I attended the SOMMELIER CRU tasting, entitled 'Forgotten Styles and Up-&-Coming Varieties, New Winemakers' in the West End yesterday. Sommelier Cru is monthly on-trade event that aims to indirectly serve the drinking masses by providing sommeliers with a wide ranging choice of wines to place on their tables and bars.
The venue was the 'Hellenic Centre' in Marylebone, so it was suitably fitting that Vickbar Wines had chosen to display a great selection of truly unique wines from Greece. The Sigalas Santorini 2004, was described by George Lemos as having a "focused" nose, which I am inclined to agree with. The true success of this wine is in the mouth where subtly rich fruity flavours are fused with a tangy mineral zest in the mouth. This is a delicious wine that is already proving a hit with some big names and, no doubt, goes some way to exciting those familiar with Santorini to seek it out both for drinking here and on their next visit!

It is also worth mentioning the Greek desert wines. These were exceptional. For more information visit www.vickbarwines.co.uk

Other favourites included:

Riccolo Grassi, Valpolicella, 2002 from the Veneto, available from Novum. This is the same wine, though a later vintage by one year, that I had with my memorable lunch in Verona back in January. Delicious and highly recommended.

Barbaresco Vanotu D.O.C.G., Pelissero available from Alivini (www.alivini.com). The classic nose always reminds me of a dark fruity iced tea. To taste it was very tannic, begging for succulent red meats to play with!

Top Summer Tip: Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir Rose, Victoria, Australia. On the nose, this wine is all about spring time, offering roses and the light scented herbs of... Provence! To taste, this is crisp and zesty wine that delivers a light plummy and black-curranty sensation that keeps the mouth dripping. Available from O.W.LOEB & CO LTD, for contact details visit: http://www.owloeb.com/

This unusual but recently popularised wine from the Pelee winery in Canada: Pelee Island, Vidal Ice Wine 2003. This dessert wine is honey sweet and richly smooth, concentrated aromas of apricots and peaches. A real treat. Michael Druitt Vintners who supply this wine, also had an intriguing Chapagne Moutard, 6 Cepages 2001. This Champagne mixed from 6 grapes, is very fresh and full of flavour. I detected a certain toastiness in the mouth! For UK orders of over 2 cases please contact Michael Druitts Vintners, Sales director, Tim Bartley, 07768 696800.

There were plenty more wines tasted at this event. The Sommelier Cru event next month is rumoured to be looking at wines that pair with ethnic and / or spicy foods. This will be on Monday the 10 April. For more information visit www.sommeliercru.com and I may see you there!

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COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

Climate change podcast

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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