The wines of the New World nailed it during the nineties and noughties on the shelves of the supermarkets in the UK. The French, the Italians, even the Spanish were blasted away by low priced but solid quality wines from the varietals everyone had heard of. Chilean wine was up there in the crow’s nest of this move but, like many others, the move from low margin, high volume wines to showing off the best that country can offer is a tricky one.
Anyone know any Norwegian? No? Right, well a bit of translation is in order then! I’ve been spending a few days with my in-laws and they’ve taught me a bit more slang. Roughly translated it means “it’s shit warm!” Apparently a lot of people use it as an expression, although I’m not going to test it too far just in case they’re winding me up!
At the minute there’s a lot of push to change the thinking about certain wine regions. For example, somewhere like Bordeaux wants you to know they can do good bulk brands as we’ve seen with Mouton Cadet. On the flip side, somewhere like Australia wants you to know that they do fantastic premium wine, and they’re not just the big brand wonders that we all have in our heads.
It’s bad enough when you hit the Champagne aisle and there are so many manufacturers and labeling terms that just mess with your head. Do I buy Lanson or Mumm? What do they mean by Brut as opposed to Sec? Then they throw this Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs into the mix. It’s game over at this point for the occasional wine-o!
Chardonnay is a grape that grows somewhere in nearly every wine growing region in the world. Why? Well it’s because it can grow in so many places. It’s a great grape for new wine areas to test themselves. Are there are few newer than New Zealand.
Mutants live all around us. I’m not trying to go all “Patrick Stewart” here, but without it we wouldn’t be here would we? And one of the great things we get to see is mutation happening in real time these days, mostly cos we now know to look for it. It happens with grapes a lot!
First and foremost it’s I’ve got to apologise for the tardiness of this post. I’ve spent most of the weekend on all kinds of planes, trains, and automobiles and struggled for both wifi and power sockets for the computer. Needless to say, I didn’t need either of those to drink the wine, so that was done pretty successfully. A very eye opening week again.
We had 3 of the wines that I’d mentioned on the first post. We had the Villa Maria from Morrison’s, the Sainsbury’s TTD, and the Two Rivers from Spirited Wines. My willing guest tasters this week were my Mum and Dad. This was a big thing for my Mum given that she “doesn’t like red wine”. I swear she just says that to wind me up!
I’ll have to admit early doors here that this might be a tad on the brief side. Firstly I can’t really do justice to the amazing wines coming from both North and South islands in just a couple of short paragraphs. Secondly, I’ve got to bugger off and catch a plane to Bordeaux, I know, it’s a tough life!
I had to do a double take this week when I realized that we’re nearly half way through the year and this is the first Pinot Noir in New Wine This Week. Seems a bit funny I guess given that it’s without doubt one of the most iconic grapes going, what’s called a true “international” variety.
So for week 23 we’re coming back to a new world classic. There’s plenty of grapes that are doing great down in New Zealand, but two in particular have become the country’s standard bearers in the world of wine. Nearly every wine drinker in the world has had a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc in their life. The other is our NWTW, Pinot Noir.