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A force majeure of vinous proportions….

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Force Majeure Chenin BlancA hangover of monumental proportions the other week taught me that Prosecco on tap does not a fun morning make. I’ve not had a hangover on that scale since I was child free and lie-ins and foggy heads were the weekend norm.

Two other blasts from my vinous past have taken me down a rather more enjoyable memory lane this week with the death of legendary French chef Paul Bocuse whose restaurant I visited outside of Lyon on a press trip as a wine trade rookie. There, my wide eyed 23 year old self was taught that binge eating was a skill I had to acquire if I was going to cut it in the wine trade as I struggled to finish all nine courses of fine French cuisine to the horror of my more seasoned and wider waisted colleagues. Then a sip of a delicately oaked Hawkes Bay Chardonnay at the New Zealand Wine Growers tasting last week took me vividly back to my dawning wine moment that convinced me to join the trade. Even though it was a very different producer and at least 15 years later it reminded me that the wine trade hasn’t changed much, not even the wines themselves. ………

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Healthification vinified…..

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Atkins Farm ShirazThe healthification of alcohol consumption among millenials was personified last night at the Circle of Wine Writers Christmas party where there was a notable absence of next generation wine scribes on the one hand and a jolly time being had by all on the other. As one that missed the millennial nametag by a matter of months I flirted with a bit of both trends by drinking a few glasses in a short space of time before heading home for an early night. ………

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Women, wine and rabbits…

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Contented wine drinking Rabbit by HAMIf the foggy messages filling the school mums whatsapp group after our first ‘pamper night social’ are anything to go by then wine consumption is still going strong and the capacity to get through large volumes when a group of women get together is vast! So it was surprising to find myself surrounded by women at Stylist Live earlier this month with only gin and vodka available to quench the thirst. Fashion, food, inspirational talks, beauty treatments and 200 shopping pop ups for three days at Olympia in London. It was a show full of fabulousness and packed to the rafters with wine drinking women but there was one gapping hole. No wine.


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Beards, wine and Riesling…

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Hipster trioHipsters are still a thing right? Defined by their off the beaten track tastes, cool demeanour and big beards. My dad has a big beard but he isn’t a hipster, he does drink a fair amount of wine though which brings me to a dawning moment I had last week at an extremely buzzy wine trade tasting of New Wave South Africa wines held in Shoreditch: the home of the hipster. The tasting showcased some of the most eclectic and fine wines coming out of SA at the moment but no finer a wine than some of those shown at tastings in more traditional venues: the Royal Horticultural Halls round the back of St James’, Lords Cricket Ground in St Johns’ Wood, Whitehall to name a few.

Hipsters are defined as much by their beards as they are by their eclectic tastes, the more esoteric the better; move over Sauvignon blanc, Merlot and Shiraz it’s Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Riesling served here. Indeed if wine were a hipster it would probably be a Riesling… with a beard obviously. Unfortunately I haven’t come across a Riesling with a beard but you can embrace your inner hipster with a bottle of Etre à l’Ouest Chardonnay from Red Squirrel Wines which they say ‘translates loosely as “leftfield” or “away with the fairies”, or this cheeky little number from my day job: Fleuri de Barbebelle which translates as “flowery, beautiful beard” from Coteaux d’Aix en Provence.

For a great Riesling, on the other hand, check out this Taste the Difference stunner, £8.00 at Sainsbury’s. It might not look very hip but it smothers your taste buds in Elderflower cordial and pink grapefruit juice and comes from Awatere Valley in New Zealand which is surely the Shoreditch equivalent of the wine world.

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Ice wine…eye cream….

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Optimum-PhytoFreeze-Ice-Wine-Eye-Cream-15ml-710526Now our extension is pretty much finished Mr Bouquet and I are fully back into hosting mode. It was an odd few months of disarray and disruption as the luxury of choosing wine and then drinking it with family & friends took second place to a building site and other wine related activities like choosing a wine fridge and locating the box with the beautiful wine glasses in it.

And so to last Friday when the recent past and the new present collided in beautiful harmony ………

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Gin baubles….

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Pickerings Gin baublesThanks to the raw disappointment expressed by my 4 year old last Christmas, when stockist issues meant Santa delivered the wrong hot wheels track, I have vowed (along with Santa) that Christmas will indeed start earlier this year and We. Will. Be. Organised.

So it is with no apologies that I post my first shout out for Christmas drinks ideas on the 4th of October because to get your hands on these little gems you’re going to have to be quick: Pickerings Gin baubles are back and they’re on sale now.

You’re welcome.

(ps: seriously, be quick, they sold out in 82 seconds last year….)

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