Tag Archives: berkshire

Best (non-alcoholic) beverage in Berkshire….

12718138_10153823935430399_8863558578712723717_nI remember sitting in the Two Brewers in Windsor once when I was pregnant with an equally pregnant friend, where we sat and nursed two lime and sodas for an entire evening. Don’t pity the landlord too much for our table hogging, as I’ve spent many a hard-earned £ over the years, pre and post-natal, in my favourite ‘no child zone’, on pints of Guinness, bottles of Champagne ‘because it’s better value than a bottle of white’ and dining (their Petit Chablis and Carignan are both worth a tipple btw). Plus, it was nothing more than enforced abstinence and I shared the soft drink consumption around the county, fair and square.

In fact, I found liquid intake during pregnancy terribly boring since I often joke that unless a drink contains alcohol or caffeine, then it’s not for me – obviously a little limited when ‘with child’. Water is the exception, or course, but it doesn’t go down well at a cafe or bar when you rock up and ask for a glass of tap water to sip whilst taking up space for hours. This concept also transfers to brandishing a laptop and working for an hour on the wifi, after all, there’s no such thing as free wifi.

If you follow my Instagram account, you may notice that my second liquid pleasure in life, after the grape or grain and before wine o’clock, is coffee. Not just any old coffee, but proper coffee. Since too much coffee incidentally sends me a bit loopy, I’m a strict one-cup-a-day kinda girl, so every cup has to be the real deal, or there’s no point. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert (I’d like to know more), but it’s not hard to taste the difference between Instant (a big fat decline), the stuff they serve in Costa or Starbucks (I will accept if need be) or proper, tasty coffee (yes please).

#flatwhite #hotchocolate #latteart #coffee @cooperscoffeebar #marlow #saturdaymorning #propercoffeebar

A post shared by Jo Randell (@perfectfridaywine) on

It has therefore become a decadent habit of mine, as a worker from home, that when I need a change of scenery or when I’m out and about on deliveries or need a spot of inspiration, I’ll seek out the delights of a local cafe with wifi and a decent roast (coffee bean, not Sunday), to work from.

My favourite spot local to Maidenhead for coffee? I’m open to suggestion, but Coopers Trading in Marlow HAS to win top award for coffee, atmosphere and best dog (great wine list too). Stubbings does a decent flat white and the cakes are very tempting, very popular with MIYP (Mums-in-yoga-pants) and today I thoroughly enjoyed a new-one-on-me-for-coffee, nostalgic, straight black coffee in the sunshine outside The Firestation in Windsor. So if you enjoy a spot of latte art as well as a decent glass of wine, pop over to my Instagram account and follow and let me know where else I should try for the best cup of coffee in Berkshire (or Bucks)!

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Filed under Eating/ Drinking Out, Home Counties, Maidenhead, Uncategorized

April 2016 Pop-Up Wine Stall Berkshire

If you’ve ever been to one of my pop-up wine stalls, you will be familiar with just how blue a person’s lips can turn. For some reason, the weather is generally against me and I stand bearing the freezing cold, gales (no snow so far) and rain, purely for the love of wine.

If you’ve never been to one of my pop-up wine stalls and you live local to Maidenhead, love wine or just fancy coming to poke fun at the nutter in the earmuffs selling wine outdoors, please do come and find me. The usual format is me talking a lot about wine, a boot load of wine boxes and several wines open to taste, all under the protective cover of my pop-up stall (or as one kindly customer sneered “Pop-up? It’s a tent!”).

My last outing was at Fernygrove Farm in Hawthorn Hill, between Maidenhead and Bracknell back on a particularly freezing cold April Saturday (yes, Perfect Friday Wine can be drunk on a Saturday, or any day of the week). This was a new wine pop-up location for Perfect Friday Wine with a cafe, florist, farm shop and butcher to boot and I saw many of my lovely, loyal customers up there as well as meeting new ones!  I had a whole raft of wine open to taste and buy and had a great day – where there is other brilliant food, there is the desire for fabulous wine. Here’s a reminder of those on taste, all handpicked with springtime in mind.

Casa Silva Pinot NoirCasa Silva Pinot Noir Reserva
: One of the best value Pinot Noirs I’ve come across, the Casa Silva Reserva from Chile is a delight of cherry fruits, delicious and a lighter for the spring. I hadn’t tasted this vintage (2014)  since February myself and I was reminded as to just how fantastic a Pinot this is. I enjoyed the leftovers very much once I’d warmed up on the following Tuesday, when it was still drinking superbly.

 

Villa Blanche Grenache

Villa Blanche Grenache Rosè: Springtime sunshine marks rosè time! The delicate and delicious Villa Blanche Grenache is Languedoc in origin, Provençal in style, dry, pretty, peachy and great value. From the genius of Calmel and Joseph, this is just as good as their Villa Blanche Picpoul de Pinet and Syrah and went down a storm (likely because it was kept so blimin’ chilled) – definitely the  WINE OF THE DAY.

 

 

Bluebell Vineyard Blanc de Blancs

Bluebell Vineyard Estates Blanc de Blancs 2011: It’s Bluebell season, so this award winning Sussex fizz seemed fitting to open. Interestingly, this has been in the press twice since, firstly on Olly Smith’s recommendation on The Daily Mail Online and then ‘Food Matcher’ Fiona Beckett stating what ‘good value’ it is on theguardian.com. As I continue my championing of English Wine, it’s good to see it, the sparkling in particular, getting a louder ‘voice’.  This is a class or 5 above the cheap Prosecco that’s enjoyed so heartily in the UK – it’s Champagne method, Champagne grapes and excitingly, from our own fair shores – just don’t call it Champagne (Wine fact: did you know that Taittinger have bought land in Kent to begin planting vines? Even the French are on it).

 

calmeljosephlaruffe

Calmel and Joseph ‘Les Cuvèes Rare’ La Ruffe 2013: New to PFW this spring and lush, this saw its first outing back in March where I chilled myself  (and the wine) to the bone at my Emmett’s Farm Pop-Up in Little Marlow.  I must find a way to keep my reds warm enough so that by 2pm they’re not fridge cold. In the words of wine critic Tamlyn Currin, who rated La Ruffe a very high 17+ out of 20: “50% Carignan, 40% Syrah, 10% Cinsault. They didn’t want to pump the wine, so they had to carry it down with a pick-up truck. No filtration. Dark chocolate, peppermint, green herbs. Lots of black chocolate, lots of power, massive structure. Thick velvet-and-portcullis tannins with opulent fruit firmly behind bars at the moment, but it’s definitely there. Tightly bound. Very imposing. A sleeping dragon. Needs five to 10 years. Drink 2019-2026” Although I think it’s rather nice right now (agreed that it will only get better)! Full article on jancisrobinson.com.

So, there we have it.  April’s Wine Pop-Up summarised. Where can you find me next? After a while away, I’ll be bringing wine back to Maidenhead High Street on Sunday 8th May, joining the new street food market Eat on the High Street alongside a whole gang of other local food producers. Keep posted on my events page or better still, sign up sign up to the Perfect Friday Wine Newsletter to keep up to date with my whereabouts over summer 2016 and beyond.

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Filed under Eating/ Drinking In, English Wine, France, Home Counties, Languedoc-Roussillon, Maidenhead, South America, Uncategorized