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Welcome to Drinking Culture, a new series on the OWC blog in which we indulge our literary side. Each month we'll be perusing our bookshelves and picking out one of our favourite publications to share with you.
For our first instalment, we have chosen a book that deserves pride of place in any wine lover's collection. Last October, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson MW released the eighth edition of their seminal World Atlas of Wine, arguably the greatest wine book ever published.
I should have begun writing this six months ago. That was when I finally bit the bullet and submitted my application to the Institute of Masters of Wine (spoiler alert - I got in). In all honesty, though, it took these six months to get over a severe case of imposter syndrome, start taking myself and my studies seriously, and to build up the courage to write - and post - this story.
In early June I visited the wine regions of Germany with a group of fellow Independent Merchants - including representatives from Corks Out in Manchester and Connolly's of Birmingham - as well as Melania Bellesini, Head Sommelier at Heston Blumental's Fat Duck Restaurant. We were the guests of Awin Barratt Siegel Wine Agencies, the UK's leading importer of premium German wines.
As a lover of wine and food I'm all for the classic food and wine pairings for example, mussels and Muscadet, steak and Malbec or fish and chips with Champagne (seriously you've got to try it). However sometimes you just don't want to cook and there's nothing better than a good packet of crisps when you're watching a movie, so why can't you eat crisps and enjoy wine AT THE SAME TIME? Here are my top ten wine and crisp pairings.
If I could only drink one grape variety for the rest of my life It would have to be Riesling. It's the most diverse and complex white grape with vibrant acidity and tantalising fruit.
When you think of German Riesling you may automatically think of Alan Partridge ordering half a bottle of Blue Nun or you may think about the copious amounts of Black Tower you would guzzle because it was sweet and didn't really taste like wine. *For disclosure, I am too young to remember guzzling Black Tower, in my day it was all about Cactus Jack Apple Schnapps... urgh*
Those of you who know me will know that I absolutely love finding new and exciting things to try, whether it be food and drink or even a new sporting venture (more to follow, keep your eyes peeled). So, you can imagine my wine-nerdy excitement when I discovered what are now three of my absolute favourite grape varieties: Carménère, Tannat and Bonarda.
A guide to wines from Chile with food pairing suggestions
'Twas the night before Christmas and the Champagne flutes clink, such a magical time ...but what do I drink?
It's that time of the year where over indulgence is acceptable that extra glass of wine or two is encouraged, but with so many drink options and plenty of festive treats available what's the best tipple for you to enhance that much deserved Christmas joy?
So, it turns out my first blog was somewhat of a success! Having very little academic interest in my school years led me to believe that writing wasn’t for me, but as it happens if you have a passion for what you’re writing about then it can be rather enjoyable.
Having deliberated over what my next subject would be I reached the decision to tackle Cuban cigars. Why is Cuba the first name most think of when the word cigar comes up? Is there something that sets Cuba apart from the rest?
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