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

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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.