Thursday, 28 January 2010

Wine off - part 2

Rustenberg Chardonnay
Grown on the NW face of the Hartenberg overlooking false bay, so continual gentle breeze helping to maintain freshness.
The has some ripe stone fruits, a sort of waxy fruit character and nicely knitted oak and lees characters

Charles Joguet Chinon Les Petit Roches 07
Cherry/Kirche nose, some dark fruit and sweet herbs, smells incredibly youthful - also a slight drop of cassis, lovely nose, light weight but noticable tannins, maybe a bit lacking in focus though.

Oddly I rather enjoyed the Chinon, as I thought it worked very well with the salty herbal garlicky crust. But then I probably also just quite enjoyed the change in style from what I've been drinking.

Wine off

Right Roast Chicken, with the usual accompaniment - quite a lot of garlic, thyme and rosemary.
2 Wines - Rustenberg Chardonnay (Stellenbosch)08 and Charles Joguet Chinon Les Petit Roches. Which is going to work better?
Roast chicken and a ripe nicely oaked and leesy Chardonnay is a bit of a classic, however I'm wondering whether the lightish tannins and herbal fruit character of the Cab Franc might not surprise me....

Saturday, 9 January 2010

If it grows together it goes together?

There is a curious aspect to food and wine matching that has always intrigued me. The concept of locality affecting the suitability of the food and wine match. The idea that wines from a given region, will a priori food that is traditional to the region.
I see several possibly fallacies with this as a concept;
The grapes that are grown in a region are often grown because they are in a suitable climatic zone. So the choice of varietal is due to it's ripening potential, and more often than not, it's ease of cultivation (Graciano in Rioja for example). The food stuff that is grown in a region, will obviously also be items that are suitable for the climate etc. The traditional foods will obviously have always been consumed with the wines from the local area - this I don't dispute, where I have an issue, is when discussing regions, one needs to be cogniscent of changes that may have taken place in their wine making over the last 50 years.
Particularly if you look at warm to hot regions. I would contend that there are virtually none of the major Mediterranean wine regions that are making wine in the same style now as they were 50 years ago. Add to this the increasing ubiquity of Mediterranean ingredients and cooking styles to modern restaurant cuisine and you'll see the crux of my issue.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


So this afternoon Marie-Helene from Jaboulet is coming over to see me with Luke from Liberty, we have to taste - Crozes Hermitage, Les Jalets, and Domaine de la Thalabert, then Gigondas Pierre Aiguille, and the St Joseph La Grande Pompee.