Rioja Reserva - Baron De Ley 2010

If you are looking for the mellow mood changer to ease into Autumn then this well priced Rioja has to be it. Attractive fragrant vanilla and strawberry cherry nose with a layer of spiciness to keep you musing.

It has a good bit of age to round off the tannins, making it a perfect choice easy pleasurable drinking. This is a perfect pairing for seasonal meats like venison, pigeon, roasted or stewed vegetables.

Definitely a wine to have on stand by for a range of scenarios from quiet nights in curling your toes by the fire, catching up with old mates or mingling at parties.

Currently on offer at Waitrose, this is a bargain at under £10. The real tip is not to buy a bottle but buy a 6 or 12 bottle case and be done with it!

Buy in store or online by clicking here.

 

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.