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Archive for the ‘9 A Love of Wine & Cheese’ Category

Andrew Polmear writes for the love of wine . . .

There’s an appalling lot of nonsense written about wine. I thought I’d found another prime example of this recently when I read an article on an American wine website called Snooth about the sweet wines of Bordeaux. Wine makers are trying to cope with poor sales by rebranding their sweet wines as ‘Golden Bordeaux’ and the suggestion by Snooth was that sweet Bordeaux wines go well with any food, except perhaps sweet desserts. What were they thinking of, I wondered, when almost everyone calls these ‘dessert wines’? (more…)

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I’ve written before about Champagne and how annoyingly dominating it is in the sparkling wine market. My main point is that, when good, it’s so much better than any other sparkling wine that its reputation is high and, on a special occasion, anything else seems mean. This reputation allows an appalling amount of poor champagne to slip in on the coat tails of the good stuff, to be sold at high prices. (more…)

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Summer is special for us all. For some it’s the outdoor life, for others it’s the Tour de France, but for wine lovers there’s the publication of the Decanter World Wine Awards! 275 international judges taste 17,000 wines blind and make their awards accordingly. Almost all the wines are available to us, either online or in the shops. If you subscribe to Decanter (“the world’s best wine magazine”) you get the printed report free. If you don’t you can view it free online at awards.decanter.com. Never again need you be disconcerted by the huge array of wines offered to you in a supermarket, a wine merchant or online. (more…)

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I’ve been chuntering on in this column for years about how important it is to think about the wine you are drinking, either putting into words how it tastes or thinking about where it comes from and how it’s made. Otherwise you are just knocking it back, maybe enjoying it, maybe not, without learning anything that can inform your enjoyment of the next bottle you open. (more…)

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I have a friend who says he won’t pay more than £6 for a bottle of wine. I tell him he’s barmy. Wine making is a slow, difficult, and expensive business. It’s true that wine does come cheaper than £6 but it’s an industrial product, without individuality or character. If you do find one with flavour it’s probably come from oak chippings suspended in the wine like teabags. But, my friend persists, what’s so expensive about making wine? (more…)

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What sort of an answer do you expect when you taste an interesting wine and you ask where it’s from? Do you hope to be told it’s from a little village nestling in the foothills of the Cevennes, just an hour’s drive from the Med? Or would it be more useful to be told, “Waitrose”? The best answer would include both pieces of information, but supermarkets can make that difficult. Some of their best value wines are their own brands, but it can be hard to find out where the wine is actually from. (more…)

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Will be all be drinking Australian wine? 

While we remain in the EU customs union, European wine is sold in the UK without paying import duty. If we leave the customs union, duty will be payable; how much depends on the deal agreed between the EU and the UK. At the present rate of progress, there seems a good chance that no such a deal will be agreed, so if we leave the customs union we would revert to World Trade Organisation tariffs, currently 32%. Combine that with the predicted fall in the value of the pound and we may find ourselves paying half as much again for European wines as we do now. (more…)

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