So I’ve finally succumbed and signed up for Beer52’s monthly beer delivery service. For just £24 a month you get eight craft beers delivered to your door. That means you can then consume, at your leisure, some of the newest and most unique craft beers being produced around the world.
If any of you have read the disclaimer on my Drink page, you’ll know that I don’t claim to know anything about wine. That being said, we drink a fair bit of the stuff and I’m always eager for wine recommendations that I can easily find (i.e. wines carried in the major supermarkets as we don’t have a Majestic or Oddbins anywhere nearby – and don’t even talk to me about BevMo, the nearest one is approximately 5,000 miles door to door). This doesn’t mean I’m after mass-produced £3 bottles of plonk, there are surprisingly good wines available in the likes of Sainsbury’s, Asda, Lidl and Aldi and those are what this post is all about.
On a hot summer’s day, there are few things quite as refreshing as a cold glass of white wine. When we went to The Quality Chop House in Farringdon, it was roasting. The hottest day of the year, in fact, and as much as I would have liked to indulge in a ‘kick-you-in-the-teeth-red’, as my husband has decided to call our ‘style’ of red wines, it was just too darn hot.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to a barrel tasting at Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino, California. Ridge is located near the top of Monte Bello Ridge up in the Santa Cruz Mountains – thus the current name of the winery, Ridge, and the name of their most special wine, Monte Bello. It was started in 1885 and made its first vintage in 1892 under the Monte Bello Winery label.
Here’s another great V. Sattui from the depths of the closet in the spare room. This Zinfandel is from the Gilsson Vineyard in the Russian River Valley whose climate is much cooler than other vineyards in the wine country thanks to the fog that rolls in from the Pacific ocean, making it a great place to grow Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Those wines from this region are well known and appreciated, but perhaps a more surprising success in these cooler climes is Zinfandel.
V. Sattui Winery is my grandma’s favorite place on earth. Every time I come home we make a pilgrimage up to Napa to bask in the glorious food and wine Sattui has to offer. I’ve tried to convince her there are other wineries and great restaurants to be explored, but she’s quite content to get a bottle from Sattui’s cellar, pick up some cheese, pâté and bread from their deli and head out to the shaded courtyard to enjoy them. Consequently, my suitcase is always laden with Sattui bottles tenderly wrapped in bubble wrap and Ziploc bags, socks, t-shirts, you name it. Anything to keep the precious jewels safe on the journey.
A fellow food blogger, The Winegetter, posted a link to this really useful tasting sheet and I thought it would be a good thing to use in future to write up my wine notes and I’ve put it here for anyone else who may find it helpful. It’s not always easy to pinpoint exactly what you want to say about wine, so hopefully it’ll prove a useful guide!
Vouvray is a region in the Loire Valley where the majority grape produced is Chenin Blanc which is used to make everything from sparkling wine to dessert wines, including the region’s namesake Vouvray. Vouvray is made with different levels of sweetness, usually indicated on the label: Sec, Demi-Sec, Moelleux and Doux – Sec being dry and Doux being the sweetest.