Monthly Archives: March 2013

Happy Easter!

If you’re heading out for some last minute bits for a family gathering tomorrow, see below for my two top wine recommendations to pair with spring lamb…

Rioja
Lamb and Rioja is a classic pairing, and for good reason. The Tesco Finest Viña Mara Rioja Gran Reserva 2004, made from 100% Tempranillo grapes is full of toasty oak flavours with a rounded and spicy finish. At just £10 from Tesco, it is excellent value for such a complex wine.

vina mara

Côtes du Rhône
If you prefer something with a little more fruit, Chapoutier La Croix des Grives 2010 is packed with blackberry fruit and has a hint of liquorice and a savoury, moreish bite to it. Available for £10.99 from Laithwaites, this is one crowd pleasing red.

Chapoutier

Whatever you’re eating/ drinking this Easter, I hope you have a great one and fingers crossed for some ‘spring’ weather!

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Filed under Matching Wine with Food, Taste Test

Malbec Les Comtes Cahors 2010

Winter is clinging on and in my mind, there’s only one thing for it – Malbec! Plus a big juicy steak, beef wellington, lamb stew or whatever takes your fancy.

Malbec Les Comtes Cahors 2010 (available from Tesco for £8.99) is just the ticket – deep in colour, rich and juicy, with intense plum and cherry flavours, this red is sure to warm your cockles when snow is falling all around.

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Cinnamon Kitchen tasting menu

On Friday night I was one of those annoying people taking pictures of my dinner. Now I’m going to be controversial here as I know many people have strong feelings on the subject of food photography but – here goes – so what? I paid for it, my iphone was discreet, and I didn’t use a flash. If you’re sitting there flashing a giant SLR with a six inch lens then that’s another story but… anyway, my opinions aside, here are the pictures of a delicious, well put together selection of dishes from Abdul Yaseen, Head Chef at Cinnamon Kitchen.

photo(5)Onion bhajis and pea purée – compliments of the chef

photo(2)Crisp lobster claw with cognac flambéed lobster broth

photo(6)Grilled duck breast with goan spices and fennel and passion fruit raita

photo(3)Coconut and pineapple sorbet

photo(7)Seared black bream with kokum berries, sprouted brocolli and quinoa salad

photo(8)Rajasthani roast saddle of red deer, pickling sauce and chilli potato wedges

photo(9)Warm chocolate mousse with cinnamon ice cream

On this occasion, wine wasn’t the focus of the evening but if you really want to splash out, try the tasting menu with wine pairings. It will set you back an extra £35 per head (£95pp instead of £60pp) but with the Cinnamon Club’s incredible wine list, I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

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Winning with the Humble Grape

Happy Friday everyone! I don’t know about you but I have had a long week and am looking forward to settling down with a good book and a glass of wine. Before I do that, I just wanted to update you on what I’ve been drinking this week…

Last night I attended one of the Humble Grape’s monthly wine tastings. I came across this independent merchant and tasting event group only recently and, run by laid-back pair James and Cameron, they are well worth a visit if you fancy discovering something a little different from the wine you usually pick up with your weekly shop!

This month’s theme was German wine and against a backdrop of stunning London views from Broken Wharf House, a small group of us were treated to some delicious wines, a relaxed atmosphere, and various tasty morsels.

I was impressed by all six of the wines on show, two of which – Dr. Loosen Red Slate Riesling 2009 and Fürst Tradition Spätburgunder 2010 – I had tried before, but the others were from a wine producer called Von Winning from the Pfalz region of Germany. These wines are new to the UK market and below I’ve provided brief tastings notes should you wish to give them a try…

Humble Grape

Von Winning Weissburgunder 2011, £15
This aromatic Pinot Blanc is rounded and nutty with flavours of ripe pear – a perfect match to creamy pasta and chicken dishes.

Von Winning Riesling 2011 – £11.67
A juicy entry level Riesling with notes of apricot and lemon juice. Try with lightly spiced Thai food or a plate of jamón.

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Von Winning Forster Ungeheuer Riesling 2011 – £20
Riper than the previous Riesling with a spicy edge this wine can stand up to more powerful flavours in food. Think jerk chicken and luscious Caribbean flavours.

Von Winning Pinot Noir 2010 – £33.33
My favourite from the evening, this German Pinot Noir is a brilliant example of its type. With a complex nose and rich red fruit flavours on the palate this red is vibrant and fruity now (try alongside a juicy lamb burger) but will develop well in the cellar for 10 or 20 years to come.

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*Don’t forget to check out my new ‘find me a drink’ page for wine recommendations for all occasions*

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