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VALENTINES DAY AND FOOD PAIRING!!

Admin 04/02/2021
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Valentine's Day is just around the corner. If you are like me you'll be pining for that enchanting hot air balloon flight over The Hand Jumeirah or, better yet, yearning to be spoiled with flowers and pricey sparkly things. What's more probable (if I'm actually fortunate) is a peaceful evening in, dinner, cuddles on the sofa after tucking in the sobbing child for a couple of hours ...

Keeping that in mind we have laid out our recommendations on what wines to couple with home-cooked man-approved dishes. Look into our ideas listed below.

Steak and also Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is king when it pertains to pairing with a juicy, well marbled steak like sirloin or rib-eye. Cabernet is high in tannins (the grippy, puckering feeling you feel on the inside of your cheeks when you consume alcohol a solid merlot), which essentially cleanse away the fat the steak leaves inside your mouth, helping each mouthful of steak taste like the first bite.

Love on a budget plan: Spend as much as you are happy to spend for a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. We suggest our Errazuriz Estate Series Cabernet Sauvignon.

Splash Out: Head to the UNITED STATES isle and treat yourself to a passionate Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa or Sonoma in The golden state. Try our Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Favor a leaner cut? Given that beef tenderloin (fillet) isn't fatty and lovers of this cut tend to like their meat on the rare side, go with a lighter wine like a Pinot Noir. We suggest our chilean pinot noir from Errazuriz.

Love on a budget: There is no such thing as a cheap Pinot Noir (Or at the very least there shouldn't be). This grape requires a great deal of Tender Loving Care in the vineyard as well as expensive oak barrel aging making it costly to create. 

Splash Out: New Zealand is where it's at! Central Otago and Martinborough locations are where the most revered decreases originate from. 

Spaghetti Bolognaise (or other pasta in red sauce) and Chianti

You're eating Italian food, so stick with their wines as well. Italian wine tends to be a bit sour, and that's because they have actually progressed to match the acid in the food, like tasty tomato-based meals. Hey there Spag-Bol!

Love on a budget:  Get a bottle of Chianti. Generally those identified 'Chianti Classico' are the most effective so get among those if it remains in your spending plan, or else any Chianti will certainly do. Try lamole di lamole Chianti Classico.

Splash Out: Barolo. He ought to be so fortunate to have you, a residence cooked meal and also a Barolo in his arms. Try Domenico Clerico Barolo 2015.

Roast Chicken and Chardonnay

We know what (a few of) you are thinking. 'I don't like Chardonnay'. Well, it's time to try it again. Chardonnay underwent an uncomfortable stage in the 80's and 90's where woodier than Ron Wine red's hunting lodge. Wine makers now aim to strike an equilibrium between spice, timber and fruit flavours in Chardonnay. Roast chicken is a classic combination with the buttery and toasty preference of the wine.

Love on a budget: Avoid straight up cheap Chardonnay, even if you're on a spending plan. Chardonnay costs a lot to make well thanks to the expensive oak barrels it’s aged in. Go for something around the 20 euro mark from Argentina where economic climate aspects enable them to make decent wines that do not cost a fortune. Try Zuccardi Serie A Chardonnay. 

 

Splash Out: You can get wonderful Chardonnay from the majority of  wine producing nations if you more than happy to pay for it. Try an Australian gem.

Fish

White wine with fish is the general rule, however wine pairing can be more technical than that. If fish is on your menu here are some quick pointers of what wine to pair with various fish recipes:

Ceviche - Dry Riesling. Try Hugel Riesling. Grilled white fish - Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño or Gavi. Try Our Pascal Jolivet Sancerre. Battered white fish - Cava or Champagne! Try our Charles Heidsieck Brut or Rose. 

 

We believe you can probably generate something terrific to please your Valentines' fancy after dinner without our aid ...

4 Good Red Wines for Beginners

Admin 22/01/2021
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It's obvious that interest in wine is expanding.

Maybe you like wine for the suggested health benefits (i.e. keto friendly, anti-oxidants, etc). Or, maybe you just like rosé! Whatever the reason, one problem lots of beginners struggle with is constantly choosing wines they love.

This is specifically true with red wines since, stylistically talking, they're really varied.

So, right here are four excellent red wines that intend to please. We call them crowd pleasers:

  • They are big on flavour and big on fruit. (also known as fruit forward).
  • They're not also astringent (e.g. tannic) and have a smooth coating.
  • Contrasted to other varietals, they provide terrific value. (We call this QPR, for quality-price proportion.).

Zinfandel.
All the fruit, all the time.

Matching white wine is enjoyable.

Fruit Flavors: Blackberry shrubs, strawberry, peach preserves, cinnamon, and pleasant tobacco.

What You'll Discover: Just how alcohol impacts the taste.

The most effective Zins out there are typically quite high in alcohol (absolutely try to find those with 14% or more by volume). Alcohol in wine is type of like MSG; it magnifies fruit flavors and also increases boldness.

To taste the alcohol level in wine, take a sip and slowly breathe out after you ingest: it prickles the back of your throat. (Pros can recognize within a 1% ABV with this technique!).


Petite Syrah.
A healthy and balanced dosage of antioxidants.

Fruit Flavours: Sugar plum, blueberry, dark chocolate, black pepper, and black tea.

What You'll Discover: What "black wines" truly look like.

The ancient Greeks described all red wines as "black wines." Today, black wines are an unique class of super grapes with a remarkably high antioxidant content. The antioxidants in wine are discovered in the skins, seeds, and stems of grapes and are usually called polyphenols, of which anthocyanin (the red colour) is one kind.

Grapes with high polyphenols have high tannin (that astringent, bitter, tea-like taste in red wine) and are typically deeply coloured. Certainly, wine makers have actually found out exactly how to manage bitterness in winemaking to make sure that they taste bold and smooth. Petit Syrah is no exemption!


Nero d'Avola.
The gateway to Italian reds.

Fruit Flavors: Black cherry, black plum, licorice, tobacco, as well as red chili flakes.

What You'll Discover: The taste of terroir.

If you're boggled by Italian wines, you're not alone. Italy is just one of the most difficult wine regions to recognize, even for pros. To make things more complicated, a number of the leading Italian wines like "Barolo" are an acquired taste. 

So, begin in the south! Sicily and Puglia continue to offer some of the best values in the whole nation. Nero d'Avola supplies bold, crowd-pleasing fruit flavours together with Italy's trademark dusty, clay-like terroir.


Merlot.
The unhonoured hero of Bordeaux.

Fruit Flavors: Red cherry, plum, chocolate, graphite, dried out herbs, and vanilla.

What You'll Discover: Great Merlot gives Cabernet Sauvignon a run for the money.

Go to any kind of wine store or restaurant and compare the prices of the greater end bottles of Merlot wine to Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot wine is always cheaper (unless we're talking Petrus!) What's funny concerning this fact is that of all the grapes on the planet,Merlot wine and Cabernet couldn't be more similar. They're even related.


Take Much Better Notes.
Next time you open up a bottle of wine, attempt tasting it with the 4-step approach. You'll be surprised the amount of more flavours you can obtain!

2020 Wine Review!!

Admin 21/01/2021
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When you look back on 2020, you may not be able to fight the need to drink wine directly from the decanter. Nobody's judging you.

There's Never Ever Enough Wine
Year of Wine Review (2020 )
You can not hurry through a vintage, even if often you want to strike the "skip" button and never look back. But, it would be a shame not to reflect on those highs, lows, and hilarious moments that made 2020 such a pivotal year in wine.

 

Governments are getting their oily paws around wine sales.
Getting a terrific bottle of wine just got a lot harder thanks to international trade policies. 

  • US degrees second toll against European alcohol, causing United States imports of French wine to drop by fifty percent.
  • Europe responds to US tolls by shifting wine exports to China.
  • China kicks Australian wine trade in the gut with 212% tariff. Consume some Australian wine today!
  • The South African government locks down wine exports, cutting a $600M annually market in half. Time to stock up on South African Cabernet!

 

Wine sales are up! However, it's not precisely what you think.
Complete sales volume for wine throughout 2020 is up significantly. Sales came to virtually 30% more during March- May compared to 2019. What are people buying?

  • Wine sales got dominated by Sparkling wines and wine-based cocktails.
  • Large brands pushed tons of wines this year, while little wineries based on in-person sales suffered.
  • People felt the need to stock up and we saw a large increase on box wine sales.

 

Independent wineries had to get creative selling wine this year.
With dining establishments closed throughout COVID wineries needed to be creative. There was a massive uptick in virtual tastings, live streams, and internet sales in wine this year.

 

Climate modification is in full effect.
Back in 2015 we reported on a climate change study pointing to several wine regions becoming “unsuitable” by year 2050. This year we got to really experience what that actually feels like.

  • Germany experienced its nine warm winter, which resulted in almost all of the Ice wine makers missing out on the target.
  • California and Oregon get struck hard by wildfires in late summer, ruining lots of wineries, houses, and in some locations, the entire grape harvest ...
  • A proactive British company invents a paper wine bottle using recycled material. It saves on waste, stores as easily as glass, and insulates better! Drinking from a paper bag has finally achieved the elegance it deserves.
  • For vineyards, there is now an all-electric tractor that can run without a driver.
  • A massive excess of wine results in a mystical boon in unexpected wine spills and celebrity wines. 

 

We've been swimming in a sea of wine since late. It looks like each week there's a new celebrity coming out with a rosé (Post Malone and Kylie Minogue), a "pure" wine (Cameron Diaz), or a bottle of badassery (Snoop Dog and Mary J Blige).

What’s weird is all the mysterious reports of wine spills and new wine-based distillates.

  • A Mission Hill worker inadvertently pumped greater than 20,000 bottles worth of wine down a drain ... and this had not been the very first time.
  • A creek in Sonoma Area, California ran red after a mixing storage tank failure caused 490,000 bottles of Cabernet washing into Russian River.
  • French winemakers fight the surplus by transforming unsold wine into hand-sanitizer, which we strongly recommend you not to drink.
  • A winery Muscadine in North Carolina proactively gave away 74,000 bottles worth of wine to distill right into hand sanitizer. Did they do that out of love, or was it really just that bad?
  • A strange malfunction at a winery in Italy caused Lambrusco to flow from people's taps. Why consume  water when you can drink wine!

All in all, everyone has had a serious thirst for wine. And, it got to our heads…

  • A mostly naked California man is found drinking wine straight from a moving tanker truck.
  • Cracker Barrel makes a move to add wine and  beer to their menu. We recommend trting a great Lambrusco Grassparossa with the Poultry n' Dumplins.
  • Taco Bell made wine. No joke. Try the Jalapeño Noir with their Toasted Cheesy Chalupa.

 

Raise a glass to 2020 ... and wave it goodbye. Let's do a much better job in 2021 shall we?

 

It's been an intriguing year, a difficult year, and a year of adjustment. Enjoy in a great bottle of wine and see it out the door in style.

WHY WINE AND SUNLIGHT DON'T MIX!!!

Admin 21/09/2020
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Unless you want its fruity and floral aromas to come to be those of cooked cabbage, wet cardboard and  wet dog, ensure your wine and sunlight stay away from each other. Keep reading for more on this and what else you can do to protect your wine.

Does Sunlight Effect Wine?
Did you realize that direct sunshine exposure can change a magnificent bottle of wine to nasty swill? This unfortunate phenomenon is light strike.

Light strike takes place when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays flood the bottle. This excites the wine's naturally taking place riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5).

These energized molecules then react with naturally present amino acids. This yields sulfur containing compounds that we can smell at very low levels, and they stink!

3 hours of sun direct exposure is all it takes for wine damage to occur in clear bottles. Wine in green bottles takes just 18 hrs. Be mindful of where a shop has placed its wine prior to acquiring it.

Select a wine that is not near a home window or subjected to the sun.

But is there an additional solution for battling those UV rays?

The shade of the bottle significantly affects UV direct exposure.

 

Bulbs & Bottles: Much More Wine-Saving Techniques
Who would have thought that the shade of the bottle makes such a difference?

 

As proof, a research study revealed that amber glass, not the winemaker's typical choice, offers near COMPLETE defence from UV rays. Green glass offers moderate security, and clear glass very little.

Historically, green glass was the easiest to create in large quantities. It predates any understanding of light strike, hence making it one of the most usual today. Clear glass is a newer selection that provides almost no security.

This is a real shame, as most of us like to see the beautiful shades of white, yellow, green, and rose within.

Lastly, if you intend to get really technical and stop UV damage a lot more, set up LED bulbs. This is a fantastic solution, as they do not emit any UV rays.

 

It's not impossible!
Keeping wine and sunlight separate could appear hard. Yet as we've seen, there are tons of techniques for keeping your wine scrumptious and also sun-free!

Securing your wine from UV rays, taking into consideration the colour of the bottle, and even installing LED bulbs will certainly lengthen the life and also flavour of your wine.

MIRABEAU ROSES - LIVING THE PROVENCE DREAM

Admin 12/05/2020
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Ever thought of selling up, relocating somewhere new and start making wine? Georgina Hindle speaks with Stephen and Jeany Cronk about how they transformed a dream into reality, and tastes through the most recent Mirabeau rosé wines.
Mirabeau rosé wines stand for the fruition of a long-held winemaking desire and a shared love of Provence rosé for British pair Stephen and Jeany Cronk.
 
With no previous experience of making wine, the couple started in 2009 by relocating with their kids from London life to the stunning rolling hills and blue skies of southerly France.
' We were outright supporters to Provence rosé,' states Jeany Cronk. 'It was one of the things we constantly agreed on, we just loved it and it wasn't even especially fashionable in those days.'
 
Commemorating their tenth anniversary last year, the acclaimed Mirabeau variety currently consists of a sparkling rosé and  8 still wines - one in a can - and can be found in more than 50 markets around the globe. Additionally they make a gin.
Scroll down for Mirabeau's wine tasting notes and ratings.
 
' It's a very tough business'
Stephen and Jeany have established a very effective négociant business model, developing their array by sourcing fruit from other places as opposed to taking the more traditional path of making wine entirely from their very own estates.
' The reality is, it's a very tough business,' said Stephen. 'It's extremely capital intensive so we chose to establish a model utilizing other people's vineyards as a négociant, taking the completed base wines and blending them to specific profiles.'
 
They scoured the region for the best vineyards and growers to work with, and employed an experienced winemaking group led by Beaujolais-born winemaker Nathalie Longefay.
 
Mirabeau's 'Classic' gave the group its big break, landing a contract with UK grocery store Waitrose and kick-starting growth in the USA, Canada, Holland and Germany. It is currently an 'entry point' into the range.
 
The Pure and Etoile wines followed, in 2014 as well as 2017 specifically, forming the major emphasis of the brand.
 
Mirabeau Factfile
Business established: 2009
Initial vintage: 'Classic', 2010
Proprietors: Stephen and Jeany Cronk
Winemaker: Nathalie Longefay
Model: Négociant with estate wine expected
Variety consists of: VClassic, Pure, Etoile, La Folie sparkling, Azure, Belle Année, Forever Summer , X and Prêt-à-Porter Rosé to Go!
Estate: 20 hectares (ha), with 14ha under vine and planted to Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle, situated in Notre Dame des Anges.
 
How Classic, Pure and Etoile wines are made
Stephen Cronk defines Classic as 'a really great representation of a Provence rosé'.
 
It's made from a non-prescriptive blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault and is dominated by red fruits. There is less than 1g of residual sugar, as in all 3 of these wines, but there is an impact of sweetness balanced by acidity and a round taste.
Pure has a different profile. 'It's more citrussy with grapefruit flavours and a mineral quality,' states Stephen. 'The framework makes it a slightly more serious wine and for people that are used to drinking Provence rosés. It's even more direct with the backbone on the palate.'
 
Etoile is made in smaller amounts from grapes grown at high altitudes in the Mont Ste-Victoire appellation just south of Aix-en-Provence.
It is always 90% Grenache and 10% Cinsault, with a profile that Stephen describes as 'rock fruits on the nose, peach and apricot, with a minerality and concentration that makes it even more of a gastronomic wine'.
Sourcing the appropriate base wines.
 
Aside from Etoile, Mirabeau wines are made to a specific 'taste and quality profile' rather than a specific blend, according to the team. It resources the base wines that have the called for flavour profiles.
 
' Our method is to taste as widely as feasible' states Jeany. The team believes its initiatives to establish and nurture strong partnerships with the area's growers have actually helped in this regard.
 
' We have an enormous panel of wines to purchase from, which is a big benefit,' says Jeany. 'Due to the fact that Nathalie has the stlye of each of our 3 core  wines efficiently in her head as a profile, we progressively choose what will go into the final blend.
 
' Even in times of severe shortage we have actually been blessed enough to get some wonderful wines to collaborate with.'
 
Consistency between vintages
This access to top quality grapes from the 2,000 ha of prime Côtes de Provence vineyards additionally permits Mirabeau to more conveniently blend-out vintage variation.
 
' The négociant model truly enables us to pick the best wines from the best sellers to produce that constant style our customers recognise.
 
' We know customers who enjoy Pure and would like it to be the exact same annually and we acknowledge that. We work all year long to have those connections with growers and become their key partner - it’s a transparent and symbiotic model.'
When selected, the base wines will be blended and bottled throughout the year. It's nearly a bottled-to-order system, with the couple 'drawing the wines down as and when they need them'.
 
They have found that this provides even more flexibility, especially given the needs of labelling and  marketing wines in various countries and for various customers, from exclusive supermarket labels to Hebrew back labels.
Other wines in the range.
 
Numerous new wines have actually been launched on top of the core range, some as fun experiments and others in a nod to customer preferences as well as ecological considerations.
For example, there is a sparkling rose called La Folie, comprised this year of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Collombard.
 
It was introduced four years before and is made using the Charmat Technique - the procedure commonly found in Prosecco - to deliver freshness, fruit flavours and sparkle at a budget friendly price.
Forever Summer  was born with the trend for low  alcohol wines in mind.
 
 
Reverse osmosis has actually reduced the alcohol level from 13% to 11% abv. The original objective was someplace nearer to 9%, but the couple found that reducing abv by more than 2% had way too much impact on the wine's structure.
This bottling, available specifically at UK supermarket Sainsburys as of 2 years ago, is likewise classified as 'plant based', because it is sourced from growers that utilize vegan winemaking strategies.
 
The range also consists of Mirabeau's 'Prêt-à-Porter Canettes Rosé to Go!'; rosé in a can that Jeany refers to as having 'so many positives', not the very least at outings and celebrations.
 
It began as a special project with Whole Foods in the US, labelled as a Vin de France made from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. However, amid the rising popularity of both canned wine and rosé, the wine is now widely stocked.
' It simply spoke to me as a customer, but we really did not intend to fall into the trap of not putting wonderful  wine in there,' Jeany says.
 
Rosé Gin
Not content solely with wine production, there’s even a Mirabeau Rosé gin.
It uses 100% neutral grape spirit, from the alcohol extracted during the production of Forever Summer, and a host of local botanicals. Together with juniper berries, these include coriander seeds, orris and angelica root, Citron de Menton peel and enthusiasm, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, lavender, Rose de Mai flowers and jasmine.
 
Domaine wine on the horizon
Based in Notre-Dame des Anges, which became the 5th official sub-region of Côte de Provence in 2014, the Mirabeau group now has the creation of their very own 'domaine' wine in mind.
They will begin exploring for the first time later on this year, using Mirabeau's 14 hectares of vineyards. It consists of primarily Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle, which is also referred to as Vermentino.
‘We’ve got a broad range and all our products need our attention, so we’re not going to bring a new wine out for the sake of it,’ say the couple
' We do not know when we'll have a wine that is good enough because it will have to be different. We wish to take our time and also experiment technically and find something that’s really small batch.’
 
Advertising biodiversity
The pair said they were committed to environmentally-responsible viticulture and intend to step in as little as possible in the vineyard.
‘It’s a survival essential,’ says Stephen, who believes strongly in the idea of regenerative farming; this involves encouraging biodiversity that will then re nourish the soil and help build resilience to erosion and drought. It is hoped that limited ploughing will encourage vines to store more CO2 in the soil.
 
Influenced by Oregon winemaker, botanist and environmentalist Mimi Casteel, Stephen intends to 'take organic to the next level' and to 'see whether we can relocate away from a mono-culture to a biodiverse vineyard and still make great wine'.
He includes, 'Where we can move the dial on an ecological front, we do.' Like numerous amongst a brand-new generation of wine makers, along with veteran opponents of chemicals and herbicides, he claims that years of using sprays and treating throughout the wine world was 'all entirely wrong'.
 
The Mirabeau estate doesn't make use of any type of unsafe pesticides, preferring natural compost and manure on the creeping plants.
 
The pair have actually established an ambitious goal to reduce their carbon impact by intending to become plastic-free, and reduce using power, water and raw materials.
See Mirabeau's wine notes and ratings
 
Mirabeau, La Folie NV, Vin de France, Southwest France 
 
A fragile, very light pink shimmering made in the Charmat Approach (the same as Prosecco) to retain a beautiful fresh flavour of strawberries and raspberries together with zesty lemon and lime. Made from Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Colombard grown in northern Provence and the Luberon, it has crisp acidity.
Points 90
 
A remarkable floral nose rupturing with elderflower, peach and citrus. On the pallet it's juicy and loaded with summer season berries with hints of grapefruit and underlying minerality. A mix of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, it's structured with a beautiful soft appearance, mouthwatering activity and also is extremely Provençal in style ...
Points 91
 
 
 
A fruit-forward nose with soft, green apple and pear notes coming through along with lemon and ripe apricot. It's absolutely a different style to the Pure and Classic wines in Mirabeu's variety, with an appetizing level of acidity providing freshness and power, plus a focus on stone fruit and crunchy citrus flavours.
Points 91
 
 
A meaningful nose of berry notes that, on the taste buds, transforms right into succulent and juicy red cherries, raspberries and strawberries. The palate uses a light creaminess and smooth texture with a round, crisp coating. Made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Cinsault, it has complexity as well as drive.
Points 90
 
 
 
 
This is aptly named, tasting like a summertime dessert, packed with delicious strawberries and fragile lotion flavours. It's revitalizing and extremely drinkable with tips of citrus on the palate and a refined spicy side on the coating. Forever Summer is the first lower alcohol wine in Mirabeau's range.
Points 89
 
Mirabeau, Prêt-à-Porter Canettes Rosé to Go!, Méditerranée IGP
 
 
An ingenious product from the Mirabeau group: its Prêt à Concierge can. This has a lovely red berry fruit flavour, ripe cherries, raspberries and wild strawberries, together with tips of grapefruit and apricot. Rejuvenating as well as yummy, it makes a great alfresco option for picnics, beach trips or drinking by the pool.
Points 88
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