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Showing posts from April, 2020

Is this some good news about the lockdown?

Wine stocks have been running low recently. After the dry pasta and paper products flew off the supermarket shelves, it was the turn of the wine aisles to empty and it wasn't long before many people realised they didn't really like what they found there. Rather than give up wine (although, apparently, some people have done precisely that), it soon became clear that wine merchants are in the category of permitted business so many of us saw huge spikes of trade, especially in the run up to Easter weekend. As I say, wine stocks have been running low.

It is good news, then, that we have been able to start to replenish our supplies but even better news that our first pallets are coming in today from Italy. I hope this signals that, as we are being told, we are over the worst of the crisis and things will soon start to normalise (not just yet though).




I CAMPI is an estate we started to work with a couple of years ago but, for some reason, I never fanfared the arrival of the wines at t…

2013 Joblot revisited gives an answer to the biodynamics question

In the end, I opened both of Domaine Joblot's 2013 Givry Premier Crus, Servoisine and Clos du Cellier aux Moines, on Thursday. Both were fantastic wines, much better than on previous occasions. The differences between the two sites were apparent - Servoisine's density and power coupled with sweeter fruit against Cellier aux Moines' elegance and poise - but the vintage, never one of the most venerated in any part of Burgundy (anywhere?), has proved itself worthy of the Joblot name on this occasion, at least.

The last time I tried Servoisine was not a "wine night" according to the biodynamic calendar and the flavours were muted, muddied even. On Thursday the fruit in both cuvees was ablaze, vibrant and the acidity levels were good, making for wines that danced on the palate. I will be reserving more of these for myself but following the advice of the wine app, money well spent.

Since Thursday, a few other corks have been popped including Pierre Gaillard's 2015 …

Is there anything in biodynamics or am I a bit gullible?

A couple of years ago I was introduced to an app called 'When Wine Tastes Best', essentially the biodynamic calendar. Good days for wine are called Fruit or Flower days; bad ones are Leaf and Root days. There's a bit of explanation for all this but, it comes down to the theory that the same wine tastes better on some days (fruit or flower) than others (leaf or root) because the movement of the moon affects all living things on earth and wine is, in some respects, a living thing which responds to the 'rhythms of the moon' as it ages.

What is doesn't suggest is that, if all living things respond to the movements of the moon, then that includes us so, perhaps, rather than the wine tasting different, it is our perception of the wine that changes.

Either way, this gives rise to the only question that matters: do wines taste (or is our perception of them) any different according to the movements of the moon?

Supermarkets and many leading wine merchants seem to think …

Venison stew with chestnut sauce

I was asked if I had any recipes which use chestnuts - here's one. It goes fantastically well with a mature Rhone such as any Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Serves 6-8 A variation on any basic stew recipe.
Fry 250g pancetta (otherwise, bacon or salted pork belly) until the fat is rendered and remove to a bowl. Brown 1.5kg diced venison in small batches and transfer to the bowl with the pancetta.

Sweat 2 onions, finely sliced, chantenay carrots, 2 sticks of celery (chopped into small pieces) and some chopped garlic. Deglaze the casserole with a good slug of brandy and set alight. Add half a bottle each of Port and red wine (preferably Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo, otherwise any light and fruity red – not a heavy one). Bring to the boil then add beef stock2 bay leaves and a sprig or two of thyme, 1tbs Dijon mustard and 1tbs redcurrant jelly. Return the meat to the casserole and, if necessary, add enough boiling water to cover the meat. Season (no salt should be required as this is al…