Saturday, December 29, 2012


I thought I would shout it from the rooftops, because lately the most traffic my blog has had was linked to Champagne. I reckon people are looking for tips for NYE.

Ten green bottles sitting on the wall...

The safest way to go is to choose one of the main Champagne houses: Moet & Chandon, Lanson, Mumm, Piper Heidsieck... or I prefer Taittinger, Veuve Cliquot or Bollinger. You could either go for a Classic Cuvee ("house blend") or Blanc de Blancs (Chardonnay grape only). Vintage will be particularly good years where the house has been able to veer away from the Classic Cuvee, so should give a more complex wine with interesting flavours.

However, I suggest English sparkling wine. It's my current preference. If you find Champagne a little too fizzy, Cava a little too yeasty, Prosecco a little too bland, and Sekt too sweet, then this is just right for Goldilocks. The soil in Sussex is very similar to that in Reims, and our cool climate allows us to develop the acidity that makes sparkling wines dance around your mouth. You could try Nyetimber (£25-50), Ridgeview (£20-25), Chapel Down (£20-25) or, from Cornwall, Camel Valley (£20-30). I'll be trying a Christmas gift: Ridgeview Fitzrovia, a sparkling rose that is mostly Chardonnay, look out for my tasting notes! Unfortunately, because English wine is so good, and are winning prestigious awards, they're not much cheaper than Champagne.

So,  where to buy?

  • There is a gorgeous new wine shop in Clapham North called Dvine Cellars which specialises in biodynamic and organic wines, give them a call if you're looking for something special,like their Alfred Gratien NV Brut and please tell them I sent you!
  • Majestic is offering £10 discounts on the main houses, including Moet (£40 > £28), Bollinger (£42 > £32), Veuve (£43 > £30) and Heidsieck (£28 > £19)
  • Berry Bros & Rudd sell all the English wines listed above
  • M&S sells Chapel Down
  • Buy the triple-pack of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee, Rose and Blanc de Blancs (£110 > £95) here

Please drink responsibly!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chateau Lanessan Haut-Medoc Delbos 2001

Badger proposed to me when we were in Bergerac, so all Bordeaux are considered special in our house.

This one is from Haut-Medoc, on the Left Bank in Bordeaux. Left bank wines tend to contain more Cabernet Sauvignon,  whereas right bank Bordeaux will contain more Merlot. Other grape varietals included in Bordeaux are Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, and occasionally Carmenere.

Cab Sav has high tannin and acidity, medium body, with Black fruit, toast and cedar flavours. Merlot has medium tannin and acidity, high body, and flavours of black/red fruit, chocolate and tobacco. Both together provides a good balance and higher complexity - choose LB or RB depending on what mix you prefer.

Left bank: Medoc, Haut-Medoc (Pauillac, Margaux), Graves (Pessac-Leognan)
Right Bank: St Emillion, Pomerol

Note the grape that has the highest proportion in the wine is named on the bottle first.

Anyway... this is a beautiful Bordeaux, traditional,lots of body, lots of tannin, top class.
Sitting in a Chesterfield chair in a private library, trying on the proprietor's top hat for a laugh.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Which Fleurie?

Fleurie 2009 Jean Poillard Villie-Morgon £29

Challenger wine #1 was a Georges de Boeuf Fleurie. Last night I had a different Fleurie, one that was three times the price. Although the GdB scored highly in our wine challenge (9/10), this one was outstanding, and makes me want to knock a point or two off the GdB. However, this Villie-Morgon is way out of the price range for the wine challenge so is simply non-comparable.

This wine has a much darker colour than I'm used to for a light Fleurie, but the flavour is exactly as is should be. Cherries, cooked plums, hint of pepper, and raspberry. This wine has extraordinary length, best enjoyed slowly. There is also some sediment in the bottle, which is unusual for such a light wine.

Autumn leaves on the porch, stewed plums on the stove and a candle burning in the window.

So how is it different to the GdB, I mean, after all, a Fleurie is a Fleurie? Well to start with the GdB had a kick of alcohol, the producer didn't take enough care to balance the wine. The V-M is very soft and smooth in comparison. Also, the V-M has a much longer length,  a sign of superior quality.

I'm not sure I'd say the V-M was worth three times more than the GdB, but I can tell the producer took a lot more care with this wine, and spending more will give him/her the funds to continue making great wines. If you have £30 to spend, go for the V-M rather than three GdB. If you have £10 to spend, the GdB is a good investment.

Fleurie is an appelation of Beaujolais and has quite strict rules, using the Gamay grape, so you'll know what you're getting. A Fleurie is a Fleurie, which is why often the label doesn't tell you much. The variation in quality is reflected in the price.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2001

Badger and I couldn't decide between the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee and the Blanc de Blancs. So we bought both and decided to compare. However, he thought it too extravagant to drink two bottles of bubbles in one sitting, so here are my notes for the Blanc de Blancs.

Absolutely delicious, very appley and lemoney, lots of flavour and colour. A hint of elderflower (I wonder if this has come from the terroir - the english countryside). Its a clean and rewarding bubble. I envisage the moment when you've finished cleaning the kitchen with a fresh citrus smell, no greasy marks and its time to reward yourself. This is the perfect reward.

Blanc de blancs is a term used for Champagne that only uses the Chardonnay grape. It tastes like a Chablis with sparkle. A Cuvee will use a mix of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the three grape varietals allowed in Champagne.

Nyetimber has an award winning sparkling wine from Sussex that I highly recommend. The down side to it being so good is that it costs as much as Champagne. Friends of mine prefer this as it has less of the oak/butter/nut/vanilla flavours of Champagne,making it lighter, easy to drink and very refreshing. If you prefer Prosecco to Champagne, but would like more intensity, try English bubbles! But don't skimp on price or you'll never return to English.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A new friend...

I have found a really great blog that I will be checking up on and a new wine place to check out at in Clapham North

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Not sure about German red wine? Try it!

Weingut Schoss Sommerhausen 2008 Spatburgunder Trocken 14% Steinbach Deutscher Qualitatswein

I had a lovely Spatburgunder while we were in Wurzburg visiting my German family. This was not particularly complex but made an easy-drinking wine. It had soft tannins, and had red fruit flavours, the plum stands out, as does the black pepper. It made me think of sitting in the bath having used fruity bubble bath.

If you're not sure about German red wine, but would like to try it, I would suggest a Spatburgunder if you like a pinot noir:
"Spatburgunder" means it has been made in the style of a Burgundy, i.e. Pinot Noir.
"Trocken" means it is dry, so you can avoid those sweet wines that are often associated with Germany.
"Qualitatswein" means it comes from one of the top regions, so is generally a good wine, but not as expensive as a "Pradikatswein" which comes from one of the top sub-regions.

Another German wine I recommend is Riesling,especially from Mosel. Again, be sure to look for "Trocken" on the label if you want to avoid the sweeter wines.

Challenger wine #9

Arca Nova Colheita 2011 Vinho Verde 11%

Vinho Verde was a wine that lost me a mark on my WSET exam, as I thought it was a grape varietal from Portugal, but it is a wine region in Portugal. So I had to try it.

Lovely! All is forgiven. It's a refreshing wine with a spritz. It's like a sav blanc spritzer but hasn't lost its flavour from watering it down. It's light and refreshing and finished with a nutty flavour as it passes over your bitter taste buds. I'm very impressed! It's not harsh or acidic even though it is awash with citrus and gooseberry flavour. From a wine called "verde", I was expecting young and harsh, but its not, not at all, at least not this Arca Nova.

I'm imagining myself sitting next to a swimming pool in the 1940s, Great Gatsby style.

We scored this a 3 on likeability and 3 for quality = 6/10, a surprisingly decent score.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Challenger wine #8

Marlborough 2011 Black Cottage Rose

What a delicious and refreshing rose!I normally avoid roses because I find they remind me of pot pourri. I tend to look for much drier roses to avoid that sticky sickly taste. This one, however, is dry, but everso fruity so you could mistakenly think it was off-dry.

Strawberry, vanilla, cherry and almond flavours. Almost like a bakewell tart,  but lighter. visions of candy stripes and old-fashioned sweet stalls.Fresh, vibrant, tasty.

I think that by being made in New Zealand this rose has managed to shed the frumpy moth-ball coat.

We jointly scored it a 3 for quality and 3 for likeability (I gave it a 4 really). In terms of quality, its very hard to find a very good quality rose, especially at the £10 price point. = 6/10

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Challenger wine #7

McGuigan #0976 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

I'm not really sure why Badger selected this wine, he doesn't even like Cab Sav, but I think he went all out on this one. It was beautiful. The nose is very strong with smokey, fruit and eucalyptus aromas. But once you taste it you're in for a treat, its black fruits eucalyptus and coffee. Quite heady.

I imagine myself standing in parched hot sunlight surrounded by eucalyptus trees, and as a breeze wafts through the trees you can almost taste the red rock earth. True Australia.

We scored 4 for quality and 4 for likeability. 

Wine flight at Gaucho

Either it's new, or I hadn't noticed before, but Gaucho now do wine flights. We took one for £22 each and had a glass of each of Ruta 89 2011 (Cab Sav/Malbec/Merlot), Luigi Bossa Corte G 2010 (Syrah/Merlot) and Zuccardi (Temperanillo/Malbec), all from Mendoza.

Drinking a couple of wines at the same time allows you to make comparisons between even subtly different wines. We certainly could tell the difference between these three.

The Ruta we found to be fruity yet a little bitter,  like Kale. This one suited Badger because he likes a Malbec. The Bossa was punchy, round, and sledgehammer subtle (but in a good way!), its fun and definitely gets the party going. Badger said if it was a movie it would be Transporter 2. It has a lot of black fruit, ribena and black tea flavours. I enjoyed this one.

But the best was the Zuccardi. At first we weren't convinced, but then we noticed how velvety it was, very soft, almost like kissing. It has a hint of clove, but not enough to make you think of the dentist.

I did find it particularly difficult to get any imagery for these wines,probably because we were in a restaurant where there are so many smells and sounds to compete with. Best try these again at home eh?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Challenger wine #6

Barista Pinotage Western Cape South Africa 2010

I chose this one because I am not that fond of South African wines but Pinotage is a varietal that I enjoy exploring, it has so many variations on flavour yet always packs a punch.

I know the name gies it away, but I still wasn't expecting the overpowering aroma of coffee. Very odd! It has a lovely taste of coffee, chocolate and cherry. It is a little bitter though, although the tannins mellow and then the red fruit pushes through.

It reminds me of sitting in a diner in the USA drinking "cawfee", with sweet and savoury smells coming from the kicthen, watching the world go by.

Badger and I agreed the wine was well made, with a clever manipulation of the flavours to produce such a coffee intensity, so we give it 4 for quality. Only scores 3 on likeability, because although we would buy it again, it would probably be as a gimmick or for a friend.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Challenger Wine #5

Brown Brothers Special Late Harvest Orange Muscat & Flora, Victoria Australia, 2010

I'm not really sure why Badger risked a dessert wine - I don't tend to like them, not unless they're special, which normally demand high prices, a marmaladey Tokaji (pronounced Tokai) a recent favourite. But risk it he did.

Its a very fragrant wine, orangey, like summer in a citrus orchard, the colour of hot bright daylight. The aroma is outstanding, possibly the best thing about this wine. It has a slight spritz which makes it quite refreshing, and could possibly even be drunk as an aperitif. I taste orange, tropical fruits,with unfermented sugars hinting at Opal Fruits (Starburst). The flavours seem artificial almost, reminding me of a juice drink, so this would probably be a good wine for those of you who are less keen on dessert wines. Although I think you'd be better off saving yourself for a very good dessert wine.

We agree on the quality, a 3, its a "good" wine. Badger loves it, attempting to give it a 5, and I can barely finish the glass so stretch to give it a 2. We have to agree on a score for this challenge, so I give in and allow a 4 for likeability, because perhaps for sweet wine drinkers its enjoyable.

7/10 - begrudgingly. Next time I'll fight my corner. If I was more experienced in stickies I might have fought harder this time. Actually, looking at the label, the fact they have said "Victoria" and not a specific region, this should probably be classed as "acceptable" for quality. I'm re-scoring it with a sneaky 6/10.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Challenger wine #4

Finca Flinchman Gestos 2011 Malbec 14%

I chose this wine because it looks like the producer has taken care to ensure this wine is balanced, they have done something quite interesting... 50% of the Malbec grapes come from a high altitude (1100m) which gives it structure, acidity and complexity to the wine. 50% of the Malbec grapes come from a lower altitude (700m) which gives dense colour, fruitiness and sugar to provide the alcohol.

I think this one is big and juicy, fruity, sweeter than normal for a Malbec, nicely balanced and less tannins. I could bathe in this wine, its so velvety. However, Badger disagrees he thinks its not fruity and doesn't give him the satisfaction that normally comes with a Malbec. I think this is because its more delicate, so perhaps this is why it disappoints.

We disagreed on the score but settled for 3 for quality and 3 for likeability. 6/10, although I think it deserves more.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Challenger wine #3

Domaine de Mercey Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Baunes 100% Chardonnay 2005 12.5%

Oh my, I was excited to tickle my tastebuds with this wine, Glancing at the label I thought "Badger has done well, he's charged in with a Cotes de Baunes". I was preparing for the buttery, French oaked deliciousness, and was begrudgingly expecting to give a high score for this wine. But what I failed to notice was that this is a Nuits-Saint-Georges, which is more well-known for its Pinots. It's further South that the produces the white Burgundies I love.

I was disappointed to find that although this wine has great body (mouthfeel), it lacks depth. I would class it more as elegant, fragile even, my new description as "glassy". It's very drinkable, and its lack of length means you gulp it down rather quickly I'm afraid. But actually quite a good Chardonnay for my ABC friends. Good to try if you normally prefer Sav Blancs and would like to like Chardy.

Badger and I agreed it deserves a 4 for its great Quality, but neither of us would buy it again unless it was less than a tenner, so it gets a 3 for Niceness. So Badger's second wine scores 7/10 - not bad, although we both expected more from a Cote de Baunes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Challenger Wine #2

Nero D'Avola Sicilia Oriano 2011

There's nothing I could tell you about this wine before we tried it, it wouldn't have been one I would pick up, as I don't know anything about it. Needless to say this is one of Badger's choices.

Badger says: "Petroly on the nose, high alcohol, you can taste the fruit to start with, but it gives way to something harsh. It's not balanced well".

My notes: Average dirty red.

Not much more to say about it. In regards to quality is OK, we give it a 3. Do we like it? Nah, it gets a 2.

5/10 for Badger's first wine... it must have been a cheap one, so curious to see what else he has up his sleeve. I can't rest on my laurels yet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pouilly Fume for a tenner?

Majestic Wine are selling a Pouilly Fume Les Cascadelles 2011 for £10.99 - I've not tasted it but it looks like a very good deal.

Pouilly Fume is made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. It's a small area east of the Loire Valley, a prestigious appellation. It should taste of green apples, gooseberry and have a flint or stone flavour that comes with the dryness of this wine.

Great wine to try if you like something fresh and crisp. As its a Pouilly Fume it should have long length which means you can make it linger, only drink half a bottle and avoid a hangover. Good as a mid-week wine.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Challenger wine #1

Beaujolais Fleurie Georges de Boeuf 2011

A fruit explosion in your mouth - very fresh,  light, and delicious.

I would call  this a flurry of fruit rather than a Fleurie. The fruits are competing to get your attention - cherries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, plums, raisin... They certainly deserve your attention and as soon as you think you're judging a competition, you swallow and disappointingly get a kick of alcohol.

We both agreed this is a very good wine (4), it's the kick that disappoints, makes it slightly unbalanced, but this softens with your second glass. We score it a Delicious! (5) We will definitely be buying this again.

A score of 9/10 for the first wine in the competition - thankfully its one of mine!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Badger's Challenge

My fiance has challenged me to a wine competition.

The rules:
  • We each buy five bottles of wine for less than £50 (from Majestic Wine)
  • We can't choose anything we've tried before
  • We can't take recommendations from staff
  • We have to choose at least three different types of wine (red/ white/ rose/ sparkling/ dessert)
Then we try the wines together and agree a score out of ten,which is in two parts:

The first score comes from the quality of the wine:
  1. Poor
  2. Acceptable
  3. Good
  4. Very good
  5. Outstanding
The second score comes from how much we like the wine:
  1. So bad (won't even finish the glass)
  2. Don't like it (won't buy again but will finish the bottle)
  3. Like it (will buy again so long as it's less than £10)
  4. Love it (will buy again even if its over £10)
  5. This is delicious!
Then at the end of the competition we can assess which are the best value wines and report back to you.

Bring it on!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vansha 2010 Paarl South Africa (Price:1)

This is a typical South African wine, punchy and bitter, and although I don't personally like it, it is a good wine. If you're the kind of person that likes S. African wines, you'll like this one, although you might wake up with a headache. Before I tried it, I thought I would like it because its a GSM (one of my favourites), although in the wrong order with 80% Shiraz, 10% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre and the delicate 2% of Viognier.

When you drink it you get a flashback of being outside somewhere hot and humid,  drinking a sweet fruity drink, like Ribena but a cheap version. You're wishing you had a straw so you could look more elegant and avoid the sticky marks left in the corners of your mouth. You're eating black olives marinated in garlic and rosemary, but the rosemary pricks your tongue and you have to spit it out. You decide to go inside where its cooler and leave the drink and olives behind.

Try it if you're not afraid of a fight.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Whispering Angel Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence 2011 (Price: 1)

Another rose, which is unusual for me, but since I tend not to like roses, any good ones I will be posting up here. This is a beautiful pale pink and is made of a combination of Grenache, Rolle, Cinsualt, Syrah and Mourvedre grapes. There is a sexy combination of peach and redcurrant flavours, sharp & sweet, fruity but shy. It's dry and I would guess it was a white wine if I was tasting it blind, but it is oh so much more delicate with a secret complexity. A very good wine and definitely deserving of the name.

I'm lying on a chaise longue with feather cushions, and a gentle breeze floating through the white muslin drapes. Rosehip tea is served from an antique silver teapot.

A great wine to try if you don't like roses but want to.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sharpham Vineyard, Devon UK

I went down to Devon this weekend and had the pleasure of visiting Sharpham. Beautiful Devonshire countryside, a walk by the river Dart and through their vineyard followed by a well-educated tasting. Delightful. As with most English vineyards, the focus was on white wines, but they also make some charming roses.

The most interesting was the Sharpham Whole Berry Rose (Price:0), which is made from the Dornfelder grape that they grow. It is beautiful in colour, it tastes off-dry but has an unusually dry finish, so you're not left with that claggy feeling. It also has no remnants of pot pourri, it is very fruity, with raspberry and strawberries, and has been awarded "best rose in the country" award, which a few years ago wouldn't have amounted to much, but with standards in South England rising rapidly, that actually means something!

I also enjoyed their Summer Red (Price: 1), which has had malolactic fermentation to make the Rondo grape tannins soften, it's light (Sharpham pride themselves on lower alcohol wines), and strangely reminds me of morello cherry yoghurt.

For only £6.95 you get to walk through the delightful vineyards, taste four wines and two cheeses. No need to book but try to get there before the lunch rush.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Luis Felipe Edwards Chardonnay Casablanca 2011 (Price: 0)

What a fantastic find! This creamy chardonnay with low acidity comes from a warm climate and it has a warming in the throat from the high alcohol level (14%), but is completely different from what you might know from a French or an Australian chardonnay. Currently available from Majestic Wine for £6.99. Proper bargain. And a great buy for ABCs. Seriously, try it.

Its a delight on the nose and on the tongue, it has a fragrant sweetness with flavours of banana, butterscotch and caramel. It's fun, something you don't come across very often. It takes me to the funfair, when you try new things and there are sweet smells in the air. It's playful, like long blonde curly hair with ribbons.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday School at The Sampler

The Sampler (Islington and South Kensington in London) is my favourite place to try wines. They have a great system where you have a top-up card that you can then use to try wines from vacuum dispensing machines - a small taste, a large taste or a glassful. Very handy for trying something new.

But what I really love about The Sampler is their Sunday School - what Sunday School should be about. They're normally on a Sunday (you'd think always!) at around 5pm and they pick a grape or a region and teach you about the origins, what you can expect from a bottle etc. Price is normally £15, but it depends if they're planning something special. It's fun and friendly and a quick and cheap way to not only learn about wines, but to taste them too!

Next sessions are:
Northern Italy with Alex in South Kensington branch on Tuesday 21st August 6.45pm £15
Sparkling Wines of the World with Liz in Islington branch on Sunday 16th September 5pm £20

You need to book in advance. They do other tasting events too, but these tend to be more serious and more expensive.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Although my last wine was a red from South Africa, it contained Viognier. Viognier is a white wine grape, but is often used in Cote Rotie, Rhone, France who often add a small amount to their Syrah. Maybe this type of blending will help South Africa make more mellow wines for a mainstream market.

Zalze, Shiraz-Mourvedre-Viognier, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2011 (Price:0)

I am determined to find South African wines I like, I normally find them too harsh and too punchy. I recently found some Italian wines I liked (I'll tell you about these another time), so South Africa is next on the list. I chose this one, because of the blend - Aussie GSM (Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre) being one of my favourites. I have high hopes... the only concern before I take a sip is the price, but Tesco tries to keep their wine offer affordable, so here goes...

The smell is exactly as I would expect - punchy and alcoholic, yeah its 14.5%. And first sip, same thing,  woah, that's a slap in the face. But it has more depth as you let it linger. It has lots of black fruit flavours, there's an underlying shrubbery flavour, which lifts into a more fragile finish of herb and spice, which is quite unusual.

I'm being taken back to hot summers in the countryside when you pick fruits from bushes (even if you don't eat them, because you're not sure if they're poisonous), then you slip on loose soil, so take a sharp breath and grab onto a branch to catch yourself and can smell the leaves on the branch as you leverage yourself back into your stroll in the countryside. A mini adventure.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Want more bubbles in your champagne?

The trick is to have clean glasses. Very clean glasses. Wash them with very hot water, without any washing up liquid (any detergent residue will kill the bubbles). Then dry using a linen tea towel, or better still a hairdryer.

Antoine de Clevecy cuvee Champagne brut (Price: 2)

What a lovely treat - champagne. This is delightfully light and fruity with apple, grape and blossom notes. Lots of teeny little bubbles.

Sitting in the garden at dusk surrounded by jasmine with its little white flowers, enveloping flavours of unripe plums and gooseberries. The bubbles feel like peach fuzz on the tip of your tongue.

I was drinking this with a friend, after work in her garden, so wondering how much real events influenced this tasting? Although, it was only after I mentioned a vision of little white flowers that the Jasmine was pointed out to me! As a substitute tasting note, I give you that of my friend, a little less obvious, but just as valid...

"It tastes like the little apples from my garden, you get a grape high first and then the flowers lower it."

Then we compared it to a Cordoniu cava, which, in comparison, clearly highlighted the complex flavours and long length of the Antoine de Clevency. Verdict: It's worth spending a bit more for a treat you can savour.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Champagne offer

My pricing guide

You may have noticed in my last post that I put (Price: 1) in the title. I categorise wine by price, because its a) difficult for me to remember how much I paid for a wine, and b) prices vary with time, so this should help to give you a good indication.

0 = <£10
1 = £10-19
2 = £20-29
3 = £30-39
4 = £40+

The prices indicate how much the wine costs off-trade. Please bear in mind I am unlikely to drink wines <£5 and any notes for wines <£10 will indicate I've found a bargain. Also, this pricing structure doesn't take into account any offers that you might be able to find if you look around.

Tim Adams, Pinot Gris, Clare Valley, 2009, 13% (Price: 1)

I am going to start with this wine as my first post, because it has an unbelievable colour. I have never had an orange wine before! At first I thought there was something wrong with it, so I had to check, but no, this wine is actually orange.

Normal tasting notes require the following kind of explanation: Clear, pale orange appearance; Medium intensity with peach, apricot, lychee and lemon characteristics on the nose; Dry, high acidity, medium body, with flavour characteristics of kiwi, peach, apricot and steel; Long length & very good quality. (NB. Pinot Grigio rarely gets higher than 'Good quality', but this Gris has so much more to offer.)

My notes however go a little more like this... Beautiful unexpected colour, looks like a summer meadow! It makes me feel like I'm sitting on a balcony in a busy city (am I in Singapore or Hong Kong?), eating tropical fruits that I don't know the name of. It's good with Asian food, but you need to drink it quickly otherwise it gets a bit steely.

If you like crisp dry white wines, but want to try something with a bit more character, this is a good one to try. In fact, I find pinot gris often give a little something extra. Also a good one if you're an ABC (anything but chardonnay).

Welcome to Princess and the Pinot!

I am hoping to use this blog to help you explore wine in such a way that you can try some very tasty, some good quality wines, but without having to spend a fortune, or kiss too many frogs before finding your prince.

I will be blogging my tasting notes, tips for choosing wine, and thoughts and comments as I continue my wine exploration. I hope you will join me on the journey.

I have passed WSET Level 2 with Distinction, so I know a little about what I am talking about, although the way I taste wines is somewhat different to the standard tasting notes. I hope you enjoy reading the blog and if you have any questions, comments, or recommendations, please post away!