Jura’s not a wine region of France that I’d expect many (non-wine-geek) people of heard of, let alone know much about their wines. It’s pretty small, at only about half the size of Chablis in Burgundy. But with 5 different grape varieties producing in excess of 25 genuinely distinct styles of wine, it’s definitely one that will surprise you.
It’s tough enough these days if you’ve got an established “brand” on the wine shelves of the world. Everyone’s got their struggles. The Chileans are trying to get everyone to trade up, the Argentinians are trying to say they’ve got more than just Malbec, even the French are trying to reinvent most of the famous regions to the new audiences. So if you’re barely on the wine map (so to speak), then do you really stand a chance? If you’re Cyprus you do!
You need to kind of imagine the scene. I’m in the downstairs room of a wine bar in the fancy part of central London surrounded by Masters Of Wine and the great the good of the UK wine writing scene. We’re tasting our way through 20 vintages of Disznoko Tokaji, one of the most beautiful sweet wines produced in the world. Oh, and we’re getting fed a lovely lunch in a bit. All I could think was that it wasn’t the worst Monday morning I’d ever had!
So last, but not least, in the winemaker profiles for the Lazenne WineCheck Giveaway is a very good friend of mine. I first met Gianni Doglia about 12 years ago, when my mum and dad first started making trips out to Piemonte. Not sure if he knows this, but it was actually him and his family that first inspired me to get more involved with wine as a hobby. Infectious passion and enthusiasm, always smiling (except when it hails!), and the most glorious view from a cellar I’d ever seen. I’m so glad he’s a part of this.
I don’t think I went all that mad this Christmas just gone. When you work with wine all year round it’s not really a big release or anything. It’s your job, it’s your passion, and when it comes to celebration times I find myself picking other vices to go nuts with instead (chocolate!). Still had a couple though…
Without question, sweet wines are the most under rated and under drunk in the world of wine. Ok, I get the fact that the cheap and nasty ones are cheap and nasty, and they’ve maybe put quite a few people off in the past. But in the UK these days we’re lucky to have a huge range of top drawer sweet wines and fortified wines from all the way across the world. Be a shame to miss out this Christmas!
What is it with the winter? I literally have a 5 second commute from one end of my flat to the other to start work. It’s not exactly the toughest in the world, but I still really struggle to drag myself out of bed and get on with work. Trouble is that leads to the rest of the day slipping a bit, so once again last week I missed a day of blogging. D’oh!
Managed to skip a day last week as I’ve been over in Paris running a wine tasting night for 20h33. So I guess I’ve got a bit of catching up to do this week. But most of the days are pretty much pre written. Given that by Tuesday it’ll be December, I can start talking about things like Christmas wines without feeling too daft.
One of the things that I loved about Lidl’s choice of wine on show for us to have a go at last week was that they had a really decent selection of sweet wines. Sweet wine gets a lot of grief from the wine drinkers of the world and I’ve no idea why. From amateur wine-o’s to professionals, we all love them! But the majority of people picking up wine for themselves just move on mostly. Well hopefully not this Christmas!!
Here’s my top 3 to have a go at this winter…
As with any wine tasting, it’s not just about reds and whites. You always get the list of sparkling, fortified, and dessert wines which are always a laugh to have a go at. There’s also the spirits and the beers too. Personally I can never work out how to taste beer. If you do that “suck air into your mouth” thing, you just get a mouthful of foam. Anyone know how to do it properly? Give me a shout!
Anyway, here’s the top 3 “best of the rest”…