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!