27 May 2013

Wine I've drunk this weekend

Since I've drunk lots of delicious wines this weekend, I thought I would take a break from wittering on about weddings and share them with you. Plus, one of my friends came round my house recently and complained that she'd been on my blog to try and find a wine I liked to bring round to supper, but couldn't find any. So, Caroline, this one is for you!

The long wine whiling weekend started with a visit to the only wine shop in the village, Salisbury's Cambridge Wine Stores. We originally went to get some Limoncello. But when they didn't have any, we ended up spending £70 on wine instead!

I love buying wine from proper wine shops. You get that extra bit of help from the staff who genuinely know about wine. Plus, there is usually a more varied selection of unique wines rather than the standard selection sold at many of the supermarkets. On Saturday, Cambridge Wines was full of middle aged men talking guff about wine. However, one of them have us a tip on a delicious Argentinian Malbec and he was not wrong!
Malbec from Argentinia

La Chamiza Malbec from Cambridge Wines

He recommended La Chamiza Polo Amateur 2012 Malbec. The bottle claimed that, many years ago, the Chamiza Estate was a land of polo horses. But now they grow wines that reflect the polo horse because it is generous, equilibrated and passionate. I'm not sure about all that, but it was delicious!

I think it cost us around £7 which we thought was pretty good value since it was so nice. It was quite a dark, purple wine and tasted of cherries and strawberries with a hint of mocha coffee. It was dry but also velvety smooth. We had it with curry, but would be a perfect wine to have with a burger or lamb steak on the BBQ. 

I've mentioned my brother on here before as he is a proper wine snob and he got me onto wine tasting. As a thank you for organising a recent ski trip, we bought him a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004 Il Palazzone from Cambridge Wines. He keeps telling me I should upgrade on the wines for the wedding from Chianti Classico to a Brunello but the budget won't stretch yet (sorry, had to mention the wedding). The Queen had it at her wedding apparently, so if it was good enough for her...

We didn't drink the wine as it apparently will be better in a few years. So when he does try it, I'll let you know if it was worth it!

The same brother picked a wine from Dad's wine cellar to drink with our bank holiday BBQ. To say it is a cellar might be stretching the truth somewhat, however, he does have a selection of 30 or so wines under the stairs at his house. My brother picked a rather tasty Shiraz from Majestic with a slightly tasty price point! Dad thought he'd paid around £20 for it, but it looks as though it is currently retailing at £30.
Shiraz from Clare Valley

The McRae Wood Shiraz

As an Australian Shiraz, Jim Barry's The McRae Wood Shiraz from the Clare Valley is pretty full bodied. Bottled in 2004, the wine has spent a few months in oak and has a nice well rounded taste of fruit and spice as ell and lavender and liquorice. We had it with sausages and burgers but would be perfect with any red meat dish. Not the cheapest of wines but if you have a special occasion or want to impress someone, this would be a good choice.

A while ago, we went to the Wickham Vineyard which is near to Southampton in Hampshire. It's lovely there and I would definitely recommend a visit. It's about a 20 minute walk from Botley train station and set in beautiful countryside. You can do a little tasting, do an audio tour of the vineyard and buy local produce. Plus, they have a beautiful restaurant which has only recently opened that looks out over the vines.

Wine tasting at Wickham

Me wine tasting at Wickham Vineyard

We bought a bottle of Wickham Celebration Rose 2010 when we were there. We were saving it for when my friend Natalie came round. But she was too slow and it was drunk this weekend! The bottle claims it has "intense strawberry, raspberry and red currant flavours". However, I think it is more subtle than that description. It's actually a fairly, dry and light rose and not too sweet as some roses can be. 

You don't seem to be able to buy it via their website but maybe you can still buy it in the tasting room at the winery. I think it cost around £10 at the time. We enjoyed it with a Marks and Spencer Millionaire Shortbread biscuit but I think it would go with most things, maybe even a light pasta or chicken dish.
Wine tasting in Hampshire

The view from the restaurant at Wickham Vineyard

Also this weekend we enjoyed the following yummy wines all of which I would highly recommend:


So that was some of the wine I drank this Bank Holiday Weekend. Yes, I am off for a detox now. Someone bring me the Milk Thistle.