Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • Spirit of the week

  • The Team's Tasting Selections

    This week's latest update of 'The Team's Tasting Selections' from the Great Western Wine shop in Bath. Why not pop in and try some of our delicious wines whilst you take a look around at the selection available:

    Happy tasting!

    Umani Ronchi Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2015

    Producer: Umani Ronchi, Italy

    Bottle price 75cl: £13.95

    Sample price: £1.00

    Trispol, Mesquida Mora 2013

    Producer: Mesquida Mora, Mallorca

    Bottle price 75cl: £20.68

    Sample price: £1.00

    Petite Sirah California 2014

    Producer: Bogle, USA

    Bottle price 75cl: £14.50

    Sample price: £1.00

    Kaya Kapadokia 2012

    Producer: Kocabag, Turkey

    Bottle price 75cl: £14.50

    Sample price: £1.00

    Terroir Series Finca Ambrosia 2011

    Producer: Trapiche, Argentina

    Bottle price 75cl: £29.50

    Sample price: £1.00

    Viognier Vignes d’a Cote 2015

    Producer: Yves Cuilleron, France

    Bottle price 75cl: £18.50

    Sample price: £1.00

    Planeta Chardonnay 2015

    Producer: Planeta, Italy

    Bottle price 75cl: £23.50

    Sample price: £1.00

    FMC 2015

    Producer: Ken Forrester, South Africa

    Bottle price 75cl: £25.00

    Sample price: £1.00

  • Stylus Vinyl

    February: 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 come up trumps this month.

    The ground breaking 'What’s Going On' by the inimitable Marvin Gaye held a mirror to the world, reflecting, eloquently, the music and politics of its day. But it wasn’t just a reflection – it was a game changer.

    We’ve paired this timeless album with A Descoberta Red from Casa de Passarella, a wonderfully rich and sensuous red from the Dao region of Northern Portugal. A serious wine to match the hard-hitting messages in the album, but delivered in a soft and easy-going manner to mirror the equally soft vocal wizardry of Marvin Gaye.

    Want to know more about Stylus Vinyl? Click here to discover what they’re all about >

  • Spirit of the week

  • A Grape Match...

    Adas Bhamod | Spinach Soup

    (Serves 5-6)

    4 large garlic cloves
    6 tbsp sunflower oil
    30g fresh coriander, washed
    150g green lentils
    100g white long-grain rice
    1 large potato (about 150g), peeled and diced
    450g-500g baby spinach
    3 lemons, juice only




    1. In a wide and deep frying pan, add the garlic and 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil. Gently fry until the garlic starts to become a light golden colour.
    2. Roughly chop the coriander and add to the pan. Keep turning for 5 minutes until it's wilted. Set the mix aside.
    3. In a sieve, rinse the lentils, and cook in 1 ltr water for 10 minutes, until soft. Rinse the rice with warm water.
    4. When lentils are almost cooked, add the rice, potato and 2 ltrs water, and heat for about 10 minutes, until the potato and rice are cooked.
    5. Add the spinach, coriander mix, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the spinach wilts.
    6. Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan and turn the heat off after a few minutes, adding water, if needed, for consistency.
    7. Serve with bread and olives.


    Ixsir Altitudes White 2015 | £16.95

    Look no further than Lebanon itself for the perfect match. This wine is zesty fresh with a blend of Sauvignon and Semillon, with hints of exotic fruit and spice from a dollop of Viognier and Muscat. It picks up the citrus liveliness of the soup but is rich enough to cope with the chunky lentils and rice.

    - Angela Mount, Crumbs Magazine -

  • Spirit of the week


    This month is all about the profusion of vinous delights that emerge from the vast and varied Iberian peninsula; from sun-baked plains, to wild and wet mountainous terrain, Spain and Portugal’s wine regions offer up a veritable smorgasbord of styles, colours, and price levels. But you won’t find one mention of Rioja, Cava or Port in this column; these familiar names are already well-established;  instead I want to take you on a Hispanic wine tour outside your comfort zone – trust me.

    Nestled amongst the arid fields between Madrid and Valencia, lies Cuenca, best known, to date, for its sheep farming.  Cue a white wine with, appropriately, a sheep on the label; Oveja blanca Dry Muscat 2015 (was £10.75, now £9.46) is the brainchild of a family wine producer who has brought in the expertise of an internationally renowned Master of Wine and roving winemaker, has thrown the rulebook away and is playing around with new styles. This is dry Muscat, and when it says dry, it really is; floral, fragrant, it smells of pink grapefruit and fresh green table grapes, with a hint of delicate acacia honey. For those who love super-dry wines, don’t be put off by the Muscat name – this is bone dry, with ripe peach fruit and a searingly crisp finish.  I tried this with a Lebanese sweetly-spiced fish dish, and a platter of Middle-eastern mezze with tahini dip – spot on, and fabulous value.

    Skipping over the border to Portugal, let’s head first to the northern region of the Minho.  Now, the words ‘Vinho Verde’ may cause shudders in some readers who remember the old guard of Mateus Rose and insipid sweet Portuguese whites. Track forward three decades, and true, authentic Vinho Verde is making a welcome comeback. Crisp, bone dry, with an edge of spritz, these wines are at their best drunk very young, very fresh, and with the added bonus of being far lighter in alcohol than most dry whites. Quinta da Lixa, Vinho Verde 2015 (was £8.95, now £7.88) sits at a refreshing 10.5% alcohol, and is as fresh as a daisy, with lipsmacking lemon and lime crispness and the crunch of granny smith apples.

    Staying in Portugal, but moving south, the Dao, one of the country’s oldest, most traditional, but now frequently-overlooked regions, lies south of Oporto and the  more famous Douro Valley.  Until recently the red wines had a reputation for being tough and chewy, but now styles are softening, as exemplified by International Wine Challenge Silver medal winner A Descoberta 2013, Casa da Passarella (was £10.50, now £9.24). This gorgeously rich, voluptuous red is enveloping in its irresistible warmth and charm.  Dark, rich and brooding, flavours of ripe blackberries, sweet mulled wine spices, black cherries and dark chocolate, trip across the tongue. I can’t think of anything better with slow-cooked roast lamb and rich game dishes at this time of year.  Portuguese red wines are still often undervalued and underrated – let this one seduce you.

    No wine piece about Spain is complete without including Sherry, one of the most misunderstood and underrated drinks around. Sherry is having a well-deserved revival, especially in tapas bars, after years of being relegated to the drinks cupboards of great aunts and grannies. From Jerez, in the deep south, the land of Flamenco and heat, and close to Seville, this golden wine is totally unique.  There are several styles – Fino and Manzanilla are searingly dry, and simply the best aperitifs on earth, to be drunk icy cold – ideally with a bowl of olives, salted almonds or a  prawn or two.  Best bought in half bottles, to keep it at its freshest,salty, tangy, characterful and unique La Guita Manzanilla NV(was £5.75, now £5.06) is mouth-wateringly crisp – once smitten, never forgotten.

    Luscious, treacly-sweet La Luna PX (was £8.95, now £7.88 for 37.5cl)  is just one other fabulous Sherry, as intensely sweet as the Manzanilla is dry.  If you fancy a spot of wine and chocolate matching, come and try this, amongst other wines of all styles, at an early evening tasting, at the Igloo, Abbey Hotel, where Spencer Hyman, founder of artisan chocolate company Cocoa Runners, and I will be proving the point that these two favourite treats can work extremely well together.  For anyone who loves both wine and chocolate, don’t miss this - Click here to book tickets online


    All Spanish and Portuguese wines will have at least 12% off the normal price throughout February, with 20% off case purchases.

    By Angela Mount - Bath Magazine, February 2016

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