Posts Tagged Semillon


Semillon, But Not As You Know It


I’m sitting in a vineyard on a gloriously sunny day with a glass of Semillon in my hand. Nothing unusual about that, you might think. Except the vineyard is in the centre of Dublin. And it isn’t raining.

This is not a working vineyard – though the 70-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines from France are real – but a pop up in Temple Bar to celebrate 20 years of Australia’s McGuigan Wines in Ireland. (more…)

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A Little Rave About Graves


There was a time in my life when I couldn’t face red wine. History doesn’t recall why. Except that it was a brief phase. I was younger. And it probably involved over-indulgence and hangovers.

We invited some friends over for dinner. It was winter and we plumped for venison casserole. Off I trotted to my local Nicholas for advice (in the days when Nicholas did that pretty well). I have no idea what red I bought. But I do remember that, after much head scratching, a white Graves was placed in my hand and I was encouraged to “give it a go”.

I did and do you know what? It may not have been a match made it heaven, but its smokey savouriness held its own against the robust dish. (more…)

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A Little More Conversation


Some of my most memorable wine experiences have been Australian. The first wine that made me think ‘wow’ was a Jim Jim Hanging Rock Sauvignon Blanc at Mietta’s in Melbourne 16 years ago. A year on there was the Cullen Chardonnay served at our favourite restaurant in London. I liked it so much, I bought the last remaining bottles of that vintage from the distributor. Roll on further, to last year, and there was the Lenton Brae Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 the sommelier at Otto’s in Sydney recommended when we said we wanted something “really nice”. It was. (more…)

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So Long, NZ Sauvignon


This is the tale of how social media changed my mind about New Zealand wine. I’d got a bit sick of them, you see. All those endless supermarket shelves of gooseberry-screaming Sauvignon Blanc, and those big, jammy Pinot Noirs that all began to taste the same. Which I guess is why they’ve become so popular in the UK. Rather like your favourite chocolate bar, you know exactly what you are getting every time you buy these wines. To price-conscious Brits, that’s manna from heaven. (more…)

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Getting Down With The Wine ABVs


Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, it wasn’t unusual to find wines with ABVs (alcohol by volume) of around 11%. Maybe 11.5%.  At least it wasn’t unusual on our dinner table when I was growing up in the 70s. With an Italian father, there was always wine with a meal, and always from Europe. But then the world got hotter. Viticulture and vinification improved. New World wines began flooding the Northern European market. And we started developing a taste for fruity, more powerful wines with ABVs of 13%, 14%, 15% and beyond. (more…)

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Into The (Hunter) Valley


Not so many years ago, staying in the Hunter Valley meant death by chintz. Sleek, stylish and boutique were terms reserved for wines only.

So we searched and searched the Interweb ’til we came across a review in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tower Lodge. Small and boutique, it was just the sort of hotel we were looking for.

(more…)

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