The Wine Guy
Usually, I write these columns from my home office, but this week , I’m writing it from my girlfriend’s (actually, lady friend’s ) “flat” in London. She’s here on a teaching fellowship and I’m also fortunate to have friends here, especially my friend, Simon, who’s a wine buyer. He was nice enough to bring some samples of wines he’s bought for this fall over here to taste. Here are the wines and what we thought, (prices were converted from British Pounds to Dollars).
Comarca Tempranillo, 2018, ($19.99), was a great wine to start with. Simon and I both think that you’ll see more Spanish wines to choose from this fall; don’t miss a chance to try one if you haven’t. We all thought this was more like a good, solid Cabernet; Ellen liked the smoky, earthy notes, as did Simon. I thought the finish was long and smooth and that the structure was like a good Pinot Noir. Food pairings? I was pretty basic – Strip steak and mushrooms. Simon mentioned Coq au Vin and Ellen thought St. Louis BBQ ribs.
Britain has access to a wide variety of wines because many of today’s biggest and best wine producers are members of the British Commonwealth (formerly the British Empire). One of the best providers from this group has been Australia and lots of great wine down under comes from the Margaret River region of Southwest Australia. Of the many vineyards in the area, Redgate Wines remains one of the few to still make small-production wines, like their Redgate Rhapsody In Red, NV, Margaret River ($21.99). Rhapsody in Red is a delicious, full bodied, slightly sweet red. Rich with fruit on the nose and intense berry and spice on the palate.Produced from estate grown late harvest fruit, this wine is theperfect addition to your favorite spicy meal and it’s best served chilled, like Beaujolais in France and Brichetto in Northern Italy.
You might try this one with some Asian Fusion or Indian take out.
Despite the fact that Great Britain isn’t in the EU anymore, it’s not stopping the wine purchases from France that have been going on for more than 1,000 years. Lots of great wines from both the traditional regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Loire Valley, as well as new wines from “resurrected” regions like Cahors and the Languedoc. One of Simon’s favorite wines is Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes Syrah – Grenache 2016, ($17.99), from Domaine Lafarge. It’s a strong-bodied, fruit forward wine that has notes of smoke, leather and cherries. Serve this one with hearty beef dishes, red sauce pasta entrees and Veal Marsala-outstanding! We all found that this wine could only be had slowly, because of its high ABV and the long, full finish of every sip.
Finally, with dessert, Simon opened a half-bottle of Veuve Clicquot, NV, Rheims, Champagne ($24.99). This sparkling wine never fails to cause you to look at the glass after you have a sip and think to yourself, “how do they make it so tremendous every time?”. It was a great evening and the end to a wonderful stay with people I care very much about. All of you should make a point of doing the same.