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Monthly Archives: September 2009

  • Web Changes Live

    wineIf you're a regular to you'll notice that the site has a host of new features. We've added all sorts of new functionality - both to the 'info' area of the site and also to the order process. Please have a browse around and let us know what you think. If you find anything is not working in the way you'd expect it to, please let us know. And if there's anything in the order process which you're not sure about, you can always call us on 020 8961 4411 between 6.30am and 6.30pm on weekdays.

  • Tasting wine - an introduction

    Lily and Emma, our wine trainers, take you through the first steps to learning more about wine from sight, smell and taste.

  • Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2005

  • A question of taste

    Interesting article from The Washington Post suggesting that, as we all differ from one another physically, so our palates obviously would vary just as much. The gist of it is that if you have more taste buds on your tongue, you're going to be more sensitive to flavours, acidity, tannin and so on. And conversely if you have fewer taste receptors, you're more likely to favour less delicate, more concentrated, powerful wines. According to Tim Hanni, a California wine consultant, "People live in different sensory worlds," he says. "We need to acknowledge that." Hanni has apparently devised a wine competition that takes into account the fact that there is no 'universal palate', and therefore awards a range of scores for each entered wine depending on what type of taster you are. Says the Post, "...a wine may win a top prize for tolerant tasters but only a bronze, or no medal at all, for hypersensitive drinkers. Consumers who know their type can then buy wines that are at the top of the class for their palate, not an anonymous judge's." It's an interesting idea, and given that there is a lot of debate surrounding the usefulness and 'truthfulness' of wine competitions, one worth exploring. You can read the original article here.

  • Chilean Pinot Noir

    At the Wines of Chile annual tasting yesterday, there was a focus table devoted to Chilean Pinot Noir. There were 42 examples from across the country. I approched this with interest; the 'heartbreak grape' being a firm favourite of mine, and not having tried a huge amount of Pinot from South America. Could Chile work their commercial magic on this most capricious of grapes? The answer, based on yesterday's line up, must sadly remain 'no' or 'not yet'. Too many examples showed 'heat' from high alcohol, and where you would want to find classic Pinot characters of raspberry and delicacy, all too often the palate found clunky, chunky chocolatey aromas and flavours. there were one or two exceptions, and it certainly is no disaster, but for Chile to convincingly challenge other new world Pinot meccas such as New Zealand and California, there is still a long road to travel.

  • The web gets ready to go (again)

    Launching a website is a bit like a child's first day at school; all that nurture and worry, and now it's time to hand them over. Not only that, but just like bringing a child into the world, you soon realise that you can't just put a website out there; you're also going to have to feed it. Regularly. And wipe its nose. And spend ages glueing cups back together which it accidentally breaks. But like any labour of love, it's going to be fun too.

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