Spring and Easter! March has suddenly rushed in the door with a flurry of sunshine to raise our spirits. Given the positive Coronavirus messages there just may be light at the end of the tunnel!
We’re all fed up with not being able to socialise, so when we can meet in groups of up to 6, it will feel like quite an occasion! With this and Easter in mind we’ve come up with some wines to match your improving mood.
The “Rule of 6” case includes a delicious bottle of sparkling Blanc-de-Blancs from producer Jules Larose to start things off in style! This is a firm favourite with us here in the shop (if he works late Mike can usually smooth things over by taking a bottle of this home!), but also with some of our customers and partners - our good friend Davide Grigolato for example.
Davide runs Italian Jack - a company and website that simply shouts out his incredible passion for food. A native Italian now living near Tavistock he has many years of Head Chef experience. Davide grew up and learned his trade in Italy, and is passionate about sourcing food locally, minimising waste and sustainability. I’m a devoted fan of Italian food and wine, and I can’t visit his recipes pages without starting to lick my lips! Sadly my culinary skills are nowhere near so sophisticated (on the bright side I’m really good at drinking wine!!), but the great news is that Davide does a Home Chef service - he will actually home and cook for you in your home!
So, if you have a special occasion coming up and you really want to impress, look him up at www.italianjack.co.uk or give him a call on 01822 855933 to arrange a truly authentic dining experience. Being Italian he knows his way around a bottle of wine too!
On the subject of Italian wine, the case includes a bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo which has a label I truly detest (!), but offers warm, supple and fragrant wine that will grace any tomato-based dish, Italian or otherwise. Another bottle has a label we designed ourselves! La Voile Rose is perfect on a bright sunny day - as John Theriault demonstrated with an on-line post of him enjoying a bottle last year. It’s one of what we call ‘lookalikes’ - wines that are very similar to, but not from a fashionable (and therefore expensive) region. Provence Rose is all the fashion these days and this is very similar in style, but a fraction of the price.
Icare Chardonnay has impressed numerous very experienced Burgundy drinkers over the years. It actually comes from the Cotes de Thongue but has been compared favourably with top quality Burgundy including Meursault, and - again the price is a very pleasant surprise. If you have never tried Viognier, the case includes a lovely bottle from Domaine Grauzan. It’s a first rate introduction to this unique grape. The distinctive apricot nose lodges itself firmly in the memory, and the wine has noticeably more body than most white wines. Finally this case offers what we think of as one of our ‘house’ wines. Having been involved in the blending of the La Vignette range for some years now we have sold more bottles of La Vignette red than I care to think about! It is the quintessential easy-drinking French red that will go with many styles of food - or be a very cosy companion for an evening in!
Easter is traditionally celebrated with roast lamb but, for a whole variety of reasons, many people choose to cook other roasts. To that end we are producing a case of 6 wines aimed specifically at roasts. I’ve written an article for the Links Magazines relating to this which we’ll attach to the Blog pages as soon as they’re published, but basically it covers Lamb, vegetarian/vegan nut roasts/ beef, pork and chicken. There wasn’t enough space to cover more specialist roasts such as game, especially as the flavours of different game meats vary so widely, but as a ‘quick and dirty’ suggestion a good quality Pinot Noir seldom disappoints when paired with game. White wine drinkers could do worse than a robust white such as viognier or even (a bit of a rare bird so to speak) a white appassimento from Italy - Miopasso produces a Grillo made in the appassimento style, and it’s weighty, nutty and complex enough to drink with veal and lighter game. We already have a number of customers who come back for this time and again because it is so unique.
I look forward to writing again as we emerge from the shadow of lockdown 3, and we’ll be putting together more lovely wines to help you ease your way back into ’normal’ life!