Pineau d'Aunis rocks!

Drinking a lovely, bright, elegant, fresh red from the Loire. It’s a varietal Pineau d’Aunis, and it’s one of those wines that is both non-serious and drinkable, and yet also serious at the same time.

Pineau d’Aunis is a brilliant grape variety. It’s a bit like Pinot Noir, in that it produces lighter red wines with [...]

Dinner at le Mange-Grenouille, Saint Aignan sur Cher

Another nice dinner, this time at le Mange-Grenouille in Saint Aignan. No frogs: just some delicious wines and really impressive food, including a really nice pigeon and one of the most visually appealing desserts I have had in a while. Two slightly less well celebrated Loire varieties shone. First, Romorantin, and second Côt (aka Malbec [...]

Dinner at Le Bon Laboureur, with nice Loire wines

I’m in the Loire, with Tim Atkin, Sam Harrop and Annette Scarfe. We’re here to judge Loire Sauvignon, and last night we were joined by some Loire growers for a nice dinner at Le Bon Laboureur in Chenonceau.

The food was first rate, but what I found really exciting were the wines. The Loire is a [...]

Off to the Loire, with a nice Sancerre as preparation

Tomorrow I am off to Tours with a crack team of tasters to judge some Sauvignon Blancs. I beleive that our crew includes Clarke, Metcalfe. Atkin and Harrop, among others. I’m lucky to be included!

In preparation, I’m tasting a rather good Sancerre. It’s nicely packaged and deliciously full flavoured.

Domaine Laporte Sancerre Le Rochoy 2010 Loire, [...]

Touraine Sauvignon Blanc seems to rock

Been very impressed with the recent Touraine Sauvignon Blancs I’ve tried. The Loire fights back! Here are three that I’ve enjoyed over the last couple of days.

Famille Bougrier Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Loire
Very fresh, precise and lively with lovely grapefruit and citrus character. Precise with a real zip to it. Nicely aromatic with good acidity [...]

Unwinding after the final day of the trade fair with some Vouvray

I am properly tired. The third day of the London International Wine Fair (held in the Docklands, above) was a good one, but after a late night last night (at the wonderful Brawn), an early-ish start this morning, and some residual illness from the weekend, and I’m spent, gov. Nothing left in the tank. Oh, [...]

Dinner at Francis and Bronwens with Huet, Laval, Niepoort and Donald

I normally try to keep this blog of the moment, but I’ve been busy of late, and I have lots to include. So I need to mention, after the fact, Thursday night’s dinner at Francis and Bronwen Percival’s place.

It was another gathering of the convenors of the London Gastronomy Seminars. I love these meetings, because [...]

Natural Chenin and Queijo de Serra da Estrela - yum!

Wine and cheese. Not always a great match, but here’s a combination that worked well. Queijo de Serra da Estrela is a fantastic cheese from Portugal. It’s made in the Beiras region, on the border with the Dao wine region, from sheep’s milk. The sheep are farmed on the foothills of the Serra da Estrela [...]

A super Loire red from Frederic Mabileau

I’m a bit of a sucker for Loire reds. They’re the antithesis of the ‘international’ style of red wine, and they’re quite difficult to ‘get’. But they’re lovely. It’s so great to have wines like these, with a point of difference. Although I have to admit that I ordered a Mabileau wine blind in a [...]

Two natural-tasting, affordable French wines

Always good to find decent, natural tasting French wines that I can afford. Here are a couple imported directly by London merchant Roberson. Both are organic.

Julien Sunier Beaujolais-Villages 2008
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, bright and quite light with cherry and berry fruits, some grippy, slightly grainy tannins and good acidity. Subtle earthy, mineral notes add interest. Some [...]