Filed under Wine

Pairing Wild Game and Wine

Pairing Wild Game and Wine

Twice a year I organize themed wine pairing dinners (click here to read more about them). This fall’s theme was Wild Game and Wine. The same menu was repeated on three Saturdays for three different groups of friends, and on each night there were two different wines paired with each dish. And so I ended … Continue reading

Condrieu: the Best Viognier in the World

Condrieu: the Best Viognier in the World

You may have noticed that over the last year, I’ve been blogging a bit less frequently and lately there have been more posts about wine. The reason for both is the same: I’ve been studying the become a vinologist (which means someone who knows about viticulture, wine making, grape varieties, terroirs and appellations around the … Continue reading

Gramona: Cava and Still Wines in Penedès

Gramona: Cava and Still Wines in Penedès

The last winery we visit in Spain is Gramona in Sant’ Sadurni d’Anoia, the capital of cava in which 93% of all cava is produced. DO Cava is allowed to be produced in many regions all over Spain, but most of the cava comes from Penedès. Gramona is a family business that has made cava … Continue reading

Valdesil: benchmark Godello and Mencía from Valdeorras

Valdesil: benchmark Godello and Mencía from Valdeorras

Our discovery of Spanish wines continues in the denominación de origen Valdeorras, a bit more inland but still influenced by the Atlantic. The climate is between Atlantic and Mediterranean with significant vintage variation. Wet vintages such as 2014 are called “atlantic”, dry vintages such as 2015 “mediterranean”. Because this is a cool climate, the best vineyards … Continue reading

Wines of Rias Baixas

Wines of Rias Baixas

Rias Baixas is a wine region in the north-western corner of Spain in the autonomous region of Galicia, north of Portugal. The rias are inlets of the Atlantic that are a bit like shallow fjords. Rias Baixas, which should be pronounced as “ree-ass-by-shuss”, is best known for delicate, aromatic whites of the albariño grape (which in Portugal … Continue reading

Nivarius: Rare White Wines from Rioja

Nivarius: Rare White Wines from Rioja

The first winery we visited in Rioja is a very new one: Nivarius. The first vintage produced was only in 2012. It is unique in Rioja because it is the first and only winery in Rioja that only produces white wine. This is possible because of the unique terroir after which the winery was named, … Continue reading

Wines of Rioja

Wines of Rioja

Rioja is the oldest and most famous wine production area of Spain. It has been famous for centuries, and in 1991 it was the first (and for quite some time the only) production area with the highest rank in Spanish wine law: Denominación de Origen Calificada (Qualified Denomination of Origin). Rioja is known for its oak-aged … Continue reading

Moscatel from Navarra: Bodegas Camilo Castilla

Moscatel from Navarra: Bodegas Camilo Castilla

The Spanish wine region of Navarra is famous for its moscatel de grano menudo, and the benchmark producer of moscatel is Bodegas de Camilo Castilla in the town of Corella. Navarra is on the northeast of Rioja in the North of Spain, with a climate that is influenced by both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. … Continue reading

Wine Study Trip to Loire and Bordeaux

Wine Study Trip to Loire and Bordeaux

The reason I’ve not blogged for a week is that I was away on a study trip to France. This trip is part of the wine training I’m taking at the Dutch wine academy (Wijnacademie) to become a registered vinologist (vinoloog). A vinologist is not exactly the same as an oenologist (who has a deeper … Continue reading

Organizing a Wine Pairing Dinner

Organizing a Wine Pairing Dinner

As I’ve described in my previous post about the history of the wine pairing dinners that I host, I’ve been organizing wine pairing dinners for 5 years now and I have hosted 25 of them with 11 different themes. To reiterate from the previous post, the cost of food and wine is divided among the … Continue reading

German Wine

German Wine

A great way to get to know the wines of an area is to visit the area, visit wineries, taste the wines, talk to the winemakers, eat at local restaurants, and order local wines with your meal. It is even better if you can buy and take home some of the wine, as it usually … Continue reading

Homemade Barolo Chinato

Homemade Barolo Chinato

Barolo Chinato is a spiced wine from the Italian region of Piemonte that was invented as a medicine in the late 19th century by pharmacist Giuseppe Cappellano in Turin. Commercial versions of Barolo Chinato are matured for over a year in oak barrels, but it is possible to make a very acceptable version at home. That … Continue reading

Burgundy is all about Terroir

Burgundy is all about Terroir

Burgundy (Bourgogne) is a region in France that is famous for its wine and its food. Three years ago we went there for a few days to discover the wine region and purchased some nice wines. Most Burgundian wines are at their best between 5 and 10 years from the harvest, and since the wines … Continue reading

Pairing wine and cheese, revisited

Four weeks ago I had organized the first cheese & wine tasting event for friends at my house. Last night was the second evening with mostly the same wines and cheese, but some differences and better pictures. For the full story, please check out my post about the first evening. Soft cheese with light white … Continue reading

Pairing Wine and Cheese

Wine and cheese are a great match. But not just any wine with any cheese. Restaurants still offer a mix of very different cheeses with a glass of port. However in cases that different styles of cheeses are served together, they should be paired with different styles of wine as well. Last night we tasted 12 … Continue reading

Good Lambrusco exists

Lambrusco is a light bubbly red wine from Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia in Italy that does not have a good reputation at all. It is usually cheap plonk that is frowned upon by many connoisseurs. However just like almost any other wine, it is possible to make good quality Lambrusco. Over the last few years, Italy’s … Continue reading

Hyperdecanting wine à la “Modernist Cuisine”

There are two reasons for decanting wine: separating the sediment from the wine (only needed for all wines that have sediment in the bottle, usually older wines) and letting the wine ‘breathe’ (oxygenation and outgassing; this may improve most wines but especially young red wines of which the tannins haven’t yet softened). Dutch wine connoisseurs … Continue reading