Well we’ve only got a couple of weeks left of it, so let’s get this one out there.
We’ve got DIY, Red Dwarf, and looking forward to Liverpool’s season this year…
…and I’m only joking about the kidnapping.
So we made it Friday again, eh? As everyone’s thoughts turn to the weekend and what we’ll be getting up to, no doubt some of you will be off on a couple of trips with wine high in the agenda, as it bloody should be. So what the not-to-be-missed wine-o destinations?
Once you start really getting into wine, it’s not enough to just head down to the shops, buy a bottle, and get stuck in. You need to be there, you need to wander round the vineyard and soak it all up. Couple of reasons really, one is that you get to drink the wine with the locals, eating the local food, doing your best to feel like part of the furniture. The other is that vineyards are invariably beautiful places. One wine region is chalked up on most people’s lists as the number one “need to visit”, and lucky little me got to go there a couple of weeks back…the Douro valley in Portugal.
I got an email from a mate of mine who lives out in Barcelona. He’s just signed up to work with a new wine tourism app called WinePop. They’re starting off the launch in Spain this year, rolling out to the rest of Europe next year, then the rest of the world in 2018. 2019? Who knows? Did Matt Damon grow vines up on Mars in the end?
The first time I ever visited Bordeaux was about 3 years ago. I just remember it being a beautiful place, with the sun gleaming off the yellow stone of the various Châteaux in the countryside and the façades of the buildings in downtown Bordeaux city. Apparently though, and it’s hard for me to really get a grasp on this, it used to look like a dump!
When you’re lucky enough to get invited to one of these press trips you kind of expect to be worked hard. Of course you are! The wineries or the PR company are paying for your hotel and flights and grub and wine (natch!), so they want to fit as much into the days as possible. So our daft o’clock flight to Bucharest on the Wednesday morning was a shock to the system, but it did mean we got to see more of this lovely country.
I still remember it to this day. The first time I visited Bordeaux was with my Dad, and we headed into the centre of Saint Émilion on our first day to have a look around. Well, you would, wouldn’t you? A couple of visitors centres and local caves later and we had an impression that we might, just might, have paid a bit over the odds for some bottles. Skip forward 24 hours, we met JB of 20h33 for the first time, and he (trying not to laugh) informed us we’d paid nearly double. As a penny pinching northerner, there are few worse feelings!
I’m off on my travels at the minute. I’ve got a week in Northern Italy to get some much needed landscaping done, and then as soon as we drive back to the UK I fly off to Primeur week with all the other Millesima blog award winners. So yesterday and the day before we headed down through Eastern France with a stop over in a town called Troyes. I’d heard it was somewhere you had to visit at some point, and I’m really glad we did!
When you think about Italian wines loads of people think about things like Chianti, Prosecco, and Pinot Grigio. And why wouldn’t you? We all walk into wine aisles and see the shelves rammed full of those three. But what do you do when you want to start exploring Italian wines a bit more? Where do you start?