wine temperatureI was at a friends party recently and there were other guests warming bottles of Rioja by the fire.  Their reason being that there is nothing better than warm red wine.  Maybe a warm glass of tinto with a vague hint of oak and alcohol is more desirable than I would give credit for but when it comes to desiring a glass of red wine at this time of the year, my mind thinks along the lines of spice and dark fruit with a hint of vanilla.  There are many flavour profiles that tasters pick out which only exist within a certain temperature range.  As soon as the wine starts cruising over 17C those flavours, aromas and expressions of the whole wine making process start to vanish.  That is when we're left with just bland tasting alcohol.  

With white wines, the problem is reversed.  A white wine that is served too warm loses it crispness and structure.  In wine speak, it can be described as "flabby".  But the fear of serving warm white wine can often send us into the depths of our freezers in search of colder temperatures.  White wine at around 10-13C will likely show it's best fruits and flavours if it has them to show.  By over chilling the wine we add a layer of masking that blocks out just about any individuality and tantalising fruitiness the wine might possess. If the wine is awful and you have no alternative then chill the hell out of it, otherwise, let it drift up towards room temperature before imbibing.

Tip for the day: Don't overheat red wines and don't over chill the whites. If you order a bottle of red in a restaurant and it is too warm then say so and get a chiller. You'll be far happier when it opens up and reveals it's true self!

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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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