Archive for 2010

Pink wines style it out….

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

glasses of rose_croppedI’m fresh back from Milan, the city of fashion, food, and fabulous weather. Have you been? It’s a place where brands rule and paupers drool. Prada, Missoni, Ferrari…. there’s temptation at every corner!

I was amazed at how quickly we acclimatised to the local way of life. Fresh pasta, authentic pizzas, and gelato felt like second nature after our first lunch and our afternoons quickly became structured around the Milanese institution that is aperitivo hour as soon as the clock strikes 6pm.

Yes, everything to do with London became a distant memory the minute Milan’s summer sun hit our shoulders. Everything that is except for the rosé. In London when the sun comes out sales of rosé wine peak along with burger buns and BBQ sauce. Not so in Milan, it’s red, white or limoncello it seems. We hunted high and low, from traditional trattorias to curb side cafés, from pizzerias to fancy Milanese bars, hell we even ventured to the Bulgari Hotel, all in the name of research you understand! ………

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Flying the World Wine Flag…..

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

flag (2) copyAs the world cup approaches I don’t seem to be able to escape football, Ferdinand and flags. The union jack is popping up in more London windows than there were election posters and white vans are already freckled with red crosses. Chez Miss Bouquet however I’m determined not to let football fever get in the way of a good glass of wine so I’m starting a little project which will raise a flag of a different kind; the wine flag. Red, white and rosé. Of course.

The idea is to gather a group of football widows during one of the first round England matches to taste through a selection of wines and find out what girls-about-London-town have a taste for this summer.

The date is confirmed and will be held on Friday 18th June for England v Algeria. ………

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Great British wine….

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

nyetimber-bdb_on blackI’m completely preoccupied with the thought of going away. Mr Bouquet and I are off to the south of France at the end of the month dependent of course on the continued calm of Eyjafjallajokull’s temper. So desperate am I for some R&R that I’d like to think nothing could stop us, but although I love the Eurostar and can tolerate the odd Ferry journey, life without passenger planes is another thing altogether. I’d never get to visit those far flung and fabulous new world wine producing countries, I’d have to make do with Europe, quelle horreur!

Having said that I was delighted to discover that extensive travel is no longer required to get my wine-fix. In fact it’s no longer necessary to even leave our shores as it turns out the hype surrounding our very own English sparkling wines is more than just a dig in les ribs français, we really are producing wines that rival those of Champagne. Try these two for starters if you don’t believe me:

Ridgeview Merret Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs 2006, produced on the south downs of Sussex from 100% chardonnay and made using the traditional champagne method of production. It is rich with white chocolate and pain au raisin flavours, a steal at £20.85 from Waitrose. ………

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The trouble with wines by the glass, episode II

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Glasses-of-wineIf you’ve been following me for a while you’ll be familiar with the term ‘mini measures.’ It’s a phrase I’ve coined for trying different wines without having to think about it too much. The idea is simple, instead of ordering a bottle you order small glasses of different wines throughout an evening thereby trying something new whilst helping to avoid a fuzzy head the next day (that last part is entirely in your own hands of course!)

I’ve been enjoying practising what I preach for months now and it’s been going pretty well. But lately I’ve noticed this simple try-it-and-see practice isn’t as satisfying as it should be as I’ve frequently been walking away from the bar unconvinced that what’s in my glass is actually what I asked for. It’s like standing at the checkout at the supermarket, you know the scenario; “Would you like a bag madam?” “Yes/No” (delete as appropriate) only to find that the cashier has bone-idley decided to give you one anyway. (Dear cashier, if you offer me a choice please allow me to choose.) ………

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Miss Bouquet gets noticed!

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Naked Miss B

There’s an annoying trend at the moment that makes me rather uncomfortable. At the end of every West End musical worth its weight in ‘fun’ the audience has to get on their feet and dance in the aisle like a bunch of loons. What happened to traditional seated applause to show your appreciation and a standing ovation to mark excellence? Now it seems you need a singing and dance class before qualifying for a ticket.

If you’ve experienced this lately then you’ll empathise with the discomfort I felt when I went to see Hair on Shaftesbury Avenue last night. Not only did we get full frontal nudity from the entire cast **eyes wide open in delight shock** but also 100 or so members of the audience got a birds eye view of their seat when they were dragged on to the stage to help the cast repeat ‘let the sun shine’ over and over again. Luckily I think my loud internal monologue – which was undoubtedly reflected on my face “Please don’t drag me up, please don’t drag me up” – meant I got away with a half hearted hip wiggle and sore palms. ………

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Red wines play it cool….

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

casablanca pinot noirIt surprises me every year just how satisfying the ritual of putting away my winter coat has become. Mine is already tucked in the trunk by my bed and my credit card is gearing up for a shopping spree. I do however find the wine-shift, now synonymous with this routine, much less rewarding. It’s a moment you’re probably familiar with too. You get off the tube gasping for a glass of something cool only to find the last bottle on your rack is an Icon wine from Chile you never found an occasion grand enough to warrant opening.

Whether it’s the weather or the wine itself nothing affects the taste of a wine more than temperature. Red wine served too warm or white wine served too cold, and don’t get me started on “best served at room temperature!”

If you’re a natural born red wine drinker and are accustomed to putting away your corkscrew at the same time as your winter jacket then think again. A lighter style red like pinot noir from Chile, gamay from Beaujolais or sangiovese from Italy are all refreshingly light in style and ………

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