- Written by Nick Breeze (@NickGBreeze) Nick Breeze (@NickGBreeze)
If it wasn't for pink champagne I probably wouldn't notice the coming and going of St Valentine's Day. But, pink bubbly has definitely grown on me as a desirable drink that is fruity, fun and seductive. We have had several samples sent in and are keen to find food pairings that match the profile of bursting fruit, tongue coating effervescence and titillating touch on the senses.
Nature Morte: A heavenly aperitif and nibbling combination
Wandering around Herne Hill in South London looking for "coal biscuits" I came across Rosary Ash goats cheese. As ash and coal are both inextricably linked to the carbon cycle, it seemed like the right idea to replace any fruit or relish addition with the carbon dioxide-rich raspberry pink Prestige Rosé Champagne Taittinger.
Taittinger is known for producing consistently high-quality champagne to suit a range of occasions, so there is no reason why the season of amour should not feature.
The combination of the creaminess of the cheese, the subtle tasting dryness of the coal biscuits and summer red fruitiness of rosé, make this a combination that will give you pause. It's an assured HIT. If you are seducing this Feb 14 this is a fine entré!
Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rosé NV - £35-40 from a wide range of retailers
Rosary Ash Goats Cheese - Duggard & Daughters in Herne Hill London
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Talking food and wine & Carluccio's motto: "MOF MOF"
Carluccio's deli and restaurants are a high-street staple, where great flavours in food blend easily with quality wines on the list. Following the death of the charismatic founder, Antonio Carluccio, his spirit lives on in style and philosophy. Nick Breeze talks to Head of International Operations (especially where wine is concerned!), Mike Stocks about wine-list tips, food matching and the great man of "mof mof":
Wine Tasting in Abruzzo - tasting notes
Winemaker and owner Nicola D’Auria greeted us at the entrance of this fascinating cantina. The winery and cellars have been designed by Rocco valentini in the shape of a vertical barrel in order to immerse the tasters senses in wine.
Abruzzo: fine wine in an Italian idyll
East from Roma to Abruzzo
From Rome we headed east to Abruzzo, a region of Italy that rises up like a burly landlord to greet the traveller. The Apennine mountains at their tops are stark and beautiful, lonely, yet fulsome. Rustic doesn’t quite do this landscape justice. It’s a place for pilgrims, peace lovers and, of course, we followers of Bacchic and gastronomic pleasure.
Watch: Wine Tips from the Grape-Pickers Party
After days of picking grapes in one of the world’s most famous wine regions, the pickers get together to drink, chat and enjoy the drinks they are meticulously involved in the making of.
Also check out local winemaker, Nico’s, top tip for a white Burgundy from Saint Aubin that you don’t have to travel to Burgundy to get!
From Picasso to Pecorino Wine (not cheese!!)
What started in El Quatre Gats tapas bar in Barcelona, soon became an adventure in the Marche region of Italy, that lies along the east coast facing Albania across the Adriatic Sea. El Quatre Gats is famously where Picasso had his first solo exhibition as a young edgy artists in the Catalan capital and I was there dining with Dr Pia Casarini Wadhams, Director of Italy’s only Polar Institute, Il Polo.