You are what you eat & drink

Posts tagged “Chardonnay

Wednesday Whine

Ugni blanc

The wine today is no longer in my rack…

I drank it on Saturday to celebrate the Argentine game against Iran in the FIFA World Cup…

Ugni Blanc Chardonnay 2013 from Viñas de Balbo, Mendoza, Argentina.

“This generic wine is obtained from the harmonic combination of Ugni Blanc and Chardonnay varieties which gives this wine a delicate yellow color with hints of green, a subtle and persistent aroma and a particular soft and fruity flavor. It goes well with white meats, soft cheese, fish and seafood.”Don Cano Wines

Although I drank it with weinerschnitzel, boiled minted potatoes and cauliflower with cheese sauce…

Good price, went down a treat, looking for more.

The Mendoza region in northwest Argentina produces many great wines. Here’s a good guide to northwest wines: Grape Travel

My rating: Definitely not plonk.

 

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English wine… an Oxymoron?

Apparently not.

English wine: Is sparkling wine better in England than France?

A vineyard in Hampshire

The Duchess of Cornwall has called for a new name for English sparkling wine to match the grandeur of champagne. And for the first time, domestic wine is the most popular in the government’s cellar. Have Britons developed a taste for a home-grown tipple?

Someone arrives with a bottle of English wine. Cue excitable voices saying, “Gosh, English wine is really quite good, you know – it gives champagne a run for its money.”

The surprise used to be palpable.

But English wine has grown up. Today it regularly wins awards – there were four gold medals at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) this year.

It’s a far cry from English actor Peter Ustinov’s put down: “I imagine hell like this – Italian punctuality, German humour and English wine.”

But is there something holding English wine back? It accounts for just 0.25% of total wine sales in the UK, according to industry body English Wine Producers.

This week the Duchess of Cornwall called on producers to come up with a name.

“People should put their heads together and think of a new name for English sparkling wine,” she said while visiting Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire. “It should be something with much more depth. I plan to find a new word for it.”

So is new terminology the final piece in the jigsaw?

English wine has been through a revolution. Old grape varieties are out, new owners are in. The area of vines planted in England and Wales has doubled from 761 hectares in 2004 to about 1,500 hectares today. The country now has 434 vineyards.

Figures just released by the Foreign Office on the government’s wine cellar, show that for the first time more English wine was drunk at government hospitality events than wine from any other nation.

Andrew Neather, Evening Standard wine critic, says the new winemakers tend to be go-ahead types from the City or wealthy lawyers, who want to carve out another career.

They are focusing on sparkling wine, planting more of the traditional champagne grapes – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. In 2010, for the first time more than half of the vintage went into sparkling wine.

Three of this year’s four IWC gold medal winners were sparkling wines. In June, Majestic announced that sales of English sparkling wine trebled in 2012, encouraged by the Jubilee and Olympics.

There is logic to England focusing on fizz. Kent and West Sussex, where the best English sparkling wine originates, are only about 90 miles north of Champagne. The chalky soils around the North and South Downs are very similar to the earth where famous names such as Bollinger and Dom Perignon plant their grapes.

English vineyards

Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey, is the UK’s largest single vineyard

The best English sparking wine is as good as “decent” champagne, Neather says. England’s top seller – Nyetimber – has more to offer than a mass market champagne like Moet Imperial, he argues.

 

“It’s more interesting, has more complexity and better acidity.” The Moet costs more at £32.99 – although it is sometimes discounted – while Nyetimber is £29.99.

The Financial Times wine critic, Jancis Robinson agrees, albeit with a couple of caveats.

“Most English fizz is now very well made and attractively dry and zesty. But very little has any real complexity since producers generally cannot afford to age it very long.” And cost is a problem. “It’s never a bargain,” Robinson says.

“It is generally made by people who have invested a great deal in new vineyards or winemaking and need to see a return.”

The competition can be significantly cheaper whether prosecco, cava or own-brand champagne. Aldi, for example, sells champagne for just £12.99.

Despite the cost premium, patriotism and the fashion for local provenance suggests that current levels of production are outstripped by demand.

“The industry sells everything it produces,” says Julia Trustram Eve, spokeswoman for English Wine Producers. “Demand is exceeding supply.”

 

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Opinion:

If the English are planning to supplant the Champagne name, they’re going to have to come up with something more dramatic than Nyetimber or Dorking.

Just imagine that rolling off your tongue, “Here, have a Dorking!” or “I’ve brought the Dorks, darling!” when you compare it with the much more regal sounding, “Here have a Champagne!” or “I’ve brought the Champers, darling!”

I put it to you, is there an English county name that equals the magic of Champagne? I think not. Pity, because without that magic ring, Champagne will always be king.


Sunday Art Fare

chardunleashed

Love this wine label from Mutt Lynch Winery in California.

You can read more about Chardonnay Unleashed from their site.


The Write White

It is written, almost indelibly, “red meat – red wine; white meat – white wine”, but is this necessarily true?

Are you having a turkey Christmas dinner?

Turkey has replaced the traditional goose on British festive tables

Turkey has replaced the traditional goose on British festive tables

If so, what are you going to drink with it?

What wine with turkey?

It’s a question that comes up at Christmas. But if you think about it, the answer can be as simple as – what do you like?

For that Christmas turkey, there’s a good match for every taste – whether you or your family and guests prefer white, red, or rosé …

  • If you and your guests prefer dry white wines, dry and oakey Chardonnay is the favorite choice with turkey depending on the particular tastes of your family and guests. Sauvignon Blanc or a White Burgundy are also good all-around choices that pair well with everything from mashed turnips to turkey stuffing.
  • If your guests prefer their wines on the sweet side, White Zinfandel is the all-purpose favorite to go with most of your turkey feast.
  • Or, head for the German wine aisle at your favorite wine shop to pick out a light but slightly spicy Gewurztraminer that’s always a good match for the holiday bird. A slightly sweeter Riesling will also pair well with any dish at a Thanksgiving or holiday table. If the label says ‘Kabinett’, the wine is made from the earliest harvest. That means the Riesling will be a dryer wine. A Spätlese is a bit sweeter, but still retains the dryness of the wine — and is usually a favorite in American homes. An Auslese will be even sweeter and makes a better match for the dessert than the turkey.
  • If red wines are normally your favorite, Pinot Noir is the perfect red wine for holiday feasting. More robust than white wine, Pinot Noir has very little tannin and will likely blend well with the entire holiday meal. Serve it slightly chilled.

 Text modified from: chiff.com

Chablis?

Chardonnay

Sancerre Chavignol?

Riesling?

Furmint?

Pinot Gris?

So many to choose from…


Mediterranean Baked White Beans

While I am not a vege, nor a vegan. I can appreciate a vege dish. Such was the case this morning on visiting a new blog for me, The Detox Diva. The current post, Mediterranean Baked White Beans, struck me as awesome.

Just look at this dish.

Photo credit, The Detox Diva

You can visit the link above for the step by step recipe.

For me, there is only one thing missing, I love white beans with seafood. A grilled fish or something like squid, mussels, prawns or lobster would make that perfect. Of course, there would have to be a suitable white wine, a Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc, both excellent with seafood.

Mouth is watering at the mere thought, and I haven’t even had breakfast yet.