Archive for the ‘Eastern Europe’ Category

Királyudvar, Tokaji Sec 2006

Friday, June 11th, 2010

There is definitely a place in my heart for wines that are a bit bonkers.  A tale of the unexpected.  Something with its own personality.

I recently visited Vivat Bacchus in Farringdon with a colleague.  We sampled two sweet wines – one white, one red – both bonkers.  Sadly the white tasted of wallpaper paste and the red of cherry lips soaked in meths.  And Vivat Bacchus tried to double tip me.  I hate it when service is already added to the bill and then the credit card machine offers me the “opportunity” to add another tip, presumably going straight into the long pockets of short-handed management.  A chilled Valpolicella on the same visit was dreamy, but this is not enough to entice me to visit either branch of Vivat Bacchus again.

I have tried many superb Tokaji dessert wines, almost all of which were not particularly Dizzee Rascal, but nonetheless tasted sweeter than an Armand van Helden megamix.

This Királyudvar was dry and, in a sense, that made it madder than a Tory/Liberal conspiracy.  But mad can be loveable.  It can be intelligent.  It can command respect.  This is the Vivienne Westwood of wines.

I can’t claim that I know whether she tastes of honey and meringue, but, like this wine, I could think of 10,000 worse dinner partners.

I got mine from the Wine Society for £18, so not cheap, but if you want quality like Westwood, then you have to be prepared to pay.  I enjoyed mine with a pork chop with mustard, garlic and thyme.

European Wine Bloggers “to drink Rioja dry”

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

The European Wine Bloggers Conference is fast approaching and I am looking forward to meeting up with a wide range of nationalities with one common aim, to drink Rioja dry discuss maturely the status and future of wine blogging in Europe.  But my travel plans are a nightmare and I’ve really messed up.

The conference is in Logroño, which is a bloody good reason to visit in its own right, being at the heart of La Rioja.  But my flight is to Bilbao, home of the world famous Guggenheim Museum, and I booked the wrong flight back, leaving me zero time to visit.  And you know how difficult/expensive it is to change a flight with QuEasyjet.

Furthermore, my flight out is from Stansted at 7:15am which means I have to leave home at 3am to get to the airport – at least the roads will be quiet!

I sense that the travel travails will be well worth the effort for what looks like a great event.

Cittadella, you WILL go the the ball!

I was going to talk about this Romanian Pinot Grigio “from Transylvania”, but like a lot of PG it is rather ordinary.  For the record it tasted a bit of grilled tomato with herbs.  La Cittadella came from the Sunday Times Wine Club in a “Crisp Refreshing Whites” mixed case for about £60.  I suppose I shouldn’t have opened a bottle of Cloudy Bay next, which did kind of eclipse this poor Dracula juice.

Meanwhile a big fangs to Rob, Gabriella and Ryan for the hard work organising the conference and I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Legenda Pinot Noir 2005

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Purely in the name of research, you understand, I’ve been sampling a range of Pinot Noirs from different corners of the globe.  I say “corners” because I am still not sure that Magellan got it right.  The Earth is about as round as an American Football, otherwise where does Everest come into the picture – surely it’s more than Mother Earth’s nipple?  And imagine what the “globe” might look like without the levelling effect of billions of gallons of briny ocean.

Reading, Berkshire, is an oenological corner of the UK that has cornered the market in bizarre Pinot Noirs including this one, courtesy of the Sunday Times Wine Club and via Reading from a far away corner of Europe known as Moldova.  Described as “Burgundy rivalling” by the STWC, I am not sure which corners of Burgundy they are talking about – presumably the darkest and dingiest ones.  There is a warning on the page that provides a clue.

Dark ruby colour (much deeper than Burgundy!)

Exactly what is this mysterious legend from Moldova?


Colina Pinot Noir 2006

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

The gardening season is upon us and this year I am so organised, I had my lawn mower serviced early to beat the rush.  Now it’s just a matter of being organised enough to be at home on one of the rare days that it doesn’t rain, so I can mow the lawn.

While I stare glumly out of the window at another English horizontal monsoon, I console myself by sampling eastern European wine.  But making decent Pinot Noir is about as Herculean a task as predicting which raindrop will win the race to the bottom of the pane.

This Romanian immigrant was part of the 2006 wine trade and smuggled in via a Sunday Times Wine Club mixed case “pure pinot noir” in exchange for a £69.99 ransom.  Not in the exorbitant price category then.

Wherefore art thou from, Colin A?