Bringing you stories from the world of wine and beer.
While judging a competition, Fiona Beckett had a salutary lesson about the baggage we carry around with us.
Alongside other judges, she was given the task to find the best wine match for 10 dishes in a new wine competition called What Food, What Wine? Beckett had no idea about the identity of the wines she was tasting and a wine she’d have normally dismissed out of hand was Gallo’s Summer Red (widely available at around £6.29) but she says it proved a surprisingly good match for a cinnamon-laced apple crumble. Two Aldi wines also featured, a £3.49 Spanish rosé called Toro Loco (12% abv), which went well with the chicken tikka masala, and a £4.99 Bordeaux Supérieur (13% abv), which was the best sub-£10 match for a mellow Quickes cheddar. whatfoodwhatwine.com.
Victoria Moore gives her best wine deals of the week. They include: Greener Planet Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 France (£8.98, Asda). Moore says it looks like an ordinary bottle of wine; but it doesn’t feel like one or pour like one. The bottle is made from PET – it’s one eighth as heavy as, and much thinner than, its glass equivalent and there’s a whole litre of booze in it. She also likes what’s inside. The aromas in the voluptuous bottle of Minuty Cotes de Provence Blanc 2010 France (£9.95, Roberson) take you straight to an expensively scented garden near St Tropez – morning dew, candied peel and fresh grapefruit feature in the, Semillon, Rolle (Vermentino) and Ugni Blanc blend. Lastly, according to Moore the Mas d’en Gil Coma Vella 2007 Priorat, Spain (Waitrose, £23.29) is beautifully balanced with hints of milk chocolate drinking chocolate powder, and cherries, and a fresh finish despite the sweetening, rounding alcohol.
Anthony Rose is looking at the statistical compendium of global wine markets, 1961 to 2009 (adelaide.edu.au/press/ titles/global-wine), compiled by Adelaide University’s Kym Anderson and Signe Nelgen. “Allow me to give you instant mastery of the expanding globalisation of the world of wine,” says Rose. America drinks the most wine after Italy and France, and spends the most after France and the UK. The UK comes in a modest sixth, for individual spends on wine, with Austrians spending most per head. Norway is top of the world tax on wine league, while the UK comes in sixth – we pay the equivalent of 162% tax on non-premium wine, 54% on premium and 20% on super-premium. Production and consumption are declining in Italy and France, but rising in the US, Australia, South Africa, China, Ukraine and the UK. The fact that Old World and New World combined still export only a third of their wines suggests that expanding globalisation in wine is still in its infancy. “That can change faster than you might imagine. Fifty years ago, more than half the world’s wine exports came from North Africa. Within a generation they had dwindled to next to nothing,” says Rose.
The Financial Times
Jancis Robinson MW, recently had dinner in Paris with the best-known wine writers of Australia and New Zealand. When she suggested trying Laurent Gauthier’s Côte du Py 2009 Morgon there were mutterings about not having tried Beaujolais for years. Admittedly, Australia and New Zealand are a very long way from Beaujolais, she says, but you would think that Parisian wine lists at least would have a fair spread of the new, improved wines of this region. However, of the 900-bin list at Sur Mesure, the topline restaurant of the new Mandarin Oriental hotel in the rue St Honoré, revealed one lone Beaujolais. The region has lost the massive cachet and popularity it used to enjoy, and despite the acclaimed 2009 vintage, it seems it will take more than a single good vintage to put it back on the map. Robinson is delighted to report that the 2010 Beaujolais are, showing beautifully too. The 2010s are much more typical Beaujolais: a bit lighter in body, with less obvious tannins, but stuffed full of the unusually succulent fruit of the Gamay grape, she says.
Her best 2010 picks include: Dom Lagneau, Vieilles Vignes Régnié and Côte-de-Brouilly and Dom Manoir du Carra, Juliénas
Courtesy of Harpers Wine and Spirit Trades Review