Fortified wine

Line-up June 2019

My favourite wines

My favourite wines – for a special occasion, celebrating the end of MW exams

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The line up

Bring a special bottle, 2016

Bring a Special Bottle Christmas 2016 celebration  Keen wine tasters in North West Hampshire meet in a range of formats – Andover Wine Friends, BBC (‘bring a bottle club’), TWITS (don’t ask), TWITS Diploma group and, of course, informally.  To these can now be added BSBC, bring a special bottle club.  This pays homage to

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two dominant varieties, two vintages

Things that can go wrong … in the MW tasting exam

My recent post trumpeted my last-minute preparation for the MW tasting exams.  I have now done the exams, the list of wines have been published but we are still some months off knowing the results.  It is now time to reflect on the experience of things that go right in the exam and, sadly more interestingly,

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Line up

Final week before MW exams

MW exams loom. What does the MW student do in the final week before re-sitting the tasting exam?  Three papers of two hours and 15 minutes each, 36 wines in total to be discussed in detail, all served blind.  The task is to discuss their origin, the varieties they are made from, how they were made,

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Kopke’s liquid gold

Kopke 1935 Colheita white port  Some smaller wine countries have so much to offer. Today’s Wines of Portugal tasting had a bit of everything – light and refreshing Vinho Verde with a touch of spritz, lots of new style modern wines with contemporary labelling, profound Douro reds, individual whites (e.g., G. R. Alves de Sousa, Pessoal,

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Seppeltsfield’s Centurions

Many wineries claim a unique point-of-difference, few do so as convincingly as Seppeltsfield, on the very edge of the Barossa Valley.  As the peak of a large and inventive range of wines,  each year since 1978 they have released a single-vintage, 100-year old Grenache-based tawny from their Centennial Cellar. To achieve this each vintage they

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Madeira magic

Photoblog – Madeira magic The warm, Atlantic island of Madeira is visually remarkable and hence here is a photoblog. Amazing landscapes, old low-pergola vines, historic names of the wine trade, incredible century-old vintages and much more.

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Quinta do Noval – Douro magic

Quinta do Noval – Douro magic The land Every book or website about the Douro comments on its magical landscape and remarkable wine culture.  But nothing can prepare you for the impact of the majestic river, the sweep of the steep and extensive terraces, the autumn fog or the baking heat of summer; or for

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Spain round 2

Some of us had the pleasure of an excellent Spanish tasting last week, climaxing in the 68-year old PX which I commented on in the preceding post.  But we had already agreed that the next blind tasting would be on the voluminous subject of ‘Spain’. Could we keep up the very high standard? Yes, we

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Youthful 68 year old

What exactly would you expect from a near 70-year-old sherry? Bodegas Toro Albala, Don PX Seleccion, 17%, 1946 was bottled in September 2011.  So that is 65 years in a cask!    It would be interesting to work out how much has been lost to the angels over its long life in oak.    As we are

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