Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France


The wines of Spain

Line-up June 2019

My favourite wines

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

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Andover Wine Friends 10th anniversary tasting and dinner

In November 2007 Janet and I set up Andover Wine Friends with our very first public tasting at The Lights, Andover.  Five years on we had a happy party at which members all brought a bottle to share. For our tenth, we held a dinner for 26 in our house and a tasting on the

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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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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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How natural is natural?

How ‘natural’ is natural? Wine buyers are normally caught between two extremes. On the one hand, supermarkets and bars are mainly stocked with wines made on an industrial scale, to a formula tested in the market.  These wines may well have some character, but they are treated like any other volume product. A major consideration

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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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Valbuena 1985 twice: what’s the chance?

Two red wines showing some age are served side by side in a blind tasting.  As wine ages it become increasingly difficult to age it accurately. If it is genuinely old, say more than 20 years, you feel quite good if you get the right decade, unless you know your vintages extremely well.  The first

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Rioja, modernist or old school?

Is Rioja having an identity crisis?  For the average wine buyer staring at a supermarket shelf, this might seem a daft question. This famous region from Atlantic-influenced northern Spain continues to be a source of inexpensive, sound, flavourful wines.  Even at this level, there is a style issue: if you want a red that is

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Christmas begins here

Can any wine compare with the intensity and sheer excitement of great Sherry?  Now there’s a question which we could spend a lot of time debating … but frankly on Christmas Eve we are not going to!  This is just a brilliant drink. The pleasure begins the moment you pour a small amount into a

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