Archive for November, 2012


Chilean Pinot Noir And Black Truffles


The shops may be pumping out cheesy seasonal hits from the 70s, but at SipSwoosh Towers, we’re still firmly in an Autumn frame of mind. Mists and mellow fruitfulness. That kind of thing. And, as winter doesn’t officially start until 21st December, it IS still Autumn, dammit!

So let me talk about truffles – the quintessential smell and flavour of Autumn – and Pinot Noir, the wine I reach for most at this time of year. Especially those that have developed earthy, fungal tones. My idea of heaven.

I’ll admit then that Chilean Pinot Noir would not be my first port of call. There’s something of the Kardashian in many I have tried.

But an invite to try some of Concha Y Toro’s fine wines with black truffles from Périgord at Bar Boulud London was too good to resist. And I was genuinely surprised about some of the wines. (more…)

Don’t Be Afraid Of Virginia Wine


“Do you want to come and taste some Cabernet Sauvignon grapes?” asks Rachel Martin, Executive Vice President of Boxwood Winery in Middleburg, Virginia, soon after I arrive. She wants me to try the just-harvested grapes to show me they’ve reached phenolic (or physiological) ripeness, not just sugar ripeness – as is common in many cooler European climates. (more…)

The Bloggers’ Case Is Back


I hate to use the C-word before November is out. But I know what I’ll be drinking in the last week full of December. A crémant – France’s other sparkling wine. A number of French wine regions produce crémants. They’re made the same way as Champagne, though often with different grapes.

However, my choice for festivities this year will be a bit of a Champers lookee-likee – a Cave de Lugny Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs NV from Oddbins. For £11.50, I’d far rather be sipping this cost-conscious but delicious Chardonnay fizz than some angular, tart “bargain” Champagne. (more…)