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Great Western Wine Blog

  • Wines In The Press | Morgenster

    View our selecteion of Morgenster wines here 

    Press | Morgenster

  • Alan's Wine Of The Week | Ser Lapo Chianti

    Castello di Fonterutoli, Ser Lapo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2011

    Just about jumps out of the glass at you, with scented aromas of morello cherry, coffee bean and sweet spice. The palate is very supple, with bags of black berry fruits, fine yet noticable tannins that give a silky texture, and a lovely freshness. This is just getting going and it will drink well over the next 4-5 years.

    Enjoy this with roast lamb, full flavoured pasta dishes, or maybe just in a big glass!

    £17.75  £15.95

  • Canapés & Fizz

    Top pick for bubbly | Taittinger Comtes de Champagne was  £130 now £99

    It’s always about this time of year that I start planning ahead for the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year.  Calendars get booked up quickly, work dos begin to fill up the weekends and before you know it you’re nursing a fuzzy head with the faint ringing of Auld Lang Syne in your ears.   My favourite thing to do in this build up to the festive season is put a big dinner on at the weekend, with everyone squeezing round the table preparing for a Christmassy feast, but this year I wanted to do something a little different, so I started looking at a canapé and fizz alternative.

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  • Alan's Wine Of The Week | Silky Smooth Saint Emilion

    Silky smooth, yet textured; swirl the glass and you’ll get the classic aromas of black fruits, and hints of cedar wood. It’s full of elegant, enticing flavours of ripe plums, bruised blackberries , with a hint of herbs. No harsh tannins, just smoothness. If you want a classic red for Christmas, I’d buy this now. Otherwise, just buy it to enjoy with the traditional Sunday roast – it’s a real winner. (Angela Mount, Bath Magazine)

    Château Bertinat Lartigue, Saint Emilion  £15.75 £13.86 + 10% off 12+ bottles

  • Tried & Tested | Cooking For the Masses

    Sausage, Sweet Potato & Bean Casserole

    It doesn’t take long for Christmas to get a little crazy, so it’s always good to squeeze in a bit of downtime where you can, and the winter weather (which we are more than a little bit into now) creates the best reason to huddle together in a big group and enjoy some hearty food and wine that’ll warm you up from the inside out.  This week was my chance to cook up a classic casserole and bring back that homely feeling of wrapping your hands around a bowl of steaming food.

    Wine recommendation: La Chapelle d'Escurac Medoc 2011 £14.50 £12.54

    Sausage Casserole

    The best thing about meals like this is that they are ideal if you’re cooking for large numbers, and if not, you’ve got dinner for the week sorted.  My sausage and bean casserole recipe is about enough for 8 portions (I wanted enough for the group AND some leftovers for the week too) but it’s a rough guide so you can multiply or divide ingredients depending on numbers.

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  • Bordeaux Tasting Dinner | Allium Brasserie

    Another sell out Great Western Wine tasting dinner was held at the Allium Brasserie last week, and a very enjoyable one at that.  Head chef Chris Staines created a bespoke menu to compliment a range of six wines from Bordeaux, and as a newcomer to tasting dinners myself, I found this was a great way to gain a little more of an understanding about Bordeaux and it's varying wine producing regions.

    Bodeaux Dinner

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  • Alan's Wine Of The Week | Cave des St Desirat Syrah, Ardeche, France

    Cave des St Desirat Syrah, Ardeche, France

    “A bit of a bargain this, if you like Syrah in the northern Rhône's Crozes-Hermitage style as much as we do. It's medium bodied with clean-lined red fruit and the cracked pepper, liquorice and bay leaf character of Syrah from the Rhône's granitic soils. Not complex, but pure and expressive.” The Wine Gang

    £8.25  £7.26

    +10% off 12 btl’s

  • Tried & Tested | Maple Mustard Pulled Pork

    Wine of the night | Bogle Petite Sirah California 2012

    This recipe is definitely one to try for bonfire night, but needs preparing the day before, so planning ahead is necessary.  A great meal for a fun family dinner too, or a low key evening with a group of friends in the middle of winter with a nice glass of red to make you feel a little festive.  So, get your sparklers ready, gloves and hats on, and while this pulled pork feast is cooking away in the oven you can go and enjoy the fireworks!

    When I gave this recipe a go on Sunday, I tried a Petite Sirah from the Bogle Winery in California.  The richness of the wine complimented the pork dish, and with the subtle black pepper and herb flavours, it blended perfectly with the seasoning of the meat, adding a touch of spice that seemed to fit quite nicely with bonfire night.

    You can give the recipe a go too - remember to coat and season the meat tonight if you want it ready in time to treat yourself tomorrow evening.

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  • In The Press | Jamie Oliver's Drinks Tube

    "The X Factor Essential" | The Money Spider, D’Arenberg, 2012

    The grape geeks among you may be surprised at the suggestion of an autumnal white from the roussanne grape, but stick with me; in a glass of this roussanne you will find everything you’d want, and more.

    Roussanne is a grape normally harnessed to marsanne and viognier in the Rhone Valley. However, this fantastic South Australia producer has taken an incredibly unappreciated grape and allowed it to be the star all on its own. With its perfumed scent of fresh pear, apricot and honeysuckle, it soothes your weary limbs like entertainment television does on a Saturday night. On the palate, concentrated summer fruits combine with a dollop of Greek yoghurt freshness, all underlined with a moreish, nutty backbone.

    Aromatic, intense and weighty, yet elegant – everything you could desire! Picture Mel B’s assertion, Cheryl Cole’s seductive beauty, Simon Cowell’s gravitas and Louis Walsh’s…. well Louis Walsh’s light freshness. No food needed, just a sofa, a fire and some trashy TV.

    Review by Amelia Singer - Wine enthusiast & consultant

  • Ascheri | Tasting Dinner

    Whether you’re new to the wine world, an enthusiast, or an expert in the field, it will always be an interesting and enjoyable experience to meet a producer and discover the story behind the wines you love to drink.

    This week, Matteo Ascheri flew over from North West Italy to host a tasting dinner at the Olive Tree in Bath with Great Western Wine. An impressive menu was created around Ascheri’s choice of 5 of his wines.

    After first tasting his Gavi di Gavi, a floral, delicate white wine – “crisp and fresh” in Ascheri’s words, he then talked about his home town of Piemonte and its reputation for food and wine production. He discussed his family run business with passion over a starter of Loch Duart Salmon tartare and a taste of Viognier. A very different white wine to the first, initially an ‘experimental wine’ designed to be drunk at room temperature and be treated like a red. On Ascheri’s recommendation, a little of the Viognier was kept back to taste with dessert of Roquefort, pear and candied walnuts which was a recommendation much appreciated, and my favourite combination of the evening.

    “Another comparison I like to use with my wine is with music, I like to say that I like to produce wine in an unplugged acoustic version”Ascheri on producing wine

    Over the main course of Partridge with leek and mushrooms, a Nebbiolo d’Alba was served, with Ascheri describing it as a fruit driven, floral, and sweet & spicy wine. Interestingly he said that this was a wine for a more ‘experienced’ drinker. The second red served was a Barolo Pisapola; a more ‘velvety’ style of wine. With dessert, a second Barolo was served – Barolo Sorano, with a mushroom, truffle character. Ascheri mentioned the clear difference between the two Barolos, particularly tasting one after the other.

    Finishing dinner with coffee and petit fours, Ascheri happily continued to discuss the flavours of his wines in detail, with an explanation and story behind each different taste. His attitude towards the way he produces wine, and the area that he produces makes Ascheri such a likeable character made the evening all the more enjoyable.

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