Carl Edmund gave us an excellent introduction to Churchill’s particular passion for “SOUP!” Most importantly that it should either be made with turtle or chicken. Given the contemporary setting and reduced number of turtles available for such occasions, I am pleased to say that a clear chicken broth was served.
The “soup” proved to be an excellent pairing with this historic house from Aÿ. The broth was quite thick and really coated the mouth, but the Ayala, unperturbed, showed persistence, clearing the palate, leaving it fresh and lively. Really impressive.
Brendan Barratt: “The first course was brilliant. A little cup of broth worked so well. You have a little bit of stock, a little bit of rich bouillon, absolutely spectacular. I think the broth has got enough weight with the oil. With champagne you always want richness or something a bit fatty and that balances well.”
Carl Edmund Sherman: “We started of the evening with Champagne Ayala, their Brut Majuer, a delicious champagne which was paired impeccably with a soup consommé… it was divine!”
Michael Edwards: “I thought it was very good. Ayala, of course, has been around since before the turn of the 20th century and has been through various vicissitudes. Ayala has a very good incisive style, not huge weight but penetration of flavour and generally freshness.”
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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.
Wine tasting in northern Catalonia in the foothills of the Pyrenees
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.
Talking food and wine & Carluccio's motto: "MOF MOF"
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":