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Tag Archives: red wine

  • NORTHERN ITALIAN IDYLL

    Italy seduces at every level. The language, the culture, the cuisine, the landscape, the wines. Running over 700km from tip to toe, its multi-faceted, in just about every respect, captivating in its charm and beauty. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the length and breadth of this beautiful country and witness the wide diversity of traditions, food styles, climate, terrains and wines, and it’s one of my favourite places in the world.

    The wines are as diverse as the regions and the climate, from the cool of the northern Alps, to the searing heat of Sicily. Tuscany has long been a favourite holiday haunt, with its magical Castello’s, cypress trees, rolling hills, picture perfect vineyards, and olive groves. Chianti is world famous.

    But so is Barolo. Unlike France, where most people know the difference between Bordeaux and Burgundy, Italy, with more grape varieties than anywhere else in the world, and a plethora of styles confuses. Names are familiar to many, but locations less so.

    So this month I’m exploring the north west of this intriguing country, and putting a little bit of background to some of the most famous wines from the region. Piedmont, is the land of one of the most prized, evocative, expensive products in the world, white truffles, with their intoxicating scent and flavour, addictive to many; it is also famous for game, mist-covered mornings, spectacular autumns, a region boasting some of the most spectacular cuisine in the country. It’s about as far north west as you can get in Italy, nestled in the foothills (Piedmont means ‘foot of mountain’) of the soaring peaks of the French Alps to the west and north, and bordering the Mediterranean coastline of Liguria, the glittering beautiful Italian Riviera.

    Chianti and Barolo are the most famous Italian wines; the former is produced from the sour cherry and lively plum flavoured Sangiovese grape in Tuscany; the latter from the deep, violet and licorice- scented Nebbiolo, which reigns supreme in Piedmont, the home of Barolo. Nebbiolo is a maverick grape, capable of creating some of the most magnificently dark and brooding wines in the world, but also sulkily turning out thin, harsh, fruitless wines in poor vintages if not treated with skilled hands and craftsmanship. Knowing the right producers is crucial.

    Conterno Fantino Barolo Vigna Del Gris 2011 is well worth the investment for a wine of concentrated, unique depth and beauty. The 2011 vintage was a forward wine, and the wines will keep for years, but this shows a perfumed, beguiling elegance, redolent of violets and rich dark fruits, ending with a spicy finish. Silky, sensuous, with endless depth and complexity. An absolute classic.

    For a lighter style Barolo, try renowned producer Ascheri Barolo 2013, softer, bright, again with an intoxicating perfume, and more gentle, but perfectly formed structure.

    But you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy the red wines of Piemonte.  Barbera is the other main red grape of the region, softer, more feminine than the more muscular Nebbiolo.  For a great value, everyday drinking red try Amonte Barbera 2015 – bright, and breezy, with lively plum and cherry fruit, it’s a great midweek pasta wine, or great with a late summer weekend platter of prosciutto.

    For a bright, softer, juicier style, Dolcetto is Piemonte’s other red grape variety, cheeky, lively, more modest, and perfect for those who prefer softer, unoaked styles. Conterno Fantino Dolcetto d’Alba Bricco Bastia 2016, is just the ticket, shimmers with bright ruby colour, and seduces with its ripe, juicy, opulent plum and raspberry character, and pure fruit character. Perfect with herb-dusted chicken, and slow roasted pork belly.

    White wines are often overshadowed in this region of red wine kings, with their heady character, but don’t ignore the delightfully elegant, creamy and smooth whites from the region. Ascheri Gavi di Gavi 2016, is squeaky clean, and taut as a finely-tuned violin string.  Oozing style and elegant restraint, it’s a super-cool, nervy dry white from the Cortese grape, produced by Matteo Ascheri, a vinous master craftsman. Creamy, refreshing, and packed with bright lime, grapefruit, pithy lemon and green apple character, it shimmers with zestiness and tang. Polished. Sophisticated. Try this one with all manner of seafood, lemon-infused seabass, and creamy prawn linguine.

    At the other end of the scale, from the Alba area comes the frivolously sweet Asti Spumante, derided over the years, but a much underrated, deliciously frothy, lively fizz. Equally good, Is Moscato d”Asti, in this Case Fontanafredda Moscato D’Asti Moncucco 2016, with its light, fragrant, honeysuckle-infused style – and with only 5.5% alcohol, a great lunchtime or afternoon alfresco drink.

    If you’ve played safe with Italian wines so far, know Barolo and Chianti, but haven’t experimented further, it’s well worth the journey to discover the lesser-known gems.

    By Angela Mount

  • Crumbs!

    Chilli Con Vegan, Saffron Rice, Avocado & Lime Salad

    Ingredients
    2 medium onions, finely diced
    4 garlic cloves, grated
    1 medium leek, finely sliced
    3 red chillis, finely sliced
    5 tbsp premium rapeseed oil
    3 heaped tbsp coriander seeds
    3 heaped tbsp cumin seeds
    3 tbsp smoked paprika
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    3 tbsp dried oregano
    6 lime leaves, chopped
    1 whole nutmeg, for grating
    3 tbsp tomato purée
    250g dried green lentils
    2 x 400g tins red kidney beans
    2 x 400g tins black beans
    3 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
    bunch coriander, stalks and leaves seperated and chopped
    1.2 ltrs vegetable stock
    1kg easy cook rice
    good pinch of saffron
    5 limes (zest of all, juice of 3)
    1kg cherry tomatoes, halved
    4 avocados, peeled stoned and sliced
    mixed salad leaves
    sour cream, to serve

    Method
    1. For the chilli, place the onion, garlic, leek and chilli into your largest, heavy-based pan over a medium heat with 3 tbsp rapeseed oil. Fry for about 5 mins, or until softened.
    2. Meanwhile, toast the coriander and cumin seeds together on a medium heat, then grind in a pestle and mortar.
    3. Add the spices, dried herbs and a good grating of nutmeg to the large pan and fry for 2 more mins - if it's a little dry at this point, add a splash of water to help it out. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further 2 mins.
    4. Stir in the lentils. Drain, rinse and stir in the beans, followed by the tomatoes, chopped coriander stalks and the stock.
    5. Bring it all to the boil slowly, then reduce to a low heat and let it bubble away for atleast 1 hour, or until thickened and reduced, stirring every 15-20 mins. Season to taste.
    6. For the saffron rice, put the rice in a pan with twice the amount of cold water, add a few strands of saffron and season well. Bring to the boil gently, and simmer until the water is nearly gone and the rice is light and fluffy, with a little bite.
    7. When ready to serve, combine the lime zest and juice with the tomatoes, avocado, coriander leaves, and mixed salad leaves.
    8. Serve the chilli with the rice, and top with the salad and sour cream.

     

    A Grape Match...

    Trapiche Melodias Malbec 2016

    There's a whole stack of spicy flavours going on in this dish, so a soft, spicy red is the way to go. This is a fresher, lighter style of Malbec, full of bright, cherry and plum fruit, with hints of cocoa and vanilla; it's lively enough to cope with the heady combination of chilli, smoked paprika and cinnamon in the mix.

  • The Team's Tasting Selection

    It's that time of the week again when the team at Great Western Wine make a selection of delectable fine wines from around the world for you to taste for FREE. Come on by the Bath shop to sample the below beauties...

     

    Howard Park Leston Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

     

    Chalmers Nero d'Avola 2013

     

     

     

     

     

    Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir Mornington Peninsula 2016

     

    Skillogalee Basket Pressed Shiraz 2013

     

     

     

    The Bonsai Vine GSM, d'Arenberg 2013

     

     

    Stargazer Riesling 2015

     

     

     

    Chalmers Fiano 2013

  • The Team's Tasting Selections

    Lyme Bay Shoreline Bacchus 2016

    “My final white is much closer to home – just down the road in Dorset; English sparkling wine now stands up to Champagne in international competitions, but still wines are less well-known. I recently discovered the appropriately-named Lyme Bay Shoreline – light and pretty with a citrus tang and floral notes. Perfect for a day by the sea, or a holiday BBQ, and a mean match with take away fish and chips, watching the sun set over the water.” Angela Mount, Bath Life

    Rosé Pinot Noir, Long Meadow Ranch 2015


     

    Yealands Estate Gewurztraminer, Awatere Valley 2016

     

    2012 Thomas Goss Chardonnay

     

     

     

    Skillogalee Basket Pressed Shiraz 2013, Clare Valley

    “This is made by the Palmer family, which never puts a foot wrong with its wines. A regular in my 100 Best Australian Wines Report, it’s a powerful chocolate and plum-soaked wine with enormous charm.” Matthew Jukes - The Daily Mail Weekend Magazine 100 Best Value Summer Reds, 2017

     

    2012 Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir

     

    2012 Winemakers Collection Cabernet Merlot, Crossroads

     

     

    2012 Saints Hills Sv. Roko, Croatia

  • The Team's Tasting Selections

    It's that time of the week again when the team at Great Western Wine make a selection of delectable fine wines from around the world for you to taste for FREE. Come on by the Bath shop to sample the below beauties...

    Whites/Rose

    Eurizione Bianco, 1614 Carricante

    Producer: Planeta

    (SWA Gold, Decanter Silver)

     

    Peregrine Pinot Gris 2015

    Producer: Peregrine Wines

    (SWA Silver)

    .

    Fiano di Avellino 'Bechar' 2016

    Producer: Caggiano

    (Decanter Silver)

    .

    Grande Réserve, Organic Rosé, Cru Classé 2016

    Producer: Chateau Sainte Marguerite

    (Decanter Silver)

    .

    Reds

    Quinta do Crasto, Douro Reserva, Old Vines 2014

    Producer: Quinta do Crasto

    (IWC Gold)

     

     

    Planeta Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese 2014

    Producer: Planeta

    (SWA Gold, Decanter Bronze)

     

    .
    Umani Ronchi Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2015

    Producer: Umani Ronchi

    (SWA Gold)

     

     

    Humberto Canale Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2013

    Producer: Humberto Canale

    (IWC Silver)

  • The Team's Tasting Selections

    Come on by the Great Western Wine shop in Bath to taste our latest selection of Trimbach wine samples and more, in-store for free... Happy tasting!


    Trimbach, Pinot Blanc 2015

    Producer: Trimbach, France

     

    Trimbach, Riesling 2014

    Producer: Trimbach, France

     

    Trimbach, Gewürztraminer 2014

    Producer: Trimbach, France

     

    Trimbach, Gewürztraminer Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre 2011

    Producer: Trimbach, France

     

    Trimbach, Pinot Noir Réserve Cuve 7 2012

    Producer: Trimbach, France

     

     

    Ramón Bilbao, Lalomba, Rosado, Rioja 2016

    Producer: Ramón Bilbao, Spain

     

    Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir Mornington Peninsula 2016

    Producer: Kooyong, Australia

     

     

  • The Team's Tasting Selections

    It's that time of the week again when the team at Great Western Wine make a selection of delectable fine wines from around the world for you to taste for free.

    Come on by the Bath shop to sample these beauties from our New Zealand promotion >


    Yealands Estate, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    Region: Marlborough

    was £15.95 | now £14.50

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Carrick Chardonnay Central Otago 2015

    Region: Central Otago

    was £16.95 | now £14.95

    Sample price: FREE

    Yealands Estate, Winemaker's Reserve 'Gibbston Valley' Pinot Noir 2014

    Region: Central Otago

    was £18.50 | now £16.00

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Man O' War Gravestone Sauvignon Semillon 2013

    Region: Waiheke Island

    was £19.50 | now £17.50

    Sample price: FREE

    Peregrine Wines, Pinot Gris 2015

    Region: Central Otago

    was £19.50 | now £17.50

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Winemakers Collection Syrah, Crossroads Winery 2014

    Region: Hawke's Bay

    was £19.95 | now £17.95

    Sample price: FREE

    Carrick, Estate Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2013

    Region: Central Otago

    was £27.50 | now £24.50

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Man O' War Dreadnought Syrah 2013

    Region: Waiheke Island

    was £31.50 | now £27.50

    Sample price: FREE

  • Stylus Vinyl

    April: What's in the box...

    Our friends at Stylus Vinyl, who send out monthly subscription boxes of classic albums on vinyl paired with a great bottle of wine chosen by us, have nailed it once again.

    April sees Stylus’ first live album and champions everything that is great about the rawness of live music. Johnny Cash’s Live at Folsom Prison is the perfect example of that rawness. Cash brought the joy of music to the downtrodden, the unwanted of society and turned it into a number one hit.

    To pair with Cash’s slow and deeply melodic voice we have the Trapiche Estacion Bonarda | £11.95. Crushed blueberries and violets take the lead whilst soft vanilla spice, bitter chocolate and sweet liquorice dance in the background. There is depth, complexity and structure to this wine, with soft, supporting tannins, which provide a bold yet velvety structure.

    Both wine and voice have a crooning quality to them, an effortless rhythm that lingers with you long after they are finished. There is a seductive, calming tone to both music and wine, despite the key messages in both.

  • The Team's Tasting Selections

    The latest flight of 8 wines has been launched today – and what's more its now completetly FREE! Come on by the Great Western Wine shop in Bath to sample our American Aces - all available to purchase in our Up to 25% off wines of USA promo >

    Col Solare, Col Solare 2012

    Producer: Chateau Ste Michelle, USA

    was £60.00 | now £50.00

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Producer: Chateau Ste Michelle, USA

    was £19.50 | now £17.50

    Sample price: FREE

    Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

    Producer: Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, USA

    was £42.50 | now £37.50

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Omero Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2012

    Producer: Omero, USA

    was £34.50 | now £29.95

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Canoe Ridge Chardonnay 2014

    Producer: Chateau Ste Michelle, USA

    was £22.00 | now £19.50

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Karia Chardonnay 2015

    Producer: Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, USA

    was £32.50 | now £27.00

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Eroica Riesling 2014

    Producer: Chateau Ste Michelle, USA

    was £23.50 | now £19.95

    Sample price: FREE

     

    Man O' War Ironclad 2010

    Producer: Man O' War, NZ

    was £29.50 | now £24.50

    Sample price: FREE

  • The Team's Tasting Selections

    The latest flight of 8 wines has been launched today – and what's more its now completetly FREE! Come on by the Great Western Wine shop in Bath to sample these beauties from Southern Italy and Islands.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ken Forrester                       Planeta                                   Planeta Eruzione
    Dirty Little Secret                 Cometa 2015                           1614 Carricante
    £59.50                                   was £25.00 | now £20.50            was £19.95 | now £18.50

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Planeta Eruzione 1614          Planeta                                 Taurasi Vigna
    Nerello Mascalese                Burdese                                Macchia dei Goti
    was £21.50 | now £19.00         was £23.50 | now £21.00          was £32.00 | now £28.00

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Santadi,                                 Papale Oro
    Terre Brune 2012                   Varvaglione 2013
    was £38.00 | now £35.00          was £19.95 | now £18.50

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