A perfect day of football and wine

So it was off to Selhurst Park yesterday, the home of Crystal Palace FC. They were playing ‘my’ team, Manchester City, and I’d been kindly invited along by Palace co-chairman Stephen Browett, who is also head of Farr Vintners.

This was a crucial game. We’re coming to the end of the premiership season, and City [...]

Seven great affordable Austrian wines

A selfie wine tasting of seven good value Austrian wines. This tasting reminded me how much I really like Austrian wine.

A brilliant, affordable Austrian red

Here’s a really nice Austrian red at a great price. Just the sort of wine I love to drink. It has personality and freshness.

Pittnauer ‘Pitti’ 2011 Burgenland, Austria
A blend of Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch, 13.5% alcohol. Lovely ripe, vivid blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with some floral, spicy, meaty interest. It’s a lovely fresh, robust red wine with pure [...]

A brilliant Orange wine from Austria

Tried this today: it’s a brilliant Austrian skin-contact white. Just beautiful: one of the best examples of an ‘orange’ wine that I have tried.

Schell Mann Achtung Wine 2007 Thermenregion, Austria
From Fred Loimer, this is a skin-contact white (an ‘orange’ wine) made from Grüner Veltliner, Muskateller, Rotgipfler, Traminer, Zierfandler, all grown together in a mixed vineyard [...]

Two good, affordable Gruner Veltliners

I have a soft-spot for Gruner Veltliner, the wonderful Austrian white grape variety that the Kiwis are now beginning to plant.

Here are two good, affordable examples. The problem with cheap Gruner is that it can end up being just a fresh, rather anonymous dry white wine. This pair manage to combine a low price point [...]

Two lovely Rieslings, Alsace and Austria

Two happy hunting grounds for Riesling: Alsace and Austria.

These bottles satisfied, the Trimbach for its purity and freshness, and the Stadt Krems for its depth of flavour and richness of texture. Both are affordable (I bought the Austrian for £10 a few years back, and the Trimbach is similarly priced), but deliver the sort of quality [...]

A remarkable evening of wine, with Burgundy, the Wachau, the northern Rhone, Champagne and Sherry

Had a fabulous dinner last night at Francis and Bronwen Percival’s pad in Borough Market with a group of wine nuts, including a Burgundy-resident Californian winemaker. Some lovely bottles came out, and Francis and Bronwen’s cooking was on top form.

We started with some cheese, of course: Stawley, Kirkham’s Lancashire and Citeaux (a washed-rind cow’s milk [...]

Loimer Gruner Veltliner Lois: great wine, great packaging

Lunch at the BFI today, on the south bank of the Thames, near Waterloo. The Benugo restaurant is actually pretty good, and I had a very well presented starter of duck egg on salad, followed by a perfectly cooked fillet of sea bass on some wilted spinach.

All was washed down with Fred Loimer’s Lois Gruner [...]

Pfaffl Hundsleiten, a brilliant Austrian Gruner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is one of my favourite white grape varieties. It’s pretty much restricted to Austria, although New Zealand has now started paying attention to this variety, which has a distinctive white pepper signature note.

This is a really good example from the Wienviertel region, close to Vienna.

R & A Pfaffl Grüner Veltliner Hundsleiten 2011 Wienviertel, [...]

Kirnbauer Blaufrankisch Classic 2009 - I really like Austrian reds

Now when the Austrians can prevent themselves from adding too much oak or going for too much extraction and ripeness, they make some lovely red wines. This is a Blaufrankisch, a grape variety that performs really well in the Burgenland region. Delicious stuff.

Kirnbauer Blaufrankisch Classic 2009 Mittburgenland, Austria
13% alcohol. Fresh with lovely raspberry and blackberry [...]