- Published: 06 November 2012 06 November 2012
Are you, like me, dusting down the glasses and polishing the decanters? Does the imminent festive spirit weigh heavy on your mind… the great grapes day loom wild in your thoughts?
Maybe I am overdoing it, but the truth is I don't need much encouragement to open a bottle of wine. Tell me it is International Tempranillo Day and I am all over it like a rash of itchy bacon.
The Great Grape's Saint's Day is on Thursday. Consider this a warm up… I have just opened a bottle of Beronia Rioja 2010 Tempranillo, Elaboration Especial. Does it live up to the name?
Tempranillo is grape for many occasions, a grape that can aid laughter, food, ceremony or solitary confinement. It is a grape that I have turned to in times of need and in times that found me bereft of fortune but yearning fun and pleasure. So here I find myself eulogising in the warm-up to International Tempranillo Eve.
This Beronia Rioja 2010 is modern from the outside in. The packaging doesn't look like a bottle of Rioja. Perhaps this is a good thing. Many lesser producers seemed to be going as far they could to exude an age-old antique Spanish charm and it worked… until you tasted the wine. They tended to be too oaky or lacking the quality that one always hopes to relive when one opens rioja.
I am pleased to say this wine is subtle on the oak. The first flavour that strikes the senses is liquorice. It is a good omen on opening as it often implies something complex lying therein. After a little air, the wine starts to breathe freely and the more strawberry and cherry fruit aromas emerge. It is not opaque but just translucent and light in the mouth. I've enjoyed it with a chicken breast fried in onion and rustic herbs with peppers. The whole formula is delicious. The Beronia continues to lend kindness and support to the whole evening and I am still drinking it as I type.
This is a good wine for enjoying at home or with friends. Try to take a little time to savour the flavours. Probably burn the evening oil with Radio 3 on the wireless playing their calming rythms.
You can buy this from Waitrose or ocado.co.uk for about the £10 mark.
Rejoice, Rejoice, St Tempranillo!
An aperitif by the coliseum
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.
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
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!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
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.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
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.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
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.
Interview: (Re)Defining the Entre-Deux-Mers, climate change & tasting with Stephane Dupuch
Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch.