restaurant Bar & Grill, Manchester

    Jancis Robinson tutored tasting: Portugal
    Quality Chophouse, London

    It’s Ghana be Grape!
    King & Co, Clapham

     

    Wednesday 16th
    Louis Roederer Champagne Tasting
    West London Wine School, Fulham

     

    Friday 17th – 18th
    Laithwaites Vintage Wine Festival
    Old Billingsgate, London
    Monday 20th
    Fine Wine – Burgundy 2005, 10 years on
    West London Wine School, Fulham

    The Wizards of Oz – Wines of Australia
    Lords Cricket ground, London

    20th – 26th
    Austraila vs France drop in tastings: Faugeres
    Pont de la Tour, London SE1

     

    Tuesday 21st
    Butt Clenching Big Ones (Tasting)
    10 bells, Shoreditch E1

    World of Wine (tasting) – Germany, Alsace, Austria & UK
    West London Wine School, Fulham

     

    Wednesday 22nd
    Discover Italy Tasting
    West London Wine School, Fulham

    French Classics – tasting & nibbles
    Edinburgh, Queen St

    The Wizards of Oz – Wines of Australia
    Glasgow Trades Hall

    Saturday 25th
    Tutored Wine Tasting, English & Welsh Wines
    Wem Street Market, Shrewsbury

     

    Monday 27th
    A tale of 2 rivers: Rhine & Danube tasting
    Merchant Taylor’s Hall, EC2R

     

    Tuesday 28th
    Seductively Sweet (tasting)
    10 bells, Commercial Street E1

    Jancis Robinson Odd & Obscure tasting
    Quality Chop House London

     

    Thursday 30th
    Sherry & Tapas Tasting
    West London Wine School, Fulham

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  • Wine Words 3

    This week, 2 terms that are often banded about & can get a bit lost out of context.  They also both happen to describe tactile elements of the wine, the focus being on how it feels rather than tastes.  Although the two, of course, are inextricably linked..

     

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    Unctuosity | ˈʌŋktju’ɒsɪti |

     

    Refers to both taste & texture of the wine – a rich thickness that coats the glass & the inside of your mouth upon consumption.

     

    Like: a naughty caramel sauce

     

    For example: “There are 10,000 cases of this perfect sweet white Bordeaux. The 2001 Yquem reveals a hint of green in its light gold color. While somewhat reticent aromatically, with airing, it offers up honeyed tropical fruit, orange marmalade, pineapple, sweet creme brulee, and buttered nut-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied with gorgeously refreshing acidity as well as massive concentration and unctuosity. Everything is uplifted and given laser-like focus by refreshing acidity. This large-scaled, youthful Yquem appears set to take its place among the most legendary vintages of the past, and will age effortlessly for 75+ years.”

    Robert Parker reviewing Chateau d’Yquem 2001

     

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    Attenuated mouthfeel | əˈtɛnjʊeɪtɪd maʊθ’fiːl |

     

    A wine that behaves in a thin & closed manner once in the mouth. This is often from tannins & can make for a good structure for a wine to mature around.

     

    Like: not quite ripe banana

     

    For example: “Christmas fruitcake, truffle, cured meats and sweet earth along with black currant notes make for a complex, noble bouquet. In the mouth, some of the vintage’s tell-tale angular and astringent tannins give the wine a slightly attenuated mouthfeel, but there seems to be plenty of concentration, medium to full body, and lots of minerality. My instincts are that this wine is going through a relatively closed, difficult, ungracious state, but I like its potential. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2026+.”

    Robert Parker reviewing Gaffelière 2006

     

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  • Top 10 Wine Cheeses

    Cheese & wine; Wine & cheese.. such long-timers, you’d be hard pushed to know which one to put first. And for good reason. These old pals enjoy an honest & mutually-beneficial relationship where, if the right match is made, both sides strive to compliment & bring out the best in each other.  However, get it wrong & all sort of rifts break out, of varying levels of palate-bashing intensity. True to relationship form, there are no rules or set patterns: sometimes opposites attract, sometimes like-for-like bond.

    Read on for our top 10 cheeses & their liquid soulmate (& some analysing of their chemistry)..

     

    Brie

    This creamy staple of any cheeseboard worth its biscuits is actually the most generous in terms of wine match; not a picky oozer. And it meets its match with the ever-obliging, equally as fickly-allied Riesling which dances its way through the cream & makes you want more. Of both. Works particularly well with a younger brie; if you’re feeling like going old, why not try a good old fashioned Chablis?

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/brie-de-meaux
    or http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/brie-de-melun for a bit more maturity.

    Brie, known as the Queen of Cheeses, has enjoyed many a regal endorsement over the years & used to be a necessity if paying tribute to the King; any other cheese simply wouldn’t do!

     

    Comté

    France’s biggest cheese produced. And for good reason; this delicious salty, nutty & well aged (preferably.. go for 24 months if you want the crystalline crunch!) cow’s cheese is the perfect accompaniment to a glass or 2. In fact it needs something with a bit of punch. And it should come as no surprise the best contender comes from the same region. A vin jaune from the Jura slips down a treat; it is both oxidative & intense.. in fact the 2 work so well together, I would argue they actually bring out respective bests.

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/comte-destive

    Comté was one of the first cheeses to benefit from protected origin status, having been assigned its AOC (Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée) in 1958.

     

    Crottin de Chavignol

    If you’re going to go regional, stay regional.. wine & cheese are certainly no exception to this rule. Both ‘of the earth’, origin-specific products compliment each other like holly & ivy. For a taste of the Loire, try a fresh goat with a chilled glass of Sancerre & summon the magic carpet.

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/crottin-de-chavignol

    Goats are not indigenous to France, they were herded over during Moorish invasions, so we’re effectively nibbling on a little bit of history with each mouthful of Crottin. (& sup of Sancerre)

     

    Aged Gouda

    Despite the conventional strong cheese-strong wine approach, sometimes ying & yang makes for wonderful palate-harmony. Try a softer red, like an Austrian Blaufrankisch – delicious & bursting with ripe fruit; it has enough structure to hold its own & yet gracious enough to not compete with old Gouda’s intensity.

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/gouda-boerenkaas-4-year

    Dutch town Gouda became notorious for its weekly cheese-weighing competition; the old ‘waag’ (weighing house) is now a museum dedicated to.. cheese!

     

    Époisses

    For a cheese from France’s biggest wine-making region, this stinky gooey cheese washed down with a brandy made from pinot noir skins is surprisingly tricky to match (but being Burgundian we felt it couldn’t be missed off the list). Thankfully red burgundy does step up to the mark, but not your finest fare as you might expect. Go robust & rustic; a Beaune villages or a Beaujolais is needed to wash the lingering goo-goodness down. And it works!

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/epoisses

    So pungent is the aroma of a mature époisses, it is allegedly banned from public transport in France.. feels a bit cheesist.

     

    Camembert

    This reassuringly rich & creamy cheese comes in many guises, often baked as a starter & infused with all sorts of spicy, nutty, fruity additions. The BEST news about this bloomy rinded number is that bubbles (be they champagne, cava, prosecco or whatever cremant takes your fancy) are the perfect companion. The acidity cuts through the cream & the fizz plays a merry textural game. (not that we needed an excuse)

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/camembert-fermier

    Camembert’s luxuriously creamy nature has inspired many an author & artist: Salvador Dali’s ‘Persistence of Memory’ was concocted after some hearty gooey servings at dinner the night before..

     

    Stilton

    A powerful, salty & yet creamy cheese.. sounds like hard work for any wine to form a lasting relationship with. Until, that is, you have a glass of port in your hand. Stilton & port is one of those amazing couples; born in completely different parts of the world; strong, independent & even willful at times. Yet put them together & they just make sense. (Recommended even to those who wouldn’t naturally be drawn to either)

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/colston-bassett-stilton

    Stliton’s legally protected recipe requires 78 litres of milk to make one 8kg round of crumbly goodness.. Given that it can only herald from 1 of 6 dairies, that’s some busy cows!

     

    Manchego

    Tapas bars always have a sensory mouthful trick or 2 up their sleeve, & pairing a historic cheese with a historic tipple is just that.  Manchego is about as origin specific you can get, made in Spain’s La Mancha region soley from Manchega sheep’s milk. Its flavour profile moves gradually from tangy to nutty to sweet, but always with a mark of acidity.. Sherry, with its rich & complex flavours, & varying levels of oxidization harmonises perfectly with the cheese in a way that once you taste the 2 together, there’ll be no going back! Funnily enough they both happen to be from the same part of Spain…

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/manchego

    Manchego is extremely fortifying & nutritious, with a higher proportion of proteins than meat.. straight to the cheese course!

     

    Cheddar

    Often over-looked in all its ubiquity, our humble home-grown cow’s cheese has many guises & is well supported by a red Bordeaux, (which surprisingly few cheeses are) especially the older & more interesting it gets. Hard, aged cheeses need bold wines that aren’t going to be completely dominated; arguably a bold red needs the same food-wise.. reassuring to know all those gift-hampers got it right!

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/keens-cheddar

    Cheddar was actually first discovered by accident: a forgetful milkmade left a pail of milk in Somerset’s Cheddar caves..

     

    Tomme

    This mountain cheese seems simple enough on the outside, but can be complex – with varying balances of fruit, nut, acidity & mushroom depending its exact origin & age. Alsacian gewurtzstraminer (especially with a Tomme d’Alsace) works well whichever way the mountain tolls on the day of eating. Its delicate balance of sugar & acidity brings out the best in the cheese & vice versa.

    We recommend: http://www.lafromagerie.co.uk/tomme-de-savoie

    Tomme actually means small, roundish cheese, hence why it’s always followed by its origin; useful for wine pairing too, as fate would have it..

     

    So there we have it: 10 pairs we feel justifiably go the distance. However, tastebuds are an individual bunch, so why not experiment at home.. if nothing else you’ll drink well & be left with quite the cheeseboard!

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