• Le Grand Chai Castillon Cotes De Bordeaux 2009 (14% abv )

    Le Grand Chai 2009This offering from Laithwaites is worth writing about.  2009 is a real corker of a vintage for Bordeaux and this outlying area of Cotes de Castillon is no exception.  Judging by the bulky back label, Tony Laithewaite is also pretty impressed by this wine.  

    Hold the glass up to the light and notice the purple edges (meniscus) where the wine touches the glass.  This sign of youth is a precursor to bright redcurrant and a compote of fruit on the nose and a powerful mouthful of pleasure.   

    A good balance of acidity drives the bright fruity flavours home with rounded tannins that have kept Ch and I sipping in continuous motion (an empty bottle will break the spell!).

    A definite buy for all those laitwaites / Sunday times drinkers out there.  Pile it in.

    From £9.99  www.laithewiates.com

  • White Bordeaux wine and oysters...

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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.

 

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. 

 

It’s been a hot couple of weeks here trekking around northern Catalonia. From the homeland and backdrop to surrealist Salvador Dali’s world to dramatic remnants of the volcano park an hour away, this place is a land of rough-hewn vistas and rustic hospitality.

 

Carluccio's deli and restaurants are a high-street staple, where great flavours in food blend easily with quality wines on the list. Following the death of the charismatic founder, Antonio Carluccio, his spirit lives on in style and philosophy. Nick Breeze talks to Head of International Operations (especially where wine is concerned!), Mike Stocks about wine-list tips, food matching and the great man of "mof mof":

 

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