Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France

Loire

The wines of the Loire Valley

Sweet dreams

For much of human history, wine was sweet. Winemakers didn’t have the knowledge to get wines to ferment out completely and so inevitably the result was sweet. And anyway, people like sweet things and, it could be said, some sweetness can cover up a number of faults. In the last twenty years, fashion has dictated

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aperitif

24-bottle dinner

Some wine occasions really stand out. Obviously you need top quality wines or, at least, wines of exceptional interest. Hopefully, there is really good food to go with it. And you certainly want congenial, knowledgeable and appreciative company. Saturday night’s dinner more than met all these criteria. People had clearly searched their cellars for precious

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Top glasses

Sancerre, Chablis and Champagne – the top glasses At the end of a wine tour, it’s good to stand back, review the experience as a whole and pick a few favourite glasses. There were 89 to choose from by my count. Of course one wouldn’t want to give the impression it was all tasting and

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Coach at Ardres

Arriving at Sancerre

Coach travel is all very well. Within northern France from the UK, it is tolerable – quite fast, better ecologically than flying short distances, secure, uneventful.  But it still takes quite a while to get from London (7.45 am) to Sancerre (6 pm French time), central France.  The specialist wine travel company, Arblaster and Clarke,

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Whistle stop tour of the Loire

Masters of Wine probably don’t often buy wine in a supermarket, not even a rather well-stocked branch of LeClerc in France. But that’s exactly what Martin Hudson did to demonstrate the remarkable range of wines which are made along the length of the Loire valley.   So while his last tasting for Andover Wine Friends featured

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Clos du Marquis dinner

Andover Wine Friends Clos du Marquis, near Stockbridge, Hampshire 21st April 2010  Puisse rappé – Armagnac, white wine, prune – – – Salade Landaise aux truffles Vouvray: Domaine des Aubuisieres, Cuvee de Perruches – – – Mousseline of pike from the Test river Burgundy: Saint Romain 2006, Domain H &G Buisson – – – Roast

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The world’s Chardonnay

A generation ago ordinary wine drinkers did not know the names of the grapes from which their wines were made.  Now a days, that’s probably the main thing that they do know.  Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Cabernet all have their mass of followers, they have become brands in their own right. And of these,

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How long do I keep these?

How old is old?

Aged wines are something of an acquired taste.  They set up all sorts of conflicts.  Unless you are very fortunate or rich, laying down wines for the future is only for the patient.  Buying something that will be at its peak in 10, 20 or more years is extremely counter-cultural.  Then, of course, there is

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