Picpoul is rapidly becoming one of the most popular selections on UK wine lists. When this trend takes place, as it did with the likes of pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc, our drinking senses must be honed and up to the challenge of spotting the rotters!
The 2013 Les Girelles Picpoul de Pinet, made by Jean-Luc Colombo falls into the category of "very good drop". Served chilled it has a refreshing stoniness that is a real joy. It goes brilliantly with anchovy fillets in olive oil, with mixed plates of tapas style vegetables. Light scented floral aromas give way to rapier acidity hints of apple and pear. Drink on a hot day or, as Autumn approaches, with a large spread of oysters in front of you.
Great Value: Picpoul de Pinet, Les Girelles 2013
Stockists: Oddbins, Lay & Wheeler, Field and Fawcett, The Halifax Wine Company, The Leamington Wine Company, Dunedin Wines, Fountainhall Wines, Famous Wines, Bacchus Wines, Islington Wine
By Nick Breeze
“Farther down the river are the vineyards of Coteaux de la Loire, mostly on the north bank, where the best surround the little town of Savenniéres. The wines are drier than those of Layon, very high in alcohol, and very slow in maturing.” Alexis Lichine, 'Wines of France', Pub. Cassell & Co Ltd. 1952
A tasty benchmark Côte de Beaune Village from a trusted producer. This wine from the Côte d’Or has lovely aromas of cherry and and other forest fruits. To taste it has a good acidic bite which is perfect for classic rustic French servings of cheese and pate.
Very enjoyable and perfect for dinner parties or charcuteries.
Stockists: Majestic, NISA, Constantine Stores, Bacchus Wine, Noble Green Wines, Village Wines (Amersham), Cotswold Vintners, Eagle Wines, Partridges of Sloane Street, www.winedirect.co.uk
Part 1: Wine Flights, Angers and the Apocalyptic Frog
At a recent bbq in south west London a fellow guest asked me if I had any good suggestions for a short spell break amongst the vines where he could relax with his wife and new born, whilst exploring vinous and cultural pleasures. Herein lies my answer (part 1 anyway!):
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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":