Tag: wine

French Wine – Lirac

This blog post has been a draft since October 2010. As you can see I have to prioritise and do other more important things. My passion for red wine should be well know. For my birthday my wife got me a nice Australian Syrah we enjoyed last weekend. With French wines I either love or hate them. Tannat is my most favourite grape in France. View Larger Map On the other hand I discovered another region, Lirac, which is just opposite the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region on the Western hills of the Rhone River. Red wine in Lirac is described as made from – Grenache Noir (minimum 40%) – Syrah and Mourvèdre (minimum of 25% together) – Cnsault, and Carignan (maximum 10%). Wikipedia gives greater details: “The style of red Lirac often resembles a soft Côtes du Rhône-Villages, but the more ambitious wines are often similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Rosé Lirac is usually similar to Tavel.” Funny enough I have been trying a lot of du Papes and never really had one which I found overly stunning. Lirac on the other hand really appeals to me for some reason. Maybe this is because Lirac has a high percentage of Grenache (see also this

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Tempranillo Bonarda

At our recent visit to the London Borough Market, we bought a nice wine: Tempranillo Bonarda fromMendoza Argentina. Made by Villavieja, 2007, bottled by La Agricola, it is described as ruby/garnet in colour and exuberant blueberry and cassis aromas packed with black fruit flavours. I have to say that my wife and I absolutely loved that wine. I think we paid around £10 for it, however I googled it and found it for £5.90. That is London Borough market for you 🙁 The website says it is part of the Zuccardi Family. Another website suggest is being around £6. I guess not much more to find out about this wine. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture. Left to say that it is a very enjoyable wine.

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Sunday Column (35)

Another week, another Sunday. And it is a sunny Sunday 🙂 This week, after a few days off, passed quickly but different to many other weeks. I believe every time you have some time off and go back to work, you start thinking about things and re-calibre your work. Hence it seems as if you get less done but you actually work more productively. Anyways, Tuesday was our 2nd anniversary. I cannot believe how quickly those two years passed. And, we are still very happy together and have enjoyed the time together. With the house, boy and all, we are very settled and happy how and where we live. We enjoy what we have, and this is one of those unbeatable feelings to have. Happiness. On Thursday, at Tai-Chi, we started refining the form. Particularly with the speed and control. Wow, I felt very tired after the session and now start noticing how much good it does for me. Also, I found out that my old work is not doing too well and people seem to not get paid and made redundant. Hence I am feeling very sorry for them, looking back I am glad I got made redundant whilst

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Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2008

I am getting very much into the Syrah wines. Robert Mondavi’s being my house wine. However, a wine I always ignored but finally had and enjoyed is the Porcupine Ridge Syrah 2008. A South African Wine. Waitrose sells it for £6.64 and Oddbins offers the Porcupine Syrah Grenache for £9.99 which I need to try. An excellent red from the Franschhoek Valley made by a new-wave winemaker, says Waitrose’s website. It’s a truly handcrafted Syrah, fermented in small open-top tanks, and then aged in wooden barrels. The silky texture and full flavour make it a great wine on its own or enjoy with most red meat dishes.

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Sunday Column (34)

I know you expect me to say that I had a busy week. But I didn’t 🙂 I had 3 days off, so had a short week and a good break from work! Monday I started the week with a Mobile Networking event after work. Then caught up with a good friend of mine over beers. Having had the man-flu again, I didn’t stay too long and was home before 10 pm. That seems to be early these days. My mother-in-law came to visit for the week, and Tuesday, after a successful meeting at work, I went straight home and saw her. We had a nice take away and a few glasses of wine to properly celebrate her coming to visit us, and for me to celebrate the start of my “holidays”. Wednesday I had a couple of meetings, including another coaching session. Problem with holidays are that you seem to have time to do things you normally don’t have time for. Some of which are meeting people you haven’t seen for a while, working on your website or working on your personal development. Whatever the case, you don’t have more time for your family either. I wonder if I

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Excellent Wine – Sticks & Stones

D’Arenberg, which was established 1912, produces this outstanding wine: The Sticks and Stones. I paid about £14 for it, but it got “Great Gold” ad the Concours mondial de Bruxelles 2007 and “Blue Gold” at the Sydney International Wine Competition 2008. The Sticks and Stones is a mixture of Tempranillo, Grenache, and Shiraz from the d’Arenberg winery in the McLaren Vale in Australia. With 14.5% alcohol volume it is a heavy, first taste sourish but later very smooth dark red wine! The bottle and website describes the name as coming from: The inspiration behind this name came from the age-old proverb ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ The unusual and quirky names that d’Arenberg’s range of wines has never done the winery any harm. We also do use sticks (vine cuttings) planted into stony soils to produce the grapes that result in this wine. The winery uses concentrated bunches of Tempranillo, Grenache and Shriaz and crushes them gently, in a rubber-toothed crusher, and ferments them in small batches in traditional headed-down open fermenters. The maturation takes place in French and American oak barriques for 12 months. The wine has a youthful floral aroma

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Wine for under a tenner: Hardy’s Nottage Hill

Ok, this week’s wine is not the finest and whilst I am not 100% sure, but I think I paid £5.99 at the most. Hardy’s makes wine for the mass market and I was reluctant to pick it up but with a big discount and two of my favourite grapes, I got myself a few bottles of Hardy’s Nottage Hill Shiraz Tempranillo 2006. Hardy’s Nottage Hill just had their 40th birthday, however Hardy’s makes wine for over 150 years. It is a full bodied wine, not too heavy, with aromatic fruit flavours of black cherry, plum and blueberry with rich chocolate nuances. It is very well rounded, my wife absolutely loved it. With 14% alcohol vol it is on the heavy side but I don’t really remember a light wine for a good while. I was positively surprised about the value for money and the quality of the wine, knowing Hardy’s only from their cheap “one wine fits all” approach. At time of writing it was going for £6.88 per bottle but I am sure you can pick it up cheaper if you wait for an offer at one of the bigger super markets. Nothing special but just a nice

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Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon Majella Coonawarra

This week’s wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon. My favourite grape 🙂 I wrote about Coonawarra wine before and it is a lovely wine region. The Majella Cabernet Sauvignon I got from Oddbins. It is now advertised for £16, I bought it for £15. However, it is not worth the money. Being a nice wine of course, but I wouldn’t say it is worth more than £10 at the most. There is nothing special about this wine from my point of view, just a decent, good but not extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra. The Lynn Family’s Majella winery on the Eastern edge of the farmed Coonawarra “red stripe”, so it says on the bottle, and Oddbins says it is famous for producing elegant wines that are a world away from the turbo-charged styles of the Barossa. And, the wines of Majella are amongst this region’s finest. Method of Production (taken from Oddbins website): Carefully selected grapes were destemmed, crushed and placed in stainless steel tanks to start their fermentation. The wine was then transferred into French oak hogsheads to complete fermentation. After undergoing malolactic fermentation and maturing for 22 months oak barrels, 50% of which were new, the wine was filtered

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Wine for just over £10 – Glorioso Rioja

I have been careful with Rioja lately but my wife decided to pick the Glorioso Rioja from Oddbins. And, I have to admit, a good choice. It reminded her and me of our holiday in Spain where we had fabulous Rioja. Oddvins charges 11.99 unless you buy in dozens. This Rioja is made in a traditional style (they say) and tastes like a nice Rioja should taste: liquorice and dried fruits, round and persistent in the mouth with ripe tannis. I would call it a medium to dark bodied wine. It is of course made from the Tempranillo grapes and aged for 36 months, then afterwards for another 12 months in French oak barrels, hence the Reserva aspect 😉 With 13.5% it is a bit on the heavy side but I believe the 2003 wines from Spain are. I think this is definitely a wine we would buy again, with a nice Sunday roast or just with a few slices of cheese and jam, Serrano ham and olives. Just need some hotter weather 🙂

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Wine for under £10 – McGuigan BIN 736

This week’s wine, and this series must come to an end at some point, is about a blend that my wife likes: Shiraz Viognier. The Yalumba one is great, so I thought I try this one, McGuigan BIN 736 Shiraz Viognier, for £9.99 from Tescos. And, whilst it is not the sharpest blend, I enjoyed drinking it. Price wise, I would say it should be more in the £7.99 category. McGuigan vinery is based in Australia. The picture is not great but I quickly took it with the blackberry, apologies. Having a blend of white and red wine, e.g. a strong red, full flavoured wine with a small quantity of Viognier, lifts the re-berried aromas and softens the spice you get with a “normal” Shiraz. The wine is elegant and very much velvety in texture. The first taste was a bit sour but the more I had, the smoother it got 🙂 The Yalumba Shiraz Viognier is much nicer. Whilst around the same price mark, you get a better finish and a nicer taste from the beginning. Nevertheless, if you are into heavy wines like I am and your wife or partner isn’t, then this is a good compromise for

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