Sunday, October 26, 2008

In praise of English wines

I have been known to drink the odd glass of wine or six and I have quite a varied taste, without being snobbish about the subject (I think) although I am a member of the Wine Society.

My preferred whites are dry wines from New Zealand with Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc being my favourite. I was introduced to it whilst spending more time on BA planes than is healthy and made it worse by drinking rather a lot of the stuff. I don't know if they still serve it on BA but if you like a dry white give it a go. I really can't stand oaked Chardonnay -yuk.

I don't really have a favourite red and tend to go where the mood takes me and what is available but as an everyday drinking wine you can't go wrong with a Merlot. I also like Italian wines and reckon they are very much underrated, although on the expensive side for everyday drinking.

Today we were out for a drive to admire the colourful autumn splendour Chilterns and ended up dropping in to the Chiltern Winery in the Hamledon Valley. Their wines seem to have suffered a bit in the past couple of years because of the poor summers but are still very palatable. We picked up 6 reds, one of which we are quaffing now, and 6 white.

We went for the medium white as TGW-O doesn't like them too dry. As usual it is a very pleasant easy to drink wine with a touch of elderflower - I used to make my own wines when we lived in Dorset and elderflower was always a favourite.

The 2006 red is very interesting, its only 11% alcohol by volume but that makes a pleasant change as a lot of modern reds are verging on the fortified wine end of the spectrum and a bit too heavy for everyday drinking. It has an interesting "smokey" flavour and is definitely moorish.

I also bought a couple of bottles of their real ale but it didn't work too well with the curry we had this evening - my bad. Anyway its not bad under normal drinking conditions.

Ooops, TGW-O has just read this over my shoulder and pointed out that the red is from one of the private bina and was rather expensive - I wasn't paying attention when I bought it - it tasted nice so in the car it went!

Anyway, if you get the chance give this place a go, you get to taste the wines before you buy and they really are quite good.

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