Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France


The wines of Languedoc

Rhône varieties – home and away

Following last month’s highly successful tasting on Bordeaux varieties in search of sunshine, this month’s fine wine supper focused on the Rhône varieties.  In fact, this turned out to be too big a subject matter, but we had such great wines from the northern Rhône that it became a matter of ‘home and away’.  The

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Fortified wines: two by two

Martin Hudson MW’s presentation of fortified wines, some of them sweet,  was organised by pairings – two Sherry styles, two Madeiras, two Ports, two Vin Doux Naturels and a lonely Rutherglen Muscat at the end.  In this way, with some elegant economy, he was able to illustrate the remarkable diversity of the world of fortified

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Blind tasting oddities?

Blind tasting of random wines again … I think the best thing is to group the wines by type, clarity after the event being so much easier to achieve than at the time. So off we go with a, er, peculiarity: It’s definitely red, it’s sparkling, it’s slightly sweet … it’s not Shiraz, it’s lighter

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Buried treasure in the South West

Wine drinkers are on the whole a pretty conservative lot. We know what we like and we generally stick to it. This applies equally whether we are supermarket shoppers or have developed specialised palates. But one of the joys of the world of wine is its huge diversity, a product of its deeply entrenched localism

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Red BBC1

The Overton BBC (bring a bottle club) has a cheerfully random air about it.  This is particularly the case with ‘BBC1’. As the idea is to taste the wines blind, there is no plan about who will bring what.  Usually, this works absolutely fine and often some fascinating themes emerge.  By chance, three people will

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High Torq wines

Andover Wine Friends’ June tasting focused on the Languedoc in the south of France.  For Janet and I this was a continuation of our experience of ‘sunshine in a glass’, having just returned from a wine-tasting holiday in next door Roussillon.  The tasting was led by Torquil Jack who, with his wife, Marion, has started

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A Seabright dawn

Persistent driving rain in the middle of winter is no incentive to get out and enjoy the wines of the sunny south of France, even if the journey is only to London’s West End.  The weather was conspiring with the economic climate.  And is the most difficult financial situation most of us can remember really

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Organic Sud de France

The organic movement is well-established in France with strong connections to the markets of Northern Europe.  German, Dutch or Danish consumers may well know their organic from their biodynamic but it’s more of a struggle in England.  The term ‘organic’ does mean something in the supermarket or on the wine list – if for most

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Weekend bottles

The weekend has that nice relaxed feel about it, a moment to search the cache of bottles in the kitchen or beyond for something different to try.  My recent trip to Berry Bros & Rudd’s Aladdin’s cave at Basingstoke produced one of these.  Chateaux de Lascaux 2006 from the Languedoc, with a galloping horse on

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