Tag Archives: Viognier

Wine Tasting Tweetup

Say that three times fast! Well, it’s almost been a week and I’ve finally collated all the information that Simon Tyrrell provided. I’ll leave out a lot of the bits about what the vineyards look like so that you can view them for yourselves!

I suppose I should start from the beginning. At the end of July a good friend of mine, @nmcgivney gave me the idea of doing a tweetup including wine. A tweetup is when twitter users get together to socialise and chat. Seems ironic, but honestly it’s great to actually meet the people you’re exchanging tweets with! Either way, I contacted Emma Tyrrell from @the_WineStore (specialising in Rhone Valley wines)  to see if she would be interested in hosting such an evening. In just a few weeks with the help of @ElyWineBars and @IBrosnan (Ian Brosnan is the Wine manager at Ely) we were upon a very special evening. This was the first evening of its kind and I think we were all kind of wondering what was going to happen!

The deal: Wine tasting with 5 wines and a few bits of bread. A wonderfully in-depth talk from Emma’s other half, Simon and a main course with 2 glasses of wine for just 30 euro.

The wine:
Ventoux ‘Persia 2010, Domain de Fondreche
A wine from the Southern Rhone region, vines in limestone and clay, this wine had medium body and was medium-high in alcohol. Flavours from this wine were honey, stone and salty. The wine smelled as it tasted and though salty seems like a strange smell, it did come through on the palate. Only 10% Viognier, the wine was crisp and delicious.

Viognier de Rosine 2010, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, Domaine M. et S. Ogier d’Ampuis
Viognier is one of my favourite varieties of wine. It always has so much to offer and is loved by so many. This winery begun in the West Rhone region. Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes means ‘Country Wine from the Rhone Hills.’ The wine has low acidity and medium body with flavours of apricot and fruit. Interestingly enough the wine-makers keep 1/3 of the wine in a tank and 2/3 in barrels. When brought back together, the wine’s characteristics shine through.   We were also able to try the 2007 vintage as well and found it to be too oxidized, lighter and the alcohol stuck out a little too much. White wine doesn’t age too well and we found that was the case here.

Syrah ‘L’Ame Soeur’ 2007, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, Domaine M. et S. Ogier d’Ampuis
‘L’Ame Soeur’ or ‘Kindred Spirit’ was probably my favorite. Aged 18 months, this wine from the Southwest side strictly slate and rock, was almost like a Cabernet Franc. The tastes on the palate were black pepper and black currant. There was smoke and less fruit on the nose. The skin of the grape holds the tannin and here the skins were macerated more to release more tannin. This Syrah was so drinkable I wish I had it all to myself!

Chateauneuf du Pape 2008, Clos des Papes
We all recognise this name, but do we all know the background? Simon told us that when the French pope came to be, he decided he wanted to move the Vatican to a new site in France. Now Chateauneuf is the 3rd largest produced wine in France, but you should really know the producer or you could end up with a bad wine. Chateauneuf uses 13 varietals of which 5 are white. Not all varietals need to be used in making of the wine, but there does have to be a minimum amount of Grenache used.  This wine had lower tannin, lower acidity and was higher in alcohol. The nose smelled of bright fruit and Indian spice (that came from Simon and he hit that smell right on the nose.. ba da chi!) The palate was raisin, dark fruit, black cherry and plum and incidentally enough… Indian spice. Aged in oak casks for 18-24 months, the wine was very nice and round. These wines can be expensive so know what you buying!

Wine with dinner:
Vacqueyras ‘Un Sang Blanc’ 2006, Domaine le Sang des Cailloux
Flavours: Peach, vanilla and honey. The wine was light and refreshing and went very well with my main course of chicken thigh with potatoes and green beans in a creamy olive sauce. Lots of flavour and acidity from the wine went together nicely.

Crozes-Hermitage ‘Equisse’ 2010, Domaine des Hauts Chassis
Flavours: Dark fruit, vanilla, pepper, soil, smoke. The wine was bright and full of dark fruit with low acidity and low alcohol. Very easy to drink 🙂

Too give you an idea of the locations…
South in Green from what we tasted: Vacqueyras, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cotes du Ventoux
North in orange/red: Crozes-Hermitage, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes


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Filed under Food Pairings/Recipes, Restaurants, Wine, Wine Tastings, Wine's Properties, Wineries

I Like Ham and No Flim Flam

I love the word brunch, mainly because it can mean anything. One never knows what to expect when it comes to the ambiguous “brunch.” This past Sunday, I learned just what that meant. Getting the whole family together (at least those who live in NC) is almost impossible so my grand idea of EASTER BRUNCH turned into my mom cutting up a pineapple for 4 hours, my dad somewhere in house doing something and me eating way too much delicious quiche my mom had made the night before.  Really, brunch became every man for himself and being a woman, it wasn’t pretty.  My mom eventually got done with the pineapple and I started making apricot and raspberry almond cookies.  Not only were they too crumbly, but my chocolate coating looked more like modern art then elegant like I had wanted. They did taste good though and I settled down to a movie until dinner was prepared.  If you want to try your hand at the most annoying cookies to make ever: click here.

Well Easter has come and gone, along with all the facebook posts, tweets and emails about what kind of wine one should serve with ham or lamb.  The flavors are completely different, textures and wines.  So as a family with Jewish influences, what did we have? We had Babe, or perhaps a close relative, we’ll call him Gabe.  Gabe was delicious and my dad chose a nice sweet sparkling Moscato, they went perfectly together.  At the wine bar I used to work at, we had the Gamekeeper’s Reserve Chenin Blanc from South Africa with heavy pineapple flavors; I thought that might have gone well with the ham too.

So of course, what you always get after big family meals is lots of delicious leftovers. I have a big bag of ham in my refrigerator ready to be used in yummy recipes.  The one I made up last night included sautéed potatoes with onions, green beans, chicken and bits of ham. I like meals where there are a lot of ingredients and flavors altogether.  I basically poached the chicken in chicken broth to retain its juice and added everything to the same skillet, excess chicken broth and all. I have an overabundance of Viognier so I poured an overly large glass and relaxed.

For easy cooking at home, know how you like food prepared and then you can just switch up ingredients so dinner doesn’t become boring.  And always have red, white and beer on hand, this is America after all! D

Don’t miss the funny clip at the beginning.  Click on quiche, it will explain the Asian guy, also known as Long Duck Dong.

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