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Wine in Little Marlow at Emmett’s Farm, Buckinghamshire

Wine at Emmett's FarmEmmett’s Farm, where’s that? It’s a common question I’m asked when I mention my pop-up pitch outside a local Farm Shop. When I point out its location, between Marlow and Bourne End, not far from the A404, in rural Buckinghamshire’s Little Marlow, folk’s recognition is almost immediate.

But, there’s not just a Farm Shop, it’s a proper little destination. Many are familiar with Home Barn, a haven for all things vintage, reclaimed or antique. Then, better known by the ‘shooting set’, is the very manly Emmett and Stone Country Sports Store, or ‘the gun shop’ as I know it, which sits over in the corner, attracting folk driving the most eye catching cars from the filthiest Land Rover to the shiniest sports cars.

Putting Annie Sloan and tweed aside, we get to the foodie interest at Emmett’s Farm. First up, there’s the aforementioned Farm Shop selling local and seasonal vegetables grown right there on the farm. Think pumpkins, squashes and gourds in Autumn (great for cooking as well as Hallowe’en), sweetcorn in August, asparagus in May [calendar]. Then there’s all the other bits and bobs from small local producers; think baked goods, fresh bread and cakes, local honey, preserves, biscuits, cereals,  meat, cheese and pies.

Then, right next door sits Marlow’s longstanding Phil Bowditch Butchers and Fish Mongers. These guys not only serve up amazing quality meat, fish and seafood with a smile, they have their own smoker out the back, so this is the place to go for the best smoked salmon, bacon and sausages that I know of ’round these parts’.

Maidenhead Wine PopUp

All that seems to be missing, is wine! And that’s where I have been filling the gap now and again since May 2014, with the Perfect Friday Wine Pop-up Wine Stall and Wine Tasting. Amazingly, it has actually been sunny and warm for my last few pop-ups, the latest on 16th July, when I introduced the new-in, organic, robust, Spanish red, Quinta Milu Roble from Ribera del Duero. [Read more about Milu and Ribera del Duero].

Between Bowditch, the Farm Shop and I, we really do have all you’d need for a sunny BBQ/ cosy winter weekend at home, not only serving great quality provision with good old fashioned personal service, but leaving you with that feel good factor of shopping local and supporting small businesses. If you are remotely interested in good food and caring about where your food comes from, this really is a great place to find exceptional local and quality produce (an wine) in one place.

I’ll be back at Emmett’s Farm with wine on Saturday 24th September (plus the run up to Christmas 2016, TBA), where I’m looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces and getting to meet many more local wine drinkers. I always have wines open to taste, there’s no minimum order, I take credit/ debit cards and I’ll even carry your wine to your car boot. If I don’t have the right wine there on the stall, I’ll deliver it later in the week or let me know ahead of time and I’ll have your wine there ready and waiting. I have everything covered, except guarantee of the weather!

So bring the dog, don those Dubarry’s and I’ll see you at Emmett’s on September 24th! If it helps, please do sign up to my newsletter and I’ll remind you nearer the time.

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Filed under Eating/ Drinking In, Home Counties, Local produce, Maidenhead, Wine and Food Pairing

Top Wine Finds 2015

As the second trading year of Perfect Friday Wine draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on those top Perfect Friday Wine finds of 2015.

This year, to mention a few, plenty of new wines have made ‘the list’. From new countries, specifically, Portugal, Spain and Argentina, wines we thought should be red but also come in white, new regions, wine producers and grape varieties that we may not have heard of before.

ORDER A TOP WINE FINDS 2015 CASE HERE!

Click photo to ORDER your TOP WINE FINDS 2015 CASE!

As well as the newcomers to ‘the list’, there are also a few that haven’t yet made it to the PFW portfolio, but never forget that I’m always on the look out of ways to bring you great wine and that I don’t just list any old plonk. Every now and then, a wine will jump off the tasting bench at me. Sometimes, I am able to get that wine then and there, other times, it takes a little more work, and a little bit more time. What is sure though is that PFW has only just scratched the surface. There are many more countries, grape varieties and wine producers out there waiting for us to discover and enjoy – wine can never get boring from where I’m sat.

So as I wish you all a very Happy New Year, here’s a little selection of those TOP WINE FINDS of 2015 that DID make it to ‘the list’ (order your case here)… as for those that didn’t (yet), watch this space and may 2016 be full of many more fabulous wines!

THE WHITES

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1) Clip Loureiro Vinho Verde 2014 £10.50
Added to ‘the list’ as a reaction to ‘Picpoul de Pinet-gate’, when, shock horror, the Villa Blanche Picpoul vintage ran out. Instead of replacing with a sub-standard Picpoul, I thought I’d give you something a bit different, like this Loureiro* from Minho in Portugal. A true star addition , which is deliciously light and minerally with an intriguingly refreshing spritz. Great with shellfish and here to stay.

2) Las Orcas, Decenio Rioja Blanco 2014 £10.75
I’ve always avoided still wines made from Macabeo* (one of the Cava grapes), but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It turns out that Macabeo is otherwise known as Viura*, which is often the variety found in white Rioja. This quickly became my best selling white of the summer due to the crunch of crisp green apple and zesty grip. It also comes from one of my favourite spots in the heart of Spain‘s Rioja, from 80 year old vineyards surrounding the tiny rocky outcrop of the village La Guardia. Yummy with pork and tapas.

3)Porvenir Laborum Torrontes 2012 £16
Ooh, this was a ‘will they or won’t they like it’ wine for me. I’ve been on the hunt for a decent Torrontes* for a while and wanted to show you a really excellent version, not one of the cheaper, more dilute versions, but a top drawer number – and I did it! Introduced at the October Tasting, it was a resounding success, loved by red wine drinking chaps and white wine loving lasses across the board! From the ‘best’ area in Argentina for Torrontes, the Cafayate Valley in Salta Province, the colour is almost green, the body is extrordinary and the concentrated floral, pineapple & spice flavours are balanced perfectly, resulting in a big bang effect in the mouth, perfect with scallops and creamy chicken dishes.

THE REDS

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1) Rafael Cambra El Bonne Homme 2013 £10.50
Subject to a bit of an argument at the March Norden Farm Spanish and Portugal Tasting  as to which was best; was it the Bonne Homme from Valencia or the Carchelo from Jumilla – both similar Monastrell/ Cab Sauv* blends from neighbouring regions in the South East of Spain. The big and in your face Valencian seems to have taken the edge (although I think there’s room for both, the Carchelo being that little more refined).  Deep cocoa, smoke, leather, buckets of blackberry, cherry and tannin, great with paella and v good value.

2) Alvaro Castro Dao Tinto 2011 £13.25
One of those mid-taste moments where I look up from my tasting notes into the eyes of the wine maker, spit and exclaim an exagerrated “O-M-G”!! My naive expectation of this one was a big, blockbusting red in the Douro style – nope, not a hint. This is a refined, elegant, cool and collected red – much like the very talented and lady wine maker Maria Castro.  Made from native Portuguese grapes Touriga-Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Alfrocheiro*, this wine is medium bodied, different and fabulous – fresh with savoury fruits and soft tannins – one for you Pinot Noir fans.

3) Emilio Valerio Laderas de Montejurra 2012 £12.50 
Ooh, splendid. This Garnacha, Merlot, Cab Sauv* blend from Rioja’s neighbour Navarra in Spain (think Pamplona country), earned me the testamonial “Thanks for offering us some really interesting wines, that nobody in the world of supermarkets or wine merchants appear to want to do….Well done you!” . One of Mr PFW’s favourites and jolly nice with lots of fruity blackberries and blackcurrant and eucalyptus. A great example of what they’re doing next door to those more famous regions. Great value, organically made, well balanced and fabulous with game.

…and without further ado, I sign out for 2015 – thank you for your continued support this year. Watch this space for new exciting wines in 2016!

Fancy trying a mixed case of the Top Wine Finds 2015 for yourself? All of the wines mentioned above will be available from 6th January, giving the wine trade a chance to awaken. Order your Top Wine Finds 2015 case here.

*Grape Variety

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Filed under Grape Varieties, Maidenhead, Portugal, South America, Spain