Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France


The wines of Argentina

Cutting edge S America

What are your expectations of medium to high-end Chilean, Argentine and Uruguayan wines?  The tick list would probably include: powerful fruit expression, high level of ripeness, high alcohol and devotion to new French oak barriques.  From a very select group of South American producers, the Institute of Masters of Wine’s Cutting Edge South American wines

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the closures

Chameleon Chardonnay

It’s tough being Chardonnay – on the one hand, you are so popular that you have become a girl’s name; on the other hand, people have tired of you and have moved on to Pinot Grigio and even Moscato.  But once you get into quality wines, the real appeal of the grape to the drinker

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Casa Marin

South America disappoints

There is a random element to Overton’s blind tasting group – the wines that is, not the people to whom I could devote many pages on this blog!  The idea is that each of us, 6-12 people, bring an impressive bottle which we taste without knowing what it is.  Inevitably that means that sometimes, actually

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Blind tasting masochism?

Andover Wine Friends unusually had a fine wine supper in August … and also, atypically, indulged in a bit of blind tasting masochism.  Speaking for myself I normally enjoy the considerable challenge of blind tasting, even though it is a very artificial exercise.  This is not just for the rare moments of triumph when you

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Signature grapes of South America

It may come as something of a surprise but  South America is the second highest wine-producing continent, after Europe.  It has some strong home markets (especially Argentina) and big exports from Argentina to north America and from Chile to the UK.  But does it offer something distinctive? Do each of the main producing countries have

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Bordeaux grapes in search of sunshine

What happens when you start with a classic Bordeaux red wine, deconstruct its component grape varieties via new world examples and then put them all back together again?  That was the idea which underlay November’s Fine Wine Supper.  Take a fine Claret and use it as a benchmark, taste wine made mainly from single varietals

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Tim Atkin: on Toscana’s Sangiovese

Tim Atkin MW’s theme at Vini Italiani’s Sangiovese evening was ‘embrace the diversity, even the difficulty of Italian wine’.  The list of indigenous varieties might seem endless, the DOCs may be ever-expanding, the rules complex and seeming designed to provoke rebellion in a naturally individualistic people, but it’s worth it.  Rather like the temperamental Sangiovese

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Mission impossible

One of the quirky charms of Overton’s ‘Bring a Bottle Club’ is the practice – usually followed by one of the regular members – of bringing a joker bottle to be tasted blind, like all the wine.  There are not many other places where you could taste a 10-year old English rosé, a Maltese red

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Things can only get better

May’s BBC 1 – bring any quality bottle or the odd joker and taste them blind  – threw up a distinctly mixed bag.  The whites in general,, unusually, did not shine, the one sparkling wine met a distinctly mixed reception and the evening was saved by good company and a high standard in the reds. 

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Pale, red and elegant

With the whole world of wine to choose from, which three grape varieties would you group together for a focused red wine tasting where there is noticeable relationship between the varieties? The two Cabs and Merlot would be one obvious choice – but the range of styles around the world might lead to a loss

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