STRAIGHT OFF THE VINE.
AS THE first dusting of glitter settles across the shop fronts of our great country, thoughts turn towards Christmas and the tumultuous feasting that is part of this memorable season.
For many years now I have constructed an elongated wine column that tries to encompass all you need for the myriad foodstuffs that we deem appropriate for the "fun" day.
I'm always open to suggestions for what goes with what, but as a safe bet a nice chardonnay is always a good shout on the big day, so I'm just going through my notebooks to remind myself of some of the wines that have interested me recently.
From the Hawkes Bay region in New Zealand, the VIDAL RESERVE SERIES CHARDONNAY 2013 (RRP PS16, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Leamington Wine Company, Shenfield Wines, BJR Hanby) had a touch of sweet vanilla spice to the white melon on the bouquet. In the mouth the expressive fruit was aided and abetted from time in oak, which gave the wine weight and weft. A touch of acidity danced in across the mid-palate combined with the white peach and apricot through to the long, satisfying finish.
Staying in New Zealand, we come to that great Kiwi stalwart the VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN CHARDONNAY (RRP PS9.50, Tesco, the nzhouseofwine.co.uk). This is all about balance, right from the delicate white floral notes on the nose with a little stone fruit note, through to the rich apricot fruit livened up by lemon acidity across the tastebuds. So just when you think things are getting a little hefty that zip chimes in, waking up the most jaded of palates.
Off to Chile and the cool-climate ERRAZURIZ MAX RESERVA CHARDONNAY (RRP PS15.50, Cheers Wine Merchant, Hailsham Cellars, Taylors Fine Wine, Partridges of Sloane Street), which has been barrel-aged for 10 months. A sweet, spicy note on the nose and opulent fruit have a crowd-pleasing richness to it and the wine maintains its elegance throughout.
The VIGNERON DOM BRIAL MI NUIT CHARDONNAY (PS9.99, Daniel Lambert Wines Ltd, Bridgend) has a honeyed floral note on the nose and a creaminess to the rich pear fruit on the palate. As the wine develops in the glass it shows a touch of minerality, keeping things fresh and invigorating.
@NeilCammies email: firstname.lastname@example.org Columns online log on to walesonline.co.uk and search 'Neil Cammies' SHERRY LOVERS RAISE A GLASS In recent years the UK has rediscovered its love of sherry, with a new generation learning that sherry doesn't have to mean a sweet bottle dredged out by an elderly relative at Christmas. Part of the band of bloggers and food writers helping to drive this growth is the team behind criadera.com - a blog about the people, places and wines of the Sherry Triangle, and written by Certified Sherry Educator Helen Highley.
The success of the blog has prompted the Criadera team to launch the online store sherryboutique.com which imports wines from two very small family-owned bodegas that make exceptional wines in small volumes.
A small range will be available, from a classic bone-dry fino to accompany olives or seafood, to a VORS Oloroso with an average age of 45 years.
sherryboutique.com currently focuses on the sherries from two bodegas based in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia - Bodegas Urium and Bodegas Faustino Gonzalez - with plans to feature guest sherries from other bodegas to complement the range.
The listing for each sherry includes knowledgeable yet accessible tasting notes and descriptions.
There's no minimum order quantity and the sherries can be shipped throughout the UK.
I'm always open to suggestions for what to have, but as a safe bet a nice chardonnay is always a good shout
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|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Oct 15, 2016|
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