Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Warm drinks

It really has dropped in Sheffield. Proper ice on the roads at the moment
Here are some more drinks to get you going in the exceptionally cold weather.

Fentimans ginger beer
This fantastic traditional non alcoholic drink is a wonderfully strong and hot tasting spicy ginger pop with quite a bit of body and personality..

Whisky max
Rub together a shot of scotch with a mix of stones ginger wine.
A really lovely sweet spicy and warm cocktail mix that will take your eyebrows off!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

the cold and Rioja

Cold is creeping in. Today there was frost on my windscreen and there is frozen turf on our industrial estate here in Annesley!

The cold affects wine.

Red wine is generally best at room temperature and it now takes quite a while for bottles to warm up when fetched from my cellar.

I normally open and put the bottle next to the stove whilst we are making supper and by then it is ready to drink!

2006 Rioja Bodegas Palacio

A fantastic meaty and spicy Rioja yet it possesses a lightly oaked touch and a fresh fruity balance of acidity that makes it stand out as an elegant and modern style of Rioja.  Good for the winter cold and I could even suggest Rioja for a bonfire night wine?


Monday, 27 October 2008


After C90 on Friday, all a bit knackered, we rallied at Ambroses on the Saturday evening.

Tom, Ben and Ambrose mixed on the decks while we ate and drank. Nice to relax and catch up with them lot.

2005 Jon Josh Estate Chardonnay

Lovely, soft and well produced wine from upper Hungary.

A long history of wine making in Hungary dates back centuries.  They are most famous for the prestigious dessert wines of Tokaj although they also produce many other high quality wines using indigenous and foreign grapes with an emphasis on careful production.

There is lots of light sweet citrus fruit and mandarin on the nose with a lively fruit body and touch of vanilla oak on the palate.

This is a well balanced wine and a great lightly oaked chardonnay style.

Good wine to convert non chardonnay drinkers as it is very subtle with the oak, has a  touch of acidity is and not over oaked like some.

Excellent value and a nice choice from the

Friday, 24 October 2008

Bordeaux notes

Bordeaux notes

Have been trying to concentrate on Bordeaux recently.

Having tried various bottles in the last few weeks and fishing back in memory.  The wines that seem to be my favourite appear to come from the Haut Medoc.

Pauillac is just one of the many famous communes in this large area.  It produces well known Chateau Lafite and other top wines as well as the more affordable and popular

Chateau Lynch Bages and Chateau Haut-Batailley, both worth looking out for.  Would love to visit Bordeaux and tour this area. Maybe next year at vintage release time in April?

Steelwine 4 ever!

Please find a few of my discoveries which I think are gorgeous!

2004 Chateau Pomies d‘Agassac Cru Bourgeois

Gently fading crimson brick red in colour.

Slightly perfumed delicate cedar wood oaked nose of red fruits, soft and warm with an excellent fleshy texture, big body and a clinging savoury licquoice finish.

Chateau Maucamps Haut Medoc Cru Bourgeois 2003

From a very hot vintage, Rich fruit and dark treacle on the nose with herbs and mint to complement the dark fruits. The fleshy palate is full of layered fruit and is very smooth with a well rounded texture

Excellently rich and opulent wine to savour.

Monday, 20 October 2008

wine and withnail

Watched Withnail and I at the cinema last weekend. Very funny film and great to see it late at night with some friends at the Showroom cinema.

Its a great film and involves lots of drinking.  At the start they run short.

 We just ran out of wine. What are we gonna do about it?

The pair are very demanding in a small Penrith café.

 We want the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here, and we want them now!

The character uncle monty clearly has a love for vintage wine as he proclaims often and at the end of the film Withnail is drinking 1953 Margaux from the bottle.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Party in Silkstone

Drank lots of different wine at Margaret and Jims fondue party last night.
Started off with a very nice Chateauneuf Du Pape,
then an Australian Shiraz Cabernet,
a Polish wine which was unfortunately spoilt!,
then a Spanish wine from Navarra,
and the highlight of the night was an incredible Amarone della Valpolicella, such a deep rich concentrated beast. So smooth.
After the fondue we retired to Jims bar for a pint of john smiths and an Irish Coffee!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Derbyshire Sparkling wine

Sheffield has a champagne bar. Its on ecclesall road above an old plumbing shop near the Porter Brook.
Not a bad place for a celebration with ice filled tables to sit around and put in your chilled magnum.
The opening night was really fun with delicous ham hock canapes and a jazzanova saxophonist.
Fantastic range of champagnes including back vintages of Krug and some english sparking wines from Bacchus Kent.

2006 Renishaw Estate Sparkling Wine
Extraordinary aromatic elderflower and floral blossom on the nose with an off dry palate of soft mandarin citrus fruit. A great summer sparkling wine!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


My Birthday last week and we enjoyed a lovely meal at Casanovas in Crookes.‬‪Nice to spend some time with close friends and celebrate my 29th Birthday.‬‪As a nice surprise my father rang the restaurant ahead and ordered some wine so that it was waiting for us on the table when we arrived!
 Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC 1999
 Beautiful thick dark black cherry in colour with intense and concentrated black fruits, and brandy fruitcake on the nose.‬‪Rich, smooth but strong on the palate with delicious smooth ripe fruit a touch of sweetness and mellow tannins from the time spent maturing  in oak barrels and the unusual  vinification which involves leaving the grapes out to partially dry on straw mats in the Italian sunshine before starting the fermentation.‬‪Excellent and great for a celebration.‬‪89/100 (£35 at Casanova, Crookes)‬‪‬‪‬‪‬‪‬

Thursday, 2 October 2008


A student took my leather coat as I strolled in off the mall to this amazing showcase tasting at the Institue of Contemporary Arts in London (search for IWSC to see all the results). Such an excellent place to host a do and a privelege to visit!
I spent a few hours here tasting through the trophy winning wines from the International Wine and Spirits Competition. I picked some favourites and discussed them with various groups of people at the event. There was a great cheese table which I didnt miss out on at all, making sure that I filled up on Stilton and Brie!
Brief highlights as they were presented, from the many..proper tasting notes later.

Excellent Australian Shiraz from Wirra Wirra and Moppity, great Brunello and A lovely Amarone which we drank lots of with the Stilton! Refined 1995 Rioja from Campillo, An elegant Grand Cru Chablis, aged South African Chenin, fabulous New Zealand Gewurtztraminer and Rieslings. I didnt have a chance to foray into the spirits room. I had my fill, what a fantastic day!