In the mood for white Rioja? Try Cune's Contino Blanco 2014

There is really only one answer as to whether you fancy a glass or two from Spain’s most famous wine region: “Bring it on!”

Read more ...

Dourthe No. 1, Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux 2015

Bring out the salads, bring out the oysters, the prawns sizzling in olive oil, garlic and parsley. Then bring out a chilled bottle of the elegant and refreshing Dourthe No.1 sauvignon blanc from Bordeaux!

Read more ...

Beautiful Beaujolais, Chateau des Jacques, 2010, Louis Jadot

Beautiful Beaujolais, Chateau des Jacques, 2010, Louis Jadot, made in the area called Moulin-a-Vent, named after a windmill. This is a serious wine with serious character. It is every bit as potent as top-draw Burgundy so prepare to be entertained.

Chateau des jacques

We served this with a very rare fillet steak from the butcher, and a green bean salad with a dollop of Dijon mustard. The nose on the wine was ripe plums with a whiff of cherry and something deeper, almost flinty, rich warm and complex. It could easily pass as Burgundy; this point was proved when my Instagram post attracted the following comment: “Drunk it last Thursday. Strong pinot Noir. Very good.”

The tight tannic structure indicate that this is a wine that can lay down for a while and keep developing. With the rare fillet and oily salad, it was perfect. The fruit was a perfect match and the tannin cleared the palate ready for the next fork of food. Really enjoyable and at £15.99 it is a real bargain.

Moulin a Vent, Chateau des Jacques 2010 - Sainsbury £15.99

Villa Maria Cabernet sauvignon, Hawkes Bay 2012

The classic Bordeaux blend from New Zealand? Can they do it?

Villa Maria Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Translucent and tinged with purple in colour, being only 2 years old, that’s what we’d expect. The nose is very bright red current and cherry fruits, attractive, easy drinking with roasted meats and veg.

There’s a soft tannin, an easy party wine that suits a broad range of chatting palate’s.

Definitely worth a try. New Zealand and Villa Maria in particular has a big fan base. Our opinion is that it is a crowd pleaser, as opposed to a connoisseur’s choice, but that is reflected in the price.
£12.99 - available from Majestic, Morrisons and www.nzhouseofwine.co.uk

Nick Breeze

Picpoul de Pinet Les Girelles 2013 - Jean-Luc Colombo

Picpoul is rapidly becoming one of the most popular selections on UK wine lists. When this trend takes place, as it did with the likes of pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc, our drinking senses must be honed and up to the challenge of spotting the rotters! 

picpoul-de-pinet

The 2013 Les Girelles Picpoul de Pinet, made by Jean-Luc Colombo falls into the category of "very good drop". Served chilled it has a refreshing stoniness that is a real joy. It goes brilliantly with anchovy fillets in olive oil, with mixed plates of tapas style vegetables. Light scented floral aromas give way to rapier acidity hints of apple and pear. Drink on a hot day or, as Autumn approaches, with a large spread of oysters in front of you. 

Great Value: Picpoul de Pinet, Les Girelles 2013

£9.99

Stockists: Oddbins, Lay & Wheeler, Field and Fawcett, The Halifax Wine Company, The Leamington Wine Company, Dunedin Wines, Fountainhall Wines, Famous Wines, Bacchus Wines, Islington Wine

By Nick Breeze
Twitter: @NickGBreeze

 

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!

 

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.

 

The Palazzo is located in the centre of Fermo, a small Roman hilltop town with a rich history dating back to antiquity. Flying from abroad, Ancona is the closest airport, 67km north (about an hours drive) along the coast of the Adriatic sea.