Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Getting out with our customers

Spanish Evenings Abound!

At this time of year many of our pub and restaurant customers have the time and resources to try out different events to draw in customers and the relaxed style of Tapas dining is very popular this year. The principal benefits for the customer are relatively low cost with plenty of variety. Over the next two weeks Nigel & Mike will be out and about, mucking in and chatting about wines with this style of food, and here is a list of events that you might wish to attend!

Thursday 26th January 2012 7pm
Port Navas Yacht Club Spanish Night
01326 340065
3 course supper with wines

Saturday 28th January 2012 7pm
Paris Hotel Coverack Tapas & Wine Evening
01326 280258
6 Courses with matching wines
Mike will be doing a dance between kitchen, where he will be assisting Kerra, and dining room to present the wines! Should be a fun evening!

Thursday 2nd February 2012 8pm
White Hart Ludgvan Spanish Supper
01736 740574
5 course supper with accompanying wines
Nigel will be strutting his stuff down West!

Cheese, Bread & Wine!

Just when you thought it was all Spanish, Nigel has slipped in an evening of matching wine with cheeses from Tom Hanson of Hanson's Fine Foods and Ben Hawkins from Da Bara Bakery.

Friday 27th January 2012, 7pm
Kings Head, Ruan Lanihorne
01872 501263
Looking forward to an enjoyable evening there!

If you wish to attend any of these events, please contact the venue direct as we do not take bookings for these evenings!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

New Year, New Wines

About this time of year we always embark on a prolonged period of tasting samples of new house wines for our trade customers. This is very much the sharp end of the market because although the prices are low, the volumes are high and it is vitally important we get it right. This applies to price, presentation, quality and availability; the decisions made now will have to be lived with throughout the busy months ahead. Last week it was entry level Aussie wines, our recent success with Auction House looked to have been a good call with these light fruity wines showing good balance. A
newcomer called McPeterson (Chardonnay and Shiraz) looks good as well.  

This week we got stuck into some French and Spanish samples, this was a big tasting and quality was very variable; good to see the good old paint stripper factory is still churning it out! At this level Spain trounced France. The new "way" for France comes under the banner of “Vin de France”, a generic classification which seems to allow anything to be bottled in the name of consistency but at the cost of any sense of belonging – just euro-plonk. In contrast, the Spaniards, from such regions as Navarra, Carinena and (even!) Valencia, while still up and down, showed real character and named specified grape varieties. Three wines from Carinena bottled under the smart Amalia label proved to be the stars of the day so keep an eye out for them.

Nigel Logan

Monday, 9 January 2012

So what did you have for Christmas?

We’re often asked, as wine merchants, what we drank on Christmas Day ourselves. We spend most of November and December every year recommending what are our customers should be drinking for this most special family meal so maybe it is time to spill the beans and tell all.
For us, it is an occasion when old bottles from private collections are dusted down and carefully decanted so this blog may not turn out to be a wonderful exercise in marketing current wines but here goes anyway –
Nigel – “Being a bit of a philistine when it comes to Champagne I kicked off with a glass of La Gitana Manzanilla while everybody else got stuck into the ever dependable Renard Barnier NV. We then progressed to Logan Weemala Pinot Gris (gentle peach flavours and a touch of perfumed oil) and followed that with the stunning Logan Orange Chardonnay (fantastic dry extract, racy and minerally, the best Chardonnay I have drunk this year, a bit like Meursault on steroids). With the turkey; La Lagune 1996 for my end of the table and the succulently sexy Mas D’ Auzieres “les Eclats” for the “kids” worked a dream. The rest is a blur but it did involve some Quinta do Noval and (unfortunately) homemade Blackberry gin.”

Nigel Logan

Henry Shaw

Our Christmas Day is a pretty traditional affair, with fairly traditional wines! I have to keep an eye on my Dad as he is a little unsteady on his feet these days (purely medical reasons, you understand) so we take if slow and steady. We kicked off with the Renard Barnier NV with the canapes. Nigel calls it 'ever dependable' and I agree, but I would also add that its key selling point for me is the richness it achieves by extra time in the cellar before release which enhanced the smoked salmon nibbles marvellously!
The Crossroads Gewurztraminer (NZ) was very interesting against a smooth chicken liver parfait with sultanas previously soaked in a 5 Punt Tokay. Lovely scented fruit with enough acidity to cut the richness of the parfait. I cooked the turkey a bit differently this year and the resultant soft and moist breast meat, alongside slow-cooked dark leg meat was a revelation. I also cooked the best stuffing I have made in years, rich with chestnuts and pistachios. I had a couple of bottles of decent claret in the wings, but opted for a beautifully crafted  Armador Syrah from the Odfjell winery in Maipo Valley in Chile. Smooth and relaxed drinking through the rest of the evening for me! We packed Dad off to the lounge for a snooze at that point, so I enjoyed the rest of the bottle myself while Helen moved onto some Italian liqueurs!

Mike Maguire