Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Curiosity killed the cat but....

When I discover a wine or a grape that is new to me, I always turn into an amazed baby with a new toy. I  want to sniff it, taste it and know more about it...
I may have already said this, but one of the things I find more exciting about wine, is its diversity and the connection with the place it is coming from and this is why I am so much into indigenous varieties and traditional wines.

You can consequently imagine my joy in finding, on the wine list of a little French bistro,a totally unknown (to me) Apremont from Savoie. I couldn't help myself from ordering that bottle.

So, here I am then with my mixed plate of charcuterie, a raclette (a kind of cheese fondue from Switzerland) and my pichet (that's how the Frenchies call the wine by the carafe) of Apremont.

Surprisingly thirst-quenching with a fresh minerality and a generous bouquet of fresh fruit and white flowers. Not much complexity or depth to expect but lively and dry. A wine to be served well chilled and perfect to enjoy on a sunny terrace.

 A bit of research on the web fed my wine geek curiosity. The main grape is called jacquère;
it is indigenous and grown exclusively in the region.
The distinctive terroir of limestone and marl and the continental climate reflects in a wine that has a mineral character and a beautiful aromatic freshness.

This is a wine that can often show some petillance and should be drunk young. possibly with some local food.

Unfortunately this is the kind of wine that doesn't make it over the borders of France so it isn't anything you could find on any UK supermarket.

Don't forget: curiosity may have killed the cat but it can also bring in your glass some little unusual gems.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

A wine a day

For an event lady like me, life is often  long days at work, always on the run and under pressure.
And in these hectic situations, my `spoonful of sugar` is, of course, wine!

Luckily enough I am working in the wine business and I normally have a quite good range of choices on my busiest days. This is why a 4 days roadshow is the perfect excuse to find a favourite per day, because, as an old Italian motto says, 'a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away' (....or was it apples?! )

First day of the tour was in Bristol, the lovely ancient port of England where the goods from West Indies used to arrive. This spicy town inspired me to a kiwi wine, the Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravel Syrah, characterised by intense ripeness of red fruit, savoury spices and a touch of earthiness. In the mouth the wine is round and big but extremely harmonious with its velvety tannins and a long finish. So good I forgot to take a snapshot of the bottle!

Second stop of the roadshow was possibly in the most elegant and beautiful city of all UK: Edinburgh. Such a classy and historic city deserves a 'royal' wine: Barolo, a wine for kings, a king of wines. I have chosen to taste the Poderi Aldo Conterno vintage 2009 because it had been a while since I had the chance to taste a wine from this iconic winery. Nebbiolo as its best, showing aromas of roses, leather and red fruit. Tannins are as powerful as you would expect from a relatively young Barolo, but ripe and velvety. It is muscular yet charming ad elegant. A wine that deserves time for its own; a meditation wine.

On the third day we moved overseas in Ireland. The land of Guinness diverted my wine raid into beer. Not a dark one, but gold and honey. The colourof the Hiver beer is spectacularly gold and the nose is intensely honeyed. In the mouth the beer has a certain sweetness that is balanced by a nice freshness and some final citrusy notes.

Last day in Manchester; a day of celebrations for the end of this long and tiring roadshow. What's better than bubbles then? English bubbles! The Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee is just as delicious as I was expecting it, with fine perlage, flavours of citrusy fresh fruit, grapefruit but also apples and pears.
The acidity is vibrant and the wine finishes with a refined aftertaste.