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Entries in wine (3)

Monday
Dec292014

Christmas fare and a recipe for beurre blanc

A belated Merry Christmas to you all! I am just awaking, bleary eyed and pot bellied, from a food coma.

My sister and I spent Christmas with our dear friend Chrissie and her family in Cambridge. Chrissie makes a fantastic roast and was responsible for convincing me a few years back that turkey doesn’t have to be a dry and dull affair when treated correctly. Still, I was very excited to discover a few weeks ago that we’d be having crown of pork instead; I’d choose fatty, juicy pork and crispy crackling over turkey any day.

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Monday
Nov212011

Top shelf and top nosh in Luján de Cuyo

9am is the new wine o’clock.

My personal rule for drinking is that you shouldn’t have an alcoholic beverage before 12pm. Unless, of course, you have been out all night, in which case drinking in the morning is perfectly acceptable. But if you have had a good night’s sleep and woken up feeling fresh, starting to drink before 12 o’clock – beer o’clock – is stretching into alcoholics territory.

Well, on this day I broke the rules. But with good reason.

A trip to Mendoza will inevitably involve a wine tour of some description. Most people tend to go with the cheap and cheerful bike tours of neighbouring Maipú available on almost every corner in the town centre. My sister did one of these tours and she really enjoyed it, as did lots of the people I met along the way, but I had been told that you don’t really get to try that much wine on those tours and certainly not the good stuff. Lonely Planet recommends two companies that offer deluxe wine tours,

“They’re not cheap, but the benefits are obvious – small group sizes … a knowledgeable English-speaking guide … and access to some of the more exclusive (i.e. better quality) vineyards. Winemakers are much more likely to be getting the good stuff down off the top shelf for you on these tours too.”

My Mum had given me £100 for my birthday before I left which I was to save for something special so I decided to splash out on a tour of Luján de Cuyo with Trout and Wine. The tour cost US$165 (£106) which I thought incredibly reasonable given that included a tour and tasting of three top-end wineries as well a 4 course lunch and matching wines with unlimited top ups at a fourth bodega.

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Monday
Sep132010

La belle France: sip, sup, satiate

So I am back in London and it is certainly not the excess weight of my luggage that gives any cause for concern. After five days of gorging myself on all things Dalmatian, I moved on to the South of France to do it all over. My aunt and uncle, Pam and Joe have a holiday home in Mazan, a tiny medieval village in the department of Vaucluse, Provence. Vaucluse is flanked by the Rhone river to the west and the River Durance to the south, while the north-eastern perimeter is defined by mountains, most notably Mont Ventoux. Mazan sits pretty much slap bang in the middle, perfect for exploring the Southern Rhone wine region and the villages from which many of the wines take their names. And everyone knows that a glass of fine wine is best enjoyed with a plate of good food to accompany it.

Here are some of the highlights: 

View of the Cotes du Rhone from SeguretBuying fougasse, markets at L'Isle sur la Sorgue

Saucisson stall, markets at L'Isle sur la Sorgue

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