Thursday, 27 March 2014

Pinot Noir Week

Don't you just adore a Pinot Noir? I do, and am currently on a most enjoyable quest to decide which one I like the very most.

Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black; the pine alluding to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.
Pinot noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Other regions that have gained a reputation for Pinot noir include the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Carneros, Central Coast and Russian River AVAs of California. Talking of Russian River Valley, I am soon to be talking about and reviewing in more depth John Jacaman Wines. Since the first vintage in 2002, J Jacaman Wines has produced premium Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs.

They produce a high-quality wine that anyone on any budget could drink any day, the wines are extremely exclusive – limited quantities are available for courier delivery exclusively in the United Kingdom. J

Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2005 - elegant and feminine
A ruby red deepness, think cherries and espresso. Visualise a ripe berry on your tongue, soft and silky, then melting - slowly, exquisitely.

Another Pinot Noir well worth a mention is Sainsbury's Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2010, super depth and a quality warm taste, more plummy and red fruits, perfect for a cheery pasta lunch with friends. 

Also Co Operative's Trapiche Pinot Noir 2010 from Argentina, bit lighter and of a higher 'note' still lovely to share over supper with some warm bread and mature cheese.

glassware by Bunce

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Fair Trade Wines

How time flies, just wanted to talk a bit about Fair Trade - whenever I hear the words I immediately think of The Co-Operative but other major markets and retailers also offer FairTrade, namely Sainsburys for one. I thought it my mission to taste wine from both these supermarkets and give you the low down.

Not being an avid lover of white wines in general, preferring to focus my attentions on red only because I usually like them better and remember there's only a certain amount of hours in the day one can spend on this particular pastime/job/vocation - BUT, having said that - The Co-Operative's Fairtrade Pinot Grigio was indeed excellent. Couldn't fault it. Fresh, hints of citrus, splash of vanilla, soft on the tongue, totally delicious. Served really cold.

The Co-operative Food is celebrating 10 years of  FAIRTRADE Mark wines this year, and, to mark the occasion, the retailer is encouraging shoppers to take the “Fairtrade Wine Challenge” by trying one of the wines from its delicious, market-leading Fairtrade wine range.

The Co-operative, which has led the way in the development of Fairtrade, is the UK’s largest retailer of Fairtrade wine, selling 52.5% of all Fairtrade wine sold in the UK.  It has also been recognised as the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade wine by The Fairtrade Foundation - accounting for 28% of global Fairtrade wine sales. Over the last 10 years, The Co-operative has sold a staggering 35 million bottles of Fairtrade wine.

The good news is that the quality of Fairtrade wines in general has improved massively over the years, and I think they are now at the point where they represent excellent quality and value for money in their own right. 

Taste the Difference Fairtrade Cabernet Merlot from Sainsburys was beautifully rounded and mellow, quite robust and a very enjoyable experience. Plummy on the palate and tasting ripe and fruity, it made for a most relaxing evening. Coupled with a few choice bix and some mature, hard cheese, it reminded me of why I do what I do.

The other Fairtrade offerings from The Co-Operative were just as good. In fact I rejoiced over the Argentinian Cabernet Sauvigon on one of my Saturday Night Best Smooth Jazz Reviews

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Glassware by 'Bunce'