Welcome to Issue 2 of the Vintner Standard. This is the diary of life at Vintner HQ with tales of the adventures of our wonderful little wine business as well as tips on what’s going on in the big bad world or wine. Life gets pretty exciting under the water line for us Vintners and we don’t like to hide any of the juicy bits.
Happy reading and we’d welcome your feedback.
We’ve run many tastings this year helping happy couples decide on the really important part of the day – what to drink, so we thought it might be worth dropping a few tips.
The first quandary is what style of wine to go for. Here we’ve got three tips to guide you:
1. Match the style of wine to the time and season of the wedding. You’ll get through more white in the Summer and, depending on the menu, you’ll want a dry, fresh crowd pleaser for the white and a rich but gentle and smooth red. Remember, you’ll always need a crisp, fresh fizz not only for the reception but for the toast as well.
2. Match the wine to the food. The really simple rule here is don’t let either overpower each other. The power of the wine must match the food so with a simple chicken dish, put an elegant and soft European white as opposed to an ‘all guns blazing Kiwi Sauvignon or a hugely rich Southern French Viognier. An ideal choice might be a Soave Classico. And for the red, go for a red with ripe, juicy fruit and low tannin – Our Operetta and our Côte de Brouilly would be perfect reds.
3. Buy wine that you would like to drink, not that you think your guests would like to drink. Generally speaking, if you like the wine, your guests will too. Trust your pallet!
4. And lastly, buy the right amount. You generally want to over order so you avoid the worry of running out so a good guide is:
4 glasses of Sparkling per person (3 for the reception and 1 for the toast)4 glasses of wine per person – half white and half red depending on the type of wedding.
In our quest to make absolutely sure that our wines are standing up to the competition we put our range of Mâconnais whites to the test on Friday with some cracking results. It’s very interesting to note the variance in vintages. With the less expensive wines it’s clear that a 2010 white is far too old – as demonstrated by the Society’s White Burgundy 2010. Many of the Bourgogne Blanc 11’s were beginning to taste a little tired whilst the 12’s were singing, HOWEVER, our 2011 Bourgogne Blanc ‘Fortin’ by Julien Collovray really was the star of this show. Smooth, silky and creamy in texture with some beautifully balanced citrus fruit. Bourgogne Blanc by the way must always be made from Chardonnay.
It’s that time of year again when everyone grabs a mallet and heads onto Twitter for the annual George Osborne ‘Budget’ snake bash.
All indications are pointing to the Chancellor continuing with the ‘duty escalator’ set down by the previous government which basically adds a minimum 2% over inflation to each bottle of still wine and likely more to fizz. Whilst there is still some discrepancy over what the increase will be it is likely to take duty to almost £2.00 a bottle and add to that a dash of VAT chargeable on alcohol duty, and bingo – we have a sour taste in our mouth. But, no spittoons are allowed as we are unable to spit this one out.
Still, we are not all gloom here at Vintner HQ and our suggestion is to beat the budget by stocking up fast on a selection of our 100 absolute corkers before we have to re-do the math…s and tinker with the price list.
It doesn’t matter what type of Sauvignon, or how old the cheese – these two are friends. For me the ultimate pairing of these is Sancerre and its village partner Crottin de Chavignol. There’s a rule in food & wine matching that goes ‘If it grows together, it goes together’ and these two appellations exist in the same village!
In youth Chavignol is creamy, herbaceous and even lemony. This is why it’s such a great foil for Sancerre’s gooseberry aroma and nervy acidity, the latter helping lift the creaminess of the cheese off the palate.
I highly recommend the expertise of Le Cave a Fromage in South Kensington, and of course look no further than Sancerre ‘La Mercy-Dieu’ 2011, Domaine Bailly-Reverdy for absolute show stopper of a Sancerre!
Words by Charlie Stein
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