Ribero Del duero 2007Spain is producing so much decent wine these days that Rioja has a lot to compete with (to say nothing for the rest of the world!).  One region that is famous for producing some of the best red wines in Spain is Ribera Del Duero.  Many of the better wines from here literally make ones mouth water at the mere mention.

After a trip down to Portobello Market this morning, dropping into Garcia's to pick up some ham, cheese, Padron peppers and other delights, we meandered back up (stopping for a Bratwurst) stopping at Jeroboams wine shop.  The staff here are very helpful and when that it is the case, it is always wise to ask for tips.  In this case the young guy in the shop pointed out the Erial 2008 and I departed with one bottle, a bottle of Pedro Ximenez Triana, Hidalgo and a bottle of Pazo San Mauro, 2010 from Alborino.

Having decanted the Erial and putting out some fleshy cured jamon with aged Manchego cheese, I can honestly say I have a snack made in heaven.  The wine is bursting with intense fruit: cherries, blackcurrant and black forest gateau.  It is quite young but still it has a wonderful balance of freshness, tannin and acidity.  It goes perfectly with the ham and cheese.  The aged Manchego in particular is a perfect pairing.

Alas, the rest of the bottle must wait for this evening.  The sherry is to be poured over the vanilla ice-cream and the Alborino will open with seafood empanada.

I bought all these wines from Jeroboams but look out for these regions in supermarkets and wine shops.  Albarino is from the Rias Baixas (Pronounced Ree-ass bye-shass) and the Pedro Ximenez is from southern Spain around Jerez - often referred to as just PX - and is the sweetest of sherries that you can buy.

Salut y buenas noches!

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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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