Category Archives: Blog

Relive Joe at the Marathon du Médoc

Relieve Joe at the Marathon du Médoc

As we continue to celebrate our new partnership with wine travel specialists Winerist, we look back at our presenters visiting just a few of the many wonderful places Winerist offers tours to.

This week, we revisit Joe Fattorini and adventurer Jamie Ramsay tackling the Marathon du Médoc, catching much of Bordeaux’s unique beauty along the way.

Joe notes

Marathon Men

Joe Fattorini

Imagine a wine tasting for 10,000 people. All tasting – and drinking – some of the greatest wines in the world. Everyone having a brilliant time wearing fancy dress. Accompanied by bands playing music and chefs offering snacks like oysters and grilled beef. While running 42.195 kilometres. Welcome to the crazy world of the Bordeaux marathon.

My friend Jamie Ramsay hasn’t had a drink in 18 months. Mostly because he’s been running from Vancouver to Buenos Aires. So if I show him round the historic region of Bordeaux, he will encourage me around 26 miles and 385 yards of running. Things start so well. I’ve run marathons before. And Jamie seems to be enjoying his return to the world of wine too. Even if our costumes start to feel a little heavy, and sweaty. As we enjoy more and more wine, and run more and more slowly, will we get to the end?

Book your wine and travel adventure with The Wine Show and Winerist

The Wine Show has partnered with specialist wine and food travel company Winerist to provide experiences in many of the countries we’ve featured on screen. Together we are offering unique wine tastings, holidays and tours that we are sure will thrill and exhilarate you. Book now to experience the unforgettable.

An artistic view on Nittardi

An artistic view on Nittardi

THE WINE SHOW CASE – Challenge SIX

Melanie Jappy

From Tintaretto to Titian, Bernini to Botticelli, Italy has given the world some of the most famous artists of all time. So it is no surprise when Joe Fattorini challenges Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys to find a wine that captures the spirit of Italy’s artistic heritage.

Joe sends Matt and Matt to the heart of the Chianti region of Tuscany to meet his friends the Canali-Femerts on the Nittardi Estate. Once home to Michelangelo, the Estate’s current owners are as passionate about art as they are about wine. Peter Femert owns art galleries in Germany and his wife, historian Stefania Canali, shares his enthusiasm. Son Leon has also joined the family business having studied wine-making around the world.

Today Nittardi is home to a collection of modern art and sculpture, but it is to the 16th century that we look to see the roots of this connection. In 1569, while Nittardi’s owner Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel in Rome, he sent a message to his nephew asking for wine from Nittardi for Pope Julius II. Even today the first bottles of one of Nittardi’s wines, Nectar Dei, are sent to the Pope.

Evoking the memory of Michelangelo and his many benefactors, the Canali-Femerts have for several years commissioned an artist to create a label and wrapping paper for their Casanuova di Nittardi. This wine is a Chianti Classico made from grapes grown in the single vineyard; the Vigna Doghessa. As a 100% Sangiovese wine it is known for its minerality and fresh fruits and is the epitome of a fine Chianti Classico.

The artists that have created work for the wine include world-famous artists such as, Horst Jannsen, Yoko Ono and Gunther Grass. So it was surprising when Stefania agreed to let Matthew and Matthew have a stab at creating their own labels.

Whilst prolific by the end of the drawing session,  Matt and Matt’s attempts may not be regarded as amongst the finest of the works to have adorned this fine wine. But Matthew and Matthew did not shame The Wine Show totally. Having each chosen their best piece of work, it’s up to Joe to choose the one that he feels best fulfilled the brief. Who wins? Wait and see…

Book your wine and travel adventure with The Wine Show and Winerist

The Wine Show has partnered with specialist wine and food travel company Winerist to provide experiences in many of the countries we’ve featured on screen. Together we are offering unique wine tastings, holidays and tours that we are sure will thrill and exhilarate you. Book now to experience the unforgettable.

The best picks for your English Wine Week

The best picks for your English Wine Week

It’s easy to always think of exotic, picturesque foreign lands when tasked to consider locations for great wine. But sometimes, great things can be found on your very own doorstep.

To celebrate English Wine Week (25th May – 2nd June), we’ve compiled a small variety of great English wines for you to seek out.

If you’re trying these or anything similar these weeks, why not show us on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ShowUsYourBottles?

Balfour Brut Rose 2010

Hush Heath definitely contends as England’s finest rose fizz producer and for much of its life, that was all they did. The rich aromas of strawberries and currants are complemented by wild flowers and spice. The character of Pinot Noir shines through, from one of Kent’s most famous vineyards. I love this with food. I even had it once (deliciously) with a traditional pork pie.

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Bolney Wine Estate Cuvee Rose 2011

English wine is a not a new thing, and Bolney was established in 1972 and looks to New Zealand for inspiration, as an estate that specialises in reds. This is the estate’s divine pink fizz suffused with strawberry fruit and a mouth-coating yeasty richness. That fruit gives it the weight to match with food. For a particularly delicious and interesting combination try it with really good Chinese food.

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Camel Valley Brut Sparkling 2013

Anyone who enjoys white Bordeaux will (a) love this wine and (b) be utterly astonished by this wine. It shares the same production idea and half the same grapes, but with the eye-opening refreshment of Assyrtiko. Look for a peach and mineral fruit with lovely vanilla spice. Richly flavoured fish dishes and creamy sauces are perfect matches.

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Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee English Sparkling 2010

There’s a wonderful combination of the traditional and modern at Hattingley. It is the UK’s first winery to use solar power, and yet sits in quintessentially English countryside. But you can taste the innovation; here they use some oak barrels (like mighty Krug and Bollinger) to give the wine a softer, complex mouthfeel and structure. Truly delicious fizz.

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Jenkyn Place Brut Cuvee Sparkling English 2010

Jenkyn Place is one of the newer estates in England, made in Hampshire where there are some of the country’s finest soils and climates for wine production. It has a slightly exotic touch to the aromas, particularly of quince and a hint of tropical fruit, whilst the palate is focussed on being silky and refined rather than rich and heady. By a couple of bottles and lay one down to see how it ages for the next 3-5 years.

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Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee English Sparkling 2010

There’s a wonderful combination of the traditional and modern at Hattingley. It is the UK’s first winery to use solar power, and yet sits in quintessentially English countryside. But you can taste the innovation; here they use some oak barrels (like mighty Krug and Bollinger) to give the wine a softer, complex mouthfeel and structure. Truly delicious fizz.

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Nyetimber Blanc De Blancs Sparkling 2007

Vintage sparkling wines are less a reflection of the house style than the vintage. 2007 wouldn’t strike you as an auspicious year – floods in June and July led to one of the biggest rescue efforts in peacetime Britain. But by October the fruit was ripe enough to make this delicious apple and brioche scented wine. It’s evolving into a complex and multi-layered treat now. Enjoy with fine fish and even white meat dishes, like a sparkling white Burgundy. You won’t regret it.

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Wines for your Portuguese holiday

Wines for your Portuguese holiday

As we edge ever closer to summer, attention no doubt shifts towards the holiday season and the big adventures we’ve planned for our excursions.

As we know, travelling goes hand-in-hand with experiencing great new wines, and The Wine Show is your one-stop shop for recommendations from all over the world.

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal this summer, why not seek out some of the wines below? With a delightful mix of powerful reds, soft whites, and complex sherries, Portugal is sure to provide you with a wine tasting experience you won’t soon forget.

Churchill’s Douro Red 2012

In the late 17th Century, ¾ of all wine sold in England was Portuguese – fortified Ports and unfortified wines like this. Well, perhaps not with the delicious, wild-berry fruit and clean spice. Churchill’s have been working hard to create a modern, rich, hearty style that perfectly encapsulates Portugal.

Pair with: Game dishes; barbecues; and roasted vegetables

Monte Cascas Malvasia de Colares

Here is a massive insider tip. It’s going to be harder to buy Chablis for the next few years as the harvests have been tough. But switch to Colares Malvasia like this gorgeous wine and you’ll have plenty of intense, minerally, slightly iodine tang fun in the same style.

Pair with: Shellfish; hake

Sandeman Vau Vintage 2001

This is the Port that got a lot of us into Port. Vau Vintage was controversial when it was launched (in the 80’s) as it’s a ‘real’ Vintage Port but made in a fruitier, earlier drinking style. There’s the classic sweet opening, followed by raspberry and cherry and aromas of Dundee cake and spice. It’s also staggeringly good value.

Pair with: Puddings; Chocolate

Vida Nova Syrah/Aragonez Rosé 2014

Cliff Richard put Algarve winemaking on the map for most people. And he’s surprised people by not just making a juicy, bright, fruity rosé packed with red fruit but winning awards and plaudits at the same time. It’s a surprisingly versatile wine.

Pair with: Salads; Salmon

Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas Tinto 2013

Pronounced ‘Ramoosh Tint’ with just a hinted aspiration at the end, here another great Port house makes a glorious dry, unfortified red. This has the herbal quality to the dark cherry and damson fruit that evokes memories of the brush covered hill sides in the beautiful Douro Valley.

Pair with: Grilled vegetables and cheese (like Halloumi)

Wines for your Spanish holiday

Wines for your Spanish holiday

With the winter period gradually being put behind us, attention no doubt shifts towards the summer and the big adventures we’ve planned for our holidays and excursions.

As we know, travelling goes hand-in-hand with experiencing great new wines, and The Wine Show is your one-stop shop for recommendations from all over the world.

If you’re planning a trip to Spain this summer, why not seek out some of the wines below? With a delightful mix of powerful reds, soft whites, and complex sherries, Spain is sure to provide you with a wine tasting experience you won’t soon forget.

Vina Almate, Alfredo Maestro, Ribera del Duero 2015

Alfredo Maestro Tejero’s vineyards are located within the Ribera del Duero. His wines are completely natural, with no sulphur added in the vineyard or the winery. All his vineyard treatments are natural, and many of them follow biodynamic practices.

The Alfredo Maestro Vina Almate is darkly coloured, opaque and mouth filling with lavender and toffee notes that stay from nose to finish. These notes quickly disappear to allow a sweet nose of roses, mineral and red berry fruits.

Pair with: Black pudding and chorizo; Rice with Morcilla; Red meat, pork and cheese

Itsasmendi

We are reliably informed, do NOT pour your Txakoli from a height to froth up the light fizz. It’s only for tourists. Pour normally, nicely chilled and enjoy the brightly, zesty citrus aromas and refreshing palate. Itsas (“sea”) and Mendi (“mountains”) tell you all about what this wine goes with (fish) and where it comes from (the hills).

Pair with: Pork; Rich fish (salmon, tuna etc); Spicy food; Sweet desserts; Vegetarian; Poultry

Bodegas Hidalgo Triana Pedro Ximenez

Let’s be honest here. This is the richest, stickiest, densest wine you’ll ever try. It’s essentially the sweetening wine for other sherries, but here you have it unadulterated. And I love it. Not a ‘wine’ so much as a pudding or a stylish alternative to Bailey’s. Some serve it over ice-cream but that seems wasteful. It does go with a rich cake. You really should try this once though just to taste the treacle, the figs, the prunes and baked raisins.

Pair with: Tiramisu; Dark chocolate brownies; Vanilla ice cream; Strawberries, banana, citrus; Blue cheese and paté

Williams & Humbert Palo Cortado

This sherry is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, enclosed in an enigma. Part tangy, fresh Fino, part rich and nutty Oloroso. 20 years of gradual ageing make this the most complex wine from Williams & Humbert. The perfect way into dinner with almonds, great tapas and intelligent conversation.

Pair with: Pheasant, quail, or partridge; Duck liver; Curries or spicy Asian food; Chocolate; Sweet sauce

Marques de Riscal Finca Torrea

There’s been quiet experimention in Rioja, to look for a more modern style of wine for people who want more fruit and a tad more grip in their wines. This is Marques de Riscal’s answer. Less sweet oak, more bright fruit, a bit more bite. But still fresh. It takes brighter, more modern food too. A touch of spice, a bit of fruit, and maybe slightly richer meats like duck too.

Pair with: Grills or roasts; Mushroom casserole; Spicy sauces; Chicken; Stronger-flavoured fish dishes; Red tuna fish