Monday, 28 February 2011

Port Navas Yacht Club Bash

A club supper at the impossibly quaint Port Navas Yacht Club on Friday the 18th gave me an ideal opportunity to combine work and pleasure as I presented some wines to go with a hearty meal.
I while away many a summer 's day at this idyllic spot pottering around on my little motor boat, so I truly was among friends. The trouble is, presenting wines to a room full of people whom one knows engenders little respectso it was a far more daunting task that initially meets the eye. Anyway it went off really well – the Jean Claude Mas Le Viognier showed very wellwhile the absolutely stunning Entre Nous Petit Verdot, from Domaine de Valensac, stole the show.
Languedoc 2 Rest of the World  0 – a familiar story.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Meet the team - JB

I came to be at invitation, having worked for a couple of the directors in the past and with experience of the wild west, I was recruited to take over the West of Cornwall area and also make coffee, a lot of coffee!
My normal day/week is.....not normal! I am usually at the office 2 days, appearing in the shop and of course serving hot beverages. The rest of the week I can be found out and about around Penzance and St Ives keeping the customers happy, enjoying the views and eating ice cream. Evenings and weekends I help run the Halsetown Inn with my girlfriend Jenny.
My favourite tipple is.....seasonal! but I do like my bubbles…. I enjoy bright whites through the summer, with a liking for the People Frascati as it's great with olives and salty snacks and the Chamelin for its sunny citrus rush . In the bleak cold winter warming reds take preference, especially the Primitivo and Salice Salentino, both fruit filled rustic wines from Puglia where I spent a romantic birthday weekend with my girlfriend. The Les Yeuses Syrah has also been a hit in our household along with the La Forge Carignan, both of which will appear on the pub list for the new season.
I grew January with the arrival of my daughter Eva, which has changed my perspective on life drastically and reduced my sleep considerably.
When I was a child I wanted to artist! I did spend four happy years at Falmouth Art College where I completed my foundation course and studied illustration, whilst running up a few debts and growing my hair.
I drive a.....hard bargain, and a “Very Eighties” mark 1 VW Golf up and down the B3306 with the top down.
The last concert I went to was.....cancelled! but would have been Vampire Weekend at Eden.
The last book I read/I’m currently “ Gip needs a new tie” it was a tricky process but he got the right one for the party in the end! Read last night with Honey aged 6.
I’m looking forward to.....a day off and a good nights sleep!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Expo here we come….

Next week sees the annual Wine in Cornwall Sales team outing and them heading North, (past Truro!) to the Royal Cornwall show ground for Expo West. Why, as retail customers would you be interested in a trade show? I hear you ask! Well its time to get pro-active and ensure you can get all your favourite Wine in Cornwall wines when you are out and about this summer. We supply wine countywide from the wild west to the windy north, so get down to your favourite hangouts this weekend and demand they search out quality wines for their pub, club, hotel or restaurant.

All of our top sales people will be on hand (shirts will be pressed this weekend) and we have a shiny new black & pink banner this year so you can't miss us. We will be at Expo, everyday next week, from 10am starting on Tuesday March 1st until Thursday the 3rd.

In the trade yourself, pop along for a friendly chat and try some of our exciting new wines for the summer season. Make a difference to Wine in Cornwall, demand quality Wine in Cornwall Wine!

Next week we will report back on what went down well, any nice food we tried and where you might find us this summer.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Nigel goes to the Scillies

Dick Waterson, our man in the Scillies,  and I flew off to these stunning islands for a couple of days schmoozing with customers earlier last week. We stayed at the rock-solid, Bell Rock Hotel on St Mary’s where we enjoyed very comfortable accommodation in this traditional hotel.

Dinner at the Star Castle Hotel included a bottle of our Decanter Magazine 4 star award winning Cotes du Rhone Villages, Plan de Dieu from Chateau la Couranconne – still a little young but with far, far more to come. The 5 star Seguret from the same producer arrives next month with our entire allocation all but sold so we are hoping to eke a few more cases out of vigneron Gerard Meffre.

Scilly was looking freshly scrubbed and ready for a new season although some out there are a little worried that the season seems to be getting shorter rather than longer which is a disheartening. It is expensive to travel and stay there, but oh-so worth it. We took a raft of wines over and clear winners were once again the almost gloopy Rosedale Barossa Shiraz, a nicely balance Rioja Crianza 2007 from the Alavesa Covila winery and the attractive, tropically fruited Parrotfish Chenin Blanc.

We were accompanied on the trip by David Courtenay-Clack from the Tamar Ridge winery in Tasmania – this range of wines, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Botrytis Riesling were all showing really well, really fine examples of modern, cool climate wines.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Behind the scenes at WIC...

Each week we shall be profiling one of the lovely peeps here at Wine in Cornwall, so you can get to know us all a bit better and be a bit nosy.

First up this week is Mike Maguire, one of the directors here.....

I came to be at WIC…..because I did not fancy setting up a new food business when we sold Trengilly Wartha, and the new challenge was more attractive.
My normal day/week is.....walk to work if it is dry and I don’t need the car in the day. Walk home for lunch. Great to get a change of scenery and I can trawl the fridge for leftovers! In between walks and meals I am pretty busy on the retail side of the business and working on our new web site.
My favourite tipple! Always has been and always will be! I like lighter (3.8 – 4.2 ABV) real ales, not too hoppy. On the wine front I tend towards reds and like Southern Italians like Primitivo, Salice Salentino etc..
I grew up.....on the north of Glasgow with views of Ben Lomond and the Campsie Fells from my window. That’s why I like living in the Falmouth Penryn area. You can always see the countryside and the sea and it takes minutes to be in either.
When I was a child I wanted to be.......a lawyer, like my Dad, but realised when I did not do any work at school that I would never make the grades for that, so sort of fell into hotel management as an extension of my school holiday & weekend work in a local hotel / restaurant.
Mike hard at work at his desk
I drive a....Jaguar X-Type Estate. Comfortable, safe and sporty enough to enjoy the ride. I bought it outright second-hand when we sold the hotel, so it has to last me another 6 years! Just need to stop clipping kerbs with the alloy wheels.
The last concert I went to was.....a recital by a soprano friend who was brave enough to put on a concert to raise money for a favoured charity. She sang very well, despite her nerves and the whole evening was a great success.
The last book I read/I’m currently reading.....Open Door by Ian Rankin. I have just finished reading the last in the Rebus series,which I could not put down and this one, a thriller set in Edinburgh, like the Rebus stories, was in my hand half an hour after finishing the Rebus one! I love working my way round my mental map of Edinburgh
I’m looking forward to.....the start of the sailing season, but not the work involved in getting the boat ready!

Come back next week and you'll get to meet our Wild West sales rep Mister Bray!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Green shoots in the wild west

It looks like the start of the season is creeping in down west, Blas Burger re-open for the 2011 season on the 16th of Feb, and will be sporting a few new wines from Wine in Cornwall. The two new burgertastic reds are both old world, “lower miles” wines, a rustic Italian Montepulciano, with enough grip to tackle their homemade, to die for, chili relish and a huge Spanish smoothy, packed with ripe fruit and a touch of vanilla oak……a personal favourite of mine. Our famous St. Felix Sauvignon Vermentino is also available by the refreshing glass.
Their hot fiery chili relish, is that good that they have now bottled the stuff and made it available to buy and have at home, just in case you're not able to pop to the restaurant & get your fix. They have also been listed in the Olive Magazine's Cool List 2011 who have rated their Halloumi Stack the 'Best Veggie Burger' , yum!

Join me and my partner Jenny on the doorstep on the 16th, ready to get our new season burger fix! Jenny and I became addicted during her recent pregnancy and are eager to get boozy with the burgers now little Eva is out!

Monday, 14 February 2011

love is in the air….

Cupid has been busy building his love nest in what was our Christmas grotto! With great plans to get corks popping all over Cornwall in the coming week, he has sprinkled his magic dust over several bottles and has his quiver stocked and his eye on you.

Guaranteed love potions include…..
The truly romantic Italian Legaturra Frizzannte, a real lady pleaser, packed with delicate strawberries and creamy bubbles.
Likely to get a few knees trembling round the back of the warehouse is the bang on trend Portuguese fizz “Le Monge” with a zesty crisp bite and racing bubbles. Not for the faint hearted!The more mature and sophisticated amongst us may opt for a magnum of Veuve, just to ensure the pleasure lasts all night long!

Whether you pair your fizz with a sumptuous homemade feast, a bag of fish and chips, or neck them before hitting the town! No night of passion, lust or love is complete without a bottle of bubbly. Get down to our wine warehouse and fill your boots with fizz ensuring you valentines starts and finishes with a bang!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Fizz at the Halsetown

After  being closed for a month the Halsetown Inn reopened its doors last Saturday evening and within 5 minutes of being open it was full to the brim.
Word had spread about the refurbishment or maybe it was the lure of the free Pieminster pie-tasting. The Pies have recently featured in Hello magazine and the new Kate & Wills celebration pie will be arriving soon! The Heidi Pie was my favourite with the boys opting for the Moo Pie.
Once we arrived we were given a lovely glass of fizz and warm hello from the landlord & landlady, we managed to find ourselves a table in the snug by the fire and got to nose at the new surroundings.
The whole pub has been given a facelift with warm colours to accent walls and give the pub a more cosier feeling. The pub itself is split into 4 rooms all coming off the main bar, offering plenty of choice for seating and each room having its own individual character & charm.
It's ideal by the woodburner for a warming glass of house Tempranillo on chilly evenings or defrost in the cosy snug after a windy walk. Flying Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc is a firm favourite with the after work ladies, perfectly accompanied with a bowl of Olives.
 The pub is open Tuesday to Sunday evenings and 12-3 at weekends. Will be open all day, every day from Spring.

Throughout February the Pies are on offer 2 for £10. Delicious.
For bookings call 01736 795583

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

On the road with Nigel

We ran a  big corporate tasting at the Lemon Street Gallery in Truro on Friday evening taking the theme of “The Comeback Kids”. Ten wines were shown all featuring grape varieties which have seen a resurgence of popularity in recent years such as Viognier, Albarino, Bonarda, Graciano and Carignan.

Stars of the evening for me were a spine-tingling, minerally Assyrtiko from Boutari’s Santorini vineyards, Greece, and a lovely supple, elegant Alfrocheira from Barau de Nelas in Dao, Portugal. Dante Robino Bonarda, a perennially popular Argentinean, was probably the biggest hit of the evening amongst our guests while, as usual, the Gewurztraminer (Tamar Ridge) got the “Marmite” award.

Revelation of the week was the condition of some wines opened about ten days ago and left sitting waiting for someone to do something with them in the warehouse. When re-tasted at the weekend the wines closed under screwcap were in better nick than those under cork. Intuitively one would expect this to be the case but a useful exercise all the same.

Dante Robino Bonarda in the shop at £7 per bottle or £79.75 per case of 12. 

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Sustainable fish and supporting wines with Mike

Mike was back on his feet at Trengilly Wartha Inn on Saturday evening presenting seven wines against seven tapas style fish dishes all made using sustainable fish and shellfish. Highlight for me was the Thai fish soup which was served with Les Yeuses Syrah 'Les Épices'. The richness of the soup was bold enough to carry the velvety and peppery Syrah - still a big house favourite here! The runner up was the Frascati from Poggio Le Volpi where the limey edge cut through the tartare sauce with ease.
The dishes and accompanying wines are shown below:
1st) Oysters :- Served Lemon & Fresh Bread
Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, St Vincent
2nd) Squid :- Pan-fried With Garlic, Ginger & Soy
Undurraga Gewurztraminer
3rd)Fish Cakes :- Coley & Pollack Fish Cakes With A Spring Onion, Red Pepper & Cucumber Mayonnaise
Flying Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc
4th) Sardines :- Simply Barbequed & Served With Salad & Our Fresh Homemade Bread
Rioja Rosado, Vina Herminia
5th) Thai Fish Soup, A Medium Hot Spicy Soup Made From A Selection Of Local Sustainable Fish
Domaine Les Yeuses Syrah ‘Les Epices’
6th) Local Crab Baked In Filo With Fresh Coriander & A Sweet Chilli Dip
Wombat Hill Classic Reserve Chardonnay
7th) Mussels, Breadcrumbed & Deep Fried, Served With A Fresh Tartare Sauce
Frascati People, Poggio Le Volpi

Monday, 7 February 2011

On the road with Nigel

Cricket club lunch at the Budock Vean Hotel was a great success. It saw us drinking some cherry-ripe, grippy Le Vignate Montepulciano d'Abruzzo - always a good rustic glassful with some excellent roast beef. Others enjoyed the ever consistent, gooseberry-infused Domaine de Valensac Sauvignon Blanc.  

Once again we raised lots of money for the Cricket Club and I even managed to win a bottle of Tesco Champagne which Issy will enjoy even if I don’t. No disrespect to Mr Tesco or Mr Thomas (who donated it) but I just don’t get much pleasure from Champagne full stop, appreciate its finer points – yes but not actually enjoy it.

Dinner at Samphire on Friday was excellent by the way as was a bottle of Faunus Nero d’Avola.

Le Vignate Montepulciano d’Abruzzo in the shop now at £6.30 a bottle or case of 12 £69.60

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Halsetown Inn - Reopening Party!

We’re all very excited in the office as this weekend shall be the grand reopening of the Halsetown Inn, in the hamlet of Halsetown just outside St Ives. Jb & Jenny took on the pub at the end of last summer after it had been closed for almost a year. It was a busy old time for them, upping sticks, relocating and undergoing phase 1 of the refurb. So when we were last down there we saw the pub looking something like this.

Phase 2 sees a brand new roof, repainted exterior and lots more redecoration on the interior. So excited and cannot wait to see what it looks like. Even more importantly we’re hoping to get a glimpse of the lovely baby Eva who will be almost a month old!! Jb & Jenny have been very busy....

The lovely Landlord & Landlady
Come join the Party...
Come & check out the new look pub, warm yourselves around the new woodburner, sample the infamous Pieminster Pies and have a good ol'knees up. There will be live music and a charity raffle in aid of the Cornwall Hospice Care, party starts from 7pm with fizz on arrival.

Hopefully see you there.