Wine Wednesday Riesling

There’s nothing more touching as a wine blogger, than when someone brings back a bottle of wine from their far flung travels, just for little old me. The best is when I get to drink it with them and we can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ about it together, like when a good friend returned from her native Cape Town with a South African Malbec. Very tasty it was too, I hope you’ll forgive the lack of tasting notes, I can’t always be ‘on duty’ :). Continue reading “Wine Wednesday Riesling”

Perfect Friday Wine has moved!

Tasting table ready to go...
Tasting table ready to go…

Boy, have I been busy this fortnight. I’ve had a big project go-live in the day job, been given new projects to replace the old and hit some exciting milestones wine-wise, one of which being the new hosting-site for my blog. Although I’ll still be ‘reading and following’ on wordpress.com, I’m now fully functional over on wordpress.org thanks to a patient and clever friend who’s much less technically challenged than myself. So I’d just like to apologise first to my loyal and kind wordpress.com followers for lack of warning that I was moving. Yes, I did post a ‘please follow me over –>here<— at perfectfridaywine.com’ post, but only into ‘Drafts’, so was obviously no good! So here’s my plea:

If you’ve enjoyed reading about my capers in wine over the past year, I really appreciate all the support and encouragement that each and every one of you has given me, so please, please continue to follow me¬†–>here<— at perfectfridaywine.com. I promise to keep my tales fresh, relevant and as frequent as possible. I suspect that you might not need to do anything at all and if this is the case, please do me a favour and like or comment on this post (my first since the blog relocated) so that I know that I don’t need to email you all to beg for refollowage.

So there you go ūüôā

On to other news, another more interesting milestone, or perhaps ‘announcement’, is that on the run up to Christmas, I’m dipping my toe into the wine trade. More to come later on this, but in preparation, I’ve held 3 tastings at my house over the past 2 weeks. One sparkling, one white, one red, so if you’re reading this, thanks to all my Perfect Friday Wine helpers for your feedback and enthusiasm. Be grateful I didn’t fancy branching out into selling carpets or house insurance ūüėČ

PFW little helpers in the midst of 8 reds
PFW little helpers in the midst of 8 reds

So, to share the stars of the tastings (and of course, I didn’t take any photos of the wines);

РSparkling: a tie between the Pierre Paillard Bouzy Grand Cru Champagne and the Bluebell Vineyard Hindleap Classic Cuvée, East Sussex, England.

– White: for me, it had to be the beautiful¬†Domaine de la Creuze Noire Saint-V√©ran 2011. A fabulously elegant well-priced Burgundian Chardonnay, I’m excited about trying this again.

РRed: The best value red of all had a fantastic reception, the Calmel and Joseph, Villa Blanche Syrah. Another exciting find.

Watch this space, and thanks for reading!

Please visit the Coming Soon Page for more detail on the wines and events.

Saturday night at Chateau Marmot

No, it’s not a typo. I haven’t been living it up in L.A. at the iconic Chateau Marmont¬†with Harry Styles and RPatz (think very exclusive, no way would they let me in anyway, celeb hang out). In fact, I haven’t even left the home counties to experience the next best thing for a respectable mother in her mid-thirties; a pop-up restaurant. photo 1 Continue reading “Saturday night at Chateau Marmot”

Perfect Friday Wine-d Down

A while back, my husband and I started a little tradition where on a Friday, we’d go for a quick drink at the pub straight after work with the kids. They’d get to have a juice and some crisps, we’d get to have a swift pint or glass of wine to mark the beginning of the weekend. We can do this because our local pub, The Windsor Castle, is welcoming and child friendly and I like to think we don’t outstay our welcome. However, one night, it was too busy for us to easily blend into a corner! I’m not sure who was more upset, us or our 3 year old daughter, but let’s face it, standing at the bar with a buggy isn’t cool.

To calm the situation, we headed home, but it was OK, we had drinks and MONSTER MUNCH at home! From this event on, our pub tradition has been replaced (not every week mind) by ‘The All Saints Arms’,¬†an imaginary pub named after the area we live in but in the comfort of our own kitchen.

Tonight’s All Saints Arms looked a little something like this…. Continue reading “Perfect Friday Wine-d Down”

My quest to find the perfect Rosé

Upd 26Jun14: Prices and suppliers updated.

Upd 14Aug13: In a desperate attempt to be accepted by my fellow wine bloggers, I’d like to re-submit this post that I wrote back in June for the 80th¬† Wine Blogging Wednesday, the subject being ‘Dry Ros√©’. I’ll admit, this is cheating somewhat but after some grovelling, @winecast has humoured me and allowed this as a super-early (21 days earlier than the challenge was even set) submission. Check out twitter #wbw80 and here for more excellent entries.

Some love it, some hate it. I am in the former camp and LOVE a glass of Ros√©¬†on a sunny afternoon. I like to think that my husband and I were the sole initiators of the ros√©¬†revolution in the UK after being introduced to its merits on a holiday to St Tropez back in 2003. Prior to then, I’d tasted very little and if my memory serves me correctly, anything other than Mateus was rare to be seen on a pink wine list in the UK.

Just like I wouldn’t order just ‘a glass of white wine’ in a pub, I wouldn’t order just any old ros√©. I’ve been caught out in the past by the sweet, heavy, dark, cheap ros√©s that many pubs serve and have been known before now to demand to see the bottle before ordering only to opt for a pint of lager instead. I am always astounded by the looks of astonishment by bar staff across the country – surely ros√© is ros√©? Not at all and I seriously suspect that the ros√© haters amongst you simply haven’t found the right one for you yet! Ros√© for me has to be dry, lightish in colour and acidic with an almost sherberty finish and¬†I neither mind whether it’s strawberries or peaches and cream. Needless to say – it must be COLD. Continue reading “My quest to find the perfect Ros√©”

Cheers to English Wine Week!

A selection of English Sparkling for an upcoming tasting in May.
Hoorah to English Wine Week!

Just a quicky as I have a small person pestering me to set up a treasure hunt. It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, as I believe it is too in the states. It is also World Sherry Day and, more to the point, we’re in the midst of English Wine Week.

I ran an English Wine tasting a couple of week’s ago and the general consensus from a group of happy tasters, was that the English wine was excellent. Since then, I also attended a trade show where I tried even more!

In summary;

we can grow some fabulous Bacchus Рa lighter version of Sauvignon Blanc. The Pheasants Ridge Bacchus Dry from near Henley-on-Thames was a delight and the generous Michael Gilbey gave us (The Wine Team) a bottle to try. (£75 for 6 bottles) I would like to try their Sparkling Brut now.

Expect to see some Chardonnay emerging  Give the Gusbourne Estate Chardonnay (still, not sparkling Рwell, try that too!) a go!

Age it! – We tried a vertical tasting of Stanlake Park‘s Kings Fume (a 2006 and a 2010) (¬£10.99 from the vineyard) blend of¬†Ortega, Regner, Scheurebe and Bacchus. Both tasty with the eldest being a lot creamier and softer – the jury was out as to which was preferred.

¬†the reds are coming along¬†– until this particular tasting, I was yet to taste a decent English red. The 2 Pinot Noirs from¬†Bolney Estate¬†(¬£15.99) and¬†a’Becketts¬†(¬£15) however were light and fruity, with the former hinting at some good Burgundy-esque flavours and body.

don’t rule out ros√© either¬†– the Oaken Grove Benham Blush ¬†(Waitrose, ¬£10.99)¬†was just how I like my ros√© – light, acidic and fruity (think Provencal) [Also featured in My quest to find the perfect ros√©]

….drum roll…and the sparkling……!¬†– Becoming increasingly competitive in price and quality with Champagne and other sparkling wine, it really feels like English Sparkling is carving out its own little niche within the market, and I’m yet to try a nasty one. It’s also switching me towards pink sparkling – The Balfour Brut Ros√© (¬£35.99, Waitrose) is a force to be reckoned with. As for the whites, you could pick up the Sainsbury’s English Sparkling Wine, a 2007 vintage from Denbies ¬†for around ¬£15 in their 25% off deal at the moment – a billion-times better investment than a cheap bottle of NV Champers in my opinion, and worth every penny at full price ¬£19.99. Another that I had the pleasure of tasting this week was the award-winning¬†Bluebell Vineyard Estates Hindleap Blanc de Blancs¬†(¬£23.99). These guys were lovely to meet and all 3 of their sparklings were yummy.

Not my most scientific post this one, but wanted to share while the sun still shines and the long weekend is still in full swing. Please do share any you’ve tried and where you bought it. Happy Bank Holiday and Happy English Wine Week!

Flash Recommendation: Kleine Zalze Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa

H&FZalzeWhat:  Kleine Zalze Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa 14.5%
Where Out: Hand and Flowers, Maidenhead, Berkshire £4.85 175ml glass/  £19 a bottle
Where In: Templar Wines, online, £7.99 (as part of a case of 12)
Occasion: Long overdue, Yummy Mummy mid-week catch up over pizza and wine
Food match: This fruity, medium bodied Pinotage stands up well to the SCRUMMY Taco Beef Pizza.
Conclusion: A warm and well rounded wine with good oak and pleasing chewy blackcurrant. Much better in comparision to anything that used to be on the wine list here before the previous owners took over. Back to being the best pub in town by far.
Bonus point:¬†At last, the grown ups of Maidenhead have somewhere nice to go for a drink and a decent bite to eat in the centre of town! Not to be confused with the magnificent Marlow eatery of Tom Kerridge fame¬†just up the road, but a lovely local all the same, and you’re more likely to get a table.

Flash Recommendation: Fairtrade Organic Chardonnay, Santa Florentina, Argentina

What:  Fairtrade Organic Unwooded Chardonnay, Santa Florentina, Famatina Valley, Argentina 12.5%,
Where Out: Bel and The Dragon, Cookham, Berkshire £5.00 175ml glass/  £21 a bottle
Where In: Corney and Barrow, online, £8.50
Who:¬†A date (A.K.A. my husband – someone I hadn’t spoken to for a number of weeks a) in a civilised setting b) using eye contact due to some kind of multi-tasking activity e.g. wiping tomato sauce from a small person’s face c) without referring to him directly but via one of the same small people as ‘Daddy’).
When:
Last minute flogging of Kaiser Chief’s tickets, in favour of a quiet, local, Friday night out, drinking wine and eating curry (without regret – boring, I know, but soooo much easier).
Food match:¬†Had I been eating and not heading down the road to the Spice Merchant¬†Cookham Tandoori, the mussels would’ve gone down a treat.
Conclusion:¬†A dry and soapy, citrus wine with a perfect acidity softened by the buttery creaminess reminiscent of popcorn flavoured Jelly Belly jelly beans. Bel and The Dragon¬†doesn’t have the¬†cheapest wine list in the vicinity but it’s very comprehensive and I look forward to heading back to trying more. Plus, if this wine was anything to go by, the quality of wine seems to fairly reflect the price (I tested some of their competitors just to be on the safe side).
Bonus point: For an ‘everyday’ drinker to take home or for any of your wine buying needs, pop next door to the lovely¬†Old Butcher’s Wine Cellar ¬†(website currently under development)¬†for a bottle of Paul Mas Chardonnay.

Links: Why Chardonnay is back in fashion, Dynamic Domaines Mas

You win some, you lose some.

In a moment of madness, having been alerted to the sale of some vintage wine in the monthly  Bourne End Auction, in Buckinghamshire, I placed a blind bid on a lot of wine from the 1970’s.

A wine lottery it seemed, but in my excitement at the mystery and owning my very own wine from my decade of birth, I swiftly submitted my bid. In my haste, foolishly, I hadn’t even bothered to look up the Chateau Laniote to see if it was ever any good, let alone when it’s 40 years old nor did I have any idea as to the history of the actual wine or any clue as to what the other 4 bottles were. Not my wisest move ever, but such fun!

lot206

Continue reading “You win some, you lose some.”

Rugby, stout and Spanish wine

A dull January turned into an exciting February with the start of the Six Nations rugby last weekend. As luck would have it, a couple of tickets to the England v Scotland game came our way via a good friend, and the in-laws were kind enough to have the kids, so off we went for a jolly day out to Twickenham to watch England retain the Calcutta Cup.

Continue reading “Rugby, stout and Spanish wine”