A few months ago there were a couple of companies that were introducing blue wine into the mix. Wine-o’s were all chatting away on social media and in the press about what they thought about this “creation”. Most were pretty horrified that this was even associated with the word “wine”, but I tried to reserve judgement til I’d at least tried a bottle. Well this weekend I finally did, so I can now let rip 😉
I’ve just had a piece released on The Buyer about a trip I did recently down to Sussex to go learn all about making sparkling wine. It was a room full of English sparkling wine makers, and hosted by the 3 judges of the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. Lot of great info flowing around, but even more fun went the chat went a bit off piste, and the dreamy ideas started flowing!
English Wine is now flying the flag high and proud. The bubbles especially are scooping up plenty of international awards, and even the great and the good of the famous region of Champagne are buying up land on our fair shores to take advantage of the climatic change. So it’s time to really look forward to this year’s English Wine Week starting this Saturday, the 27th May 2017.
I’ve just had an email through form the English Wine Producers marketing board about a very cool thing that’s just been announced for Camel Valley. Based in Cornwall, a county in the far South West of England, they’ve just been granted protected status by the EU for a specific plot of vineyards called Darnibole, and in doing so have become the first single vineyard site in the UK to be granted the honour. Yeghes da!!
I got an email a few weeks back from a fella called Richard Bampfield. He’s an MW and a bit of UK boff when it comes to the wines of Bordeaux, so he’s someone I take a keen interest in following given my Bordeaux connection with 20h33. So when all of a sudden he was inviting me to come and taste through a range of Bordeaux wines, and then rate them on behalf of the Bordeaux Wines UK it was a bit of a humbling thing. Someone like that ask you to do that? That’s pretty damn cool.
Jens Windisch, top winemaker, accident prone snowboarder!
Bog standard Pinot Grigio. It’s cheap, refreshing, inoffensive, and…did I mention cheap? It’s boring for UK wine drinkers and it’s bad for proper Pinot Grigio producers. Infact it’s only really good for the organized crime who produce it in bulk and ship it over. Not sure I’m meant to say that out loud?! Well, I was down at the Wines of Germany tasting this week, and maybe they’ve got something up their sleeve that can help out.
I had a great day out of the Big Smoke, last week, down to Kent, to go freeze my nuts off and do some digging in the dirt. Doesn’t sound all that appealing does it? Well how about if I clarify it a bit, as we were planting vines for the first Champagne Grand Marque to officially land on our shores. Domaine Evremond, a new venture for Champagne Taittinger, is now the proud owner of row after (slightly wonky) row of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, as the quest for increasingly swanky and gorgeous English bubbles hots up.
Every wine-o out there will no doubt heard of Yealands before. They are a big family wine estate with vineyards stretching all over the famous Marlborough district in New Zealand. I’ve been sent 5 bottles of their different Sauvignon Blancs and been asked to come up with something “arty” to promote them on International Sauvignon Blanc Day, this coming Friday, the 5th May. Arty? Have they met me?
That constant niggle of whether I’m doing the right thing by trying to ram my way into the wine industry never wants to go away. I grew up as an introverted maths geek, became a reluctant finance geek, and then a very angry young man working in an office somewhere in London. I don’t miss those days one little bit, but sometimes I’m constantly battling with myself about whether this wine thing will work out, and if I’m actually any good at it. Well, some weeks are better than others…
It’s a bit of a funny time to be British. On the international scene we’re being treated a bit like Uncle Knobhead, you know the one that turns up to all the family gatherings, but everyone’s always a bit tentative about how they’ll act and what they’ll say to upset everyone this time. So we have to look inside the country to come up with something to smile about, and luckily for us wine-o’s, the UK Wine scene has just the cure!