Monthly Archives: June 2016

Everything is just peachy

When my fridge is lacking in supplies and I’m lacking inspiration on the recipe front, it gives me joy to discover that the M&S dine in two for £10 is on (small things I know). Still in shock from the referendum result, I was in such a state on Friday as I aimlessly wandered around the aisles of my local Marks and Sparks after work.

Food aside (the main of pork saltimbocca was delicious), I picked up a bottle of Peach Garden Chardonnay 2015 as part of the deal. Hailing from the Thracian Valley in Bulgaria, this very lightly oaked, peachy white is delicately spiced and brimming with flavour. I’ve reviewed a Bulgarian Cabernet Sauvignon and Mavrud previously but this was my first Bulgarian white wine and one which I’ll definitely be sipping again. While it was excellent with the pork, next time I’ll give it a go with a creamy dish such as spaghetti carbonara to really make the most of its rounded character.

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I’ve added the Peach Garden Rosé and Peach Garden Merlot to my shopping list for next time I’m passing M&S – at just £7 a bottle, they are well worth a try!

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Wedding Vino

Now that the dust has settled from our wedding three weeks ago, I’ve not only got a lot of spare time that I no longer have to devote to budget spreadsheets and flower arrangements, but we have a wine rack containing several bottles of the delicious wine we selected to enjoy with the wedding meal… winning!

We spent a while searching for a venue that would offer flexibility with the menu and the option of bringing our own wine to serve with dinner (as opposed to one which told us we could have chicken supreme served with a £30 bottle of something ‘so-so’).  Once we had the venue and the corkage price secured, we then went on the hunt to discover the perfect sparkling, white and red wines to enjoy on the day.

Sparkling

Being a little bored of Prosecco and struggling to find a decent Champagne within budget, we opted for Bouvet Ladubay Saumur NV. Refreshing and elegant, this sparkling Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley was just as good served with fruit cordials and strawberries at the reception as it was to toast the speeches after dinner.

Available from Majestic UK for £8.99 when you buy six bottles, we decided to hop on the Eurotunnel to Calais where we loaded six cases into the back of the car at £5.49 a bottle.
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White

I’m a huge fan of the crystal clear and delicate white wines produced from the Picpoul de Pinet grape so, as we were making the trip to Calais, we went for the citrus-scented and vibrant Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2015 at £4.49 a bottle. We even got to taste the wine on arrival at Majestic to check it was 100% perfect for us. It went down a treat with our antipasti starter!

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Red

The red wine was a no brainer since both of us adore wines from the Rioja region, particularly a Crianza with pork which we served three ways (pulled, loin and belly) alongside seasonal veg and sautéed potatoes. For us it was the Rioja Vega Crianza 2012 – full of rich blackcurrant fruit and vanilla spice, you can pick up a bottle of this wine (or its later vintages) for around £9 a bottle.

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A quick note on quantities

We found Majestic’s drinks calculator very helpful in working out how much of everything we needed to purchase – the only reason we have bottles leftover is because I wimped out and bought several extra cases just in case!

We had 84 for dinner and drank our way through 30 bottles of sparkling during the reception and speeches (we also had bottled beer for the reception), and 28 bottles of white and 18 bottles of red during dinner – thankfully it was a hot day so the white went down much quicker than the red!

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