- Written by Nick Breeze (@NickGBreeze) Nick Breeze (@NickGBreeze)
- Published: 25 February 2019 25 February 2019
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The vegan diet as a trend has been going exponential in recent months with record-breaking numbers taking part in Veganuary and deciding to stick to it. As wine tasters on the circuit it is important that we are able to spot what is going on in the real world and match that to what we are presented with at tastings.
I am pleased to report that recent tastings are showing a growing number of clearly marked vegan wines. I have included a selection of vegan wines at varying price points below. I was also very interested to hear that the Wines of Spain tasting coming up in London will have a special focus on vegan wines.
Vegan wine guide:
Vilarnau Brut Nature Reserva 2015, DO Cava
Vilarnau cavas are widely available in supermarkets. With packaging like this, you won't have to strain your eyes to find a bottle! The Brut Nature has a floral nose, slightly smokey/flinty, which I find very attractive. To taste it is bone dry and fresh. Great value bubbly. Cava has struggled in the last decade competing with Prosecco in their price bracket but don’t be fooled. There are many a fine Cava at excellent prices that are all too often overlooked!
Beronia Reserva 2014 DOCa Rioja
A great benchmark Rioja Reserva with a wide-open appeal to seasoned wine lovers to occasional drinkers. A good depth of flavour, dark berry fruit, hints of leather and vanilla. Exceptional value at ~£14.50
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Txomin Etxaniz Blanco 2018, DO Getariako Txakolina
In the sleepy village of Getaria, the restaurant barbecues ebb out their plumes of charcoal grilled food enticing off the beach steeply upwards to the public balcony that leans over the canary.
With a plate of patron peppers, a cool glass of Txakoli maybe all that is needed to wash the cobwebs away. With its zing backbone of acidity, blend of herbs and fruit, you’ll be upright and focussed on the menu in no-time!
Lusco Albarino 2017, DO Rías Baixas - Pazos De Lusco
Albarino from Galicia, north of Portugal, is a widely recognised grape variety, and one especially enjoyed by Secret Sommelier! The Lusco Albarino has a lovely combination of tropical and citrus aromas that convert nicely to taste on the palate. Made from inland vineyards, the wines have a rich texture giving them a gastronomic edge.
Vieux Cépages Macabeu 2017, Vin de France - Domaine Jones
Grown from 110yr old vine, there’s a lovely rich concentration of dark berry fruit, a good bite of tannin but still very young. Excellent value from Domaine Jones with a recommended sale price of ~£23.
Zind Humbrecht Riesling Brand Vielles Vignes 2009, AOC Alsace Grand Cru
Super open and round fruit aromas, contrasting with the rick-riding clean acidity. Excellent fine wine from this historic multigenerational biodynamic producer. Recommended sale price, £65.
Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, WO Stellenbosch
Grown in the Jonkershoek Valley, Neil Ellis’s Cabernet Sauvignon offers a rich concentration of fruit, lovely balance of tannin, with smooth dangerously pleasurable length. So young so buy now for pleasure later! Recommended sale price is £32.
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.