Sirromet Shiraz Viognier 2008I opened this wine with yesterdays Spaghetti Bolognese, looking for something big and bold to dance windmills around our taste buds and seal the food and wine partnership with a kiss.  It is interesting to take a wine that one doesn't know and pour glasses for our dining companions before sitting back and waiting for comments.   This signature blend of shiraz (sirah) and viognier did just that with Anthony holding up his glass and egging on other people to taste it.  A good sign!

Blended wines often give us something special to enjoy.  If a winemaker takes the trouble to blend two different wines and then declare it the signature wine then we can be assured it is worth a gamble.  The aromas on the nose of this particular tinto nectar attractively mixed dark plum and spice with echoes of liquorice and oak vanilla rounding it off.

In the mouth the wine is smooth with plenty of its' own character - brilliant with red meat dishes that have bags of herb flavour.  Needless to say this bottle didn't last long. It is a very enjoyable wine with a sophisticated edge… drink on!

Imported by Harlington Wines (awaiting UK stockists & will update).






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.

 

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.

 

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.