This week I ‘ave been mostly drinking...
Russell Wallace, General Manager – Bodegas Protos Verdejo. I did a tasting the week before last for our good friends at Little’s Restaurant in Blairgowrie (what do you mean you haven’t been yet, well honestly you must!). Part of the tasting reintroduced me to a dear old friend called Bodegas Protos in the form of their stunning Verdejo – 100% Verdejo from the Rueda region just outside Ribera. Protos are well known as being the founding vineyard responsible for enabling Ribera del Duero to become a DO, indeed they used to be called Ribera del Duero! Don’t get me wrong we love the reds they grow at their main home, but for something truly stunning and indeed different it has to be the Verdejo. This wine offers great value for money too! Lovely full tropical flavours, grapefruit and plenty of acidity to allow it to pair well with food. Which food? Shellfish is the best pairing, but as a fish-phobic I would go for nibbles and evening sunshine. Speaking of sunshine, we had our first barbeque of the year last week which meant bbq chicken, corn on the cob and some of the finest veggie food the freezer had to offer. We also happened upon a lonely bottle of Veuve Cliquot. I have not in honesty knowingly tried Veuve before which amazed me as well! What a delight, it is the best NV Champagne outside of my beloved Bollinger (sorry Veuve you don’t quite get Bollinger’s crown). Fresh, not overly yeasty like many Champagnes are and, generally just more quaffable. As it happens, I tend to enjoy non-Champagne more than the real deal, and I think a lot of us Brits have a similar palate, so if this sounds like you and you are looking for a cracking new bubbly which is very non-Champagne like, give it a whirl.
Dianne Barrie, Company Administrator – I haven’t done a great deal of drinking over the last few weeks. However, I did sample the Trapezio ++ Plus Chardonnay while I was working in our shop on Saturday! Well, how could I possibly tell our customer about it if I hadn’t tried it myself?! And, I must say this was the perfect wine for the barbeque weather we experienced here on Saturday. It’s crisp with hints of citrus yet with a creamy, mellow palate full of pear and peach flavours. It’s not a heavy going wine either – despite the American oak, this is a very smooth rounded wine – an ideal summer drinking wine, and a perfect accompaniment to enjoy with summer food such as tapas, grilled fish, or teriyaki style char-grilled salmon, pork or chicken. Quite simply, it’s a fantastic wine from a fantastic producer.
Kieran German, Shop Manager – A bit of an IPA kick this week, as I’ve been reading Pete Brown’s Hops and Glory of late – a calamitous history of an iconic beer. So, over to Founder’s Brewing Co., Odell Brewing Co., Brooklyn Brewery, and the always-amazing Thornbridge Brewery. For the love of hops, they’re all good. Founder’s All Day IPA is a grapefruit treat, really crisp and zesty all the way to the finish - like a Kiwi-sauvignon blanc. Speaking of Kiwi, the Thornbridge Kipling is brewed using 100% New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops and it’s brimming with mango, lychee and passion fruit flavours. It’s delicious. Odell IPA, Brooklyn EIPA and Thornbridge Jaipur are all old favourites and never fail to satisfy. Happily, a beer-loving friend is a-visiting Chateau Kieran this weekend and (if this sunshine holds) we’ll have a great barbecue and beer session. Recipe here. So next week’s blog could be a CTRL-C/CTRL-V job.