Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Grower Champagne

Well the party season is upon us and it's time to start thinking about bubbles.  Now there are plenty of cheaper and excellent alternatives, like Prosecco for example, but for many people, tough times or not, bubbles means Champagne.  However, even if you're determined to stick to Champagne for those parties and special occasions, there are still plenty of interesting alternatives to the big and famous brands that account for the vast majority of the sales.  Let's have a look...

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Riesling Trocken

The other week I was searching for a bottle of Malvasia delle Lipari for the Italian wine course I'm running, which I tracked down to The Winery in Maida Vale, West London (see here for the post on the Malvasia).  It's a small but perfectly formed emporium, selling interesting wines from small producers that you're unlikely to find elsewhere.

Whilst there, I soon realised that regardless of the fact that I'd come out for a bottle of Italian Passito and even though Italian wine was clearly one of their specialities, their real niche is German Riesling from small independent domaines.  More specifically they had a great line-up of Riesling Trocken.  Riesling what? Well, before looking at the specific wines I took away with me, let's have a quick look at the different styles of German wine...

For a start the whole conversation here is about quality German wine.  We're not talking about supermarket bottom shelf hopelessly cheap branded wine, Liebfraümilch, Blue Nun or Black Tower -  we're talking about superb wine and in particular Riesling.  The same applies to other varieties - Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Silvaner for example - but we'll confine our discussion