Author: johanna.hofbauer

10 Things To Know About St. Patrick’s Day

As every year, on March 17 we celebrate a date which is very special to the Irish and over the years, has made its way to one of the most celebrated days of the year all around the world.Saint Patrick’s Day is charged with traditions, feasts, lots of green coloured stuff and beer. Here are 10 things you should absolutely know about this day.

Lots of beer. During this day, people augment the beer consumption. It even excels the famous German beer festival. According to established dates, people around the globe consume more than 13 Million litres of beer on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Green and more green. Irish people all around the world, and also lots of symathisers, dress in green. The colour is associated to the green island. If you want to celebrate this day authentically, we recommend you buy yourself a green t-shirt. Fun fact, the historic national colour of Ireland is actually blue.

Friends reunion in a pub. Irish people love pubs. One more reason to visit your next Irish pub and celebrate with natives. There is one in every bigger city, go find yours.

Who is Saint Patrick? Saint Patrick was born in the 15th century and was abducted by attackers of Ireland. During this time he had been studying to become a priest and established a religious doctrine based on the cloverleaf with four leaves. He died on the 17th of March in 1461.

What to eat? Typical Irish dishes are roast chicken, a Guinness stew.

Parades. Parades are typical although not every city has one. Have a look at your city’s agenda to see if a Saint Patrick’s Parade is organised and participate with your friends. Try to make Irish friends.

When was the first Saint Patrick’s Day? The annual celebration started in 1917.

Several days. In some places in Ireland, the festival lasts for several days although the actual feast is on the 17th of March.

Who’s the goblin? The goblin is a must-have on this day. People say that the lucky goblin and an elf appear each year on this date.

Celtic rhymes. You should dive into the rich culture of Ireland and read Celtic poetry, listen to native songs and learn more about the country’s artistic side. You will not get disappointed.

Last but not least, don’t forget about the great beer and whiskey, Ireland provides us with.

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Tullamore Dew 1L: The Irish whiskey is known all over the world for its smooth and gentle complexity and its citrus and spicy notes. 

 

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Jameson

Jameson is an Irish Whisky produced in Ireland since 1780, processed and aged at the Jameson Distillery of Midleton.

Top 3 Cocktail Recipes For Your Weekend

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Cocktails enrich our world of beverages in a colourful and fun way. After a dinner with wine, a Mojito or Strawberry Daiquiri feels right. But who said that it has to end here? Cocktails have long ago turned into a magic science called Mixology through which barkeepers – or mixologists – all around the world aim to find the best combination of taste without limiting the wide range of possibilities.

At Uvinum, we are always looking to share new discoveries, exciting drinks and invite you to dive into this fluid universe with us. But above all, enjoy my three favourite cocktails for this spring.

Lemon-Thyme Vodka Lemonade

(by Town&Country Mag)

Ingredients: 

3 lemon wedges
sugar
1/4 cup Lemon-Thyme Syrup
1/4 cup citrus vodka
1/4 cup club soda
1 sprig fresh thyme, preferably lemon thyme

Run one lemon wedge over the rim of a highball glass and dip the rim into sugar. Save this wedge for later. Put the remaining two lemon wedges into the cocktail shaker, then add the syrup and the vodka. Muddle hard to break the lemon skins and release their oils, then cover and shake. Now put some ice into the highball glass and pour the cocktail over. Top off your drink with some club soda, squeeze the first lemon wedge before dropping it into the cocktail. Garnish with the thyme sprig and serve immediately.

Whiskey Sour

(by Esquire)
Ingredients:
2 oz. bourbon
2/3 oz. lemon juice
1 tsp. superfine sugar
The easy classic for any occasion: Put the ingredients into a shaker and add some crushed ice. Shake hard and strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh lemon or orange wedge.

Cherry Blossomtini

(by The Spruce)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Gekkeikan Sake
1/2 ounce Cointreau Orange Liqueur
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
Splash lime juice (fresh)
2 dashes orange bitters

The Sake variation of a classic Cosmopolitan. Pour the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake it well and strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass.

Photo: Shari’s Berries

3 Delicious Wines For Spring

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Finally, spring has officially arrived. Flowers, bees and birds fill the air with their natural songs and make us dream of the next weekend or holiday. Easter is just around the corner and you want to make sure to have the best wines ready for your family lunch or a relaxed hangout with your friends. 

At Uvinum, we present you our selection of the best three wines to celebrate springtime. This selection includes one of each kind, red, white and rosé to guide you through the rise of the warmer season. Of course, you can and will discover lots more on our website where you will also find great discounts on a regular basis.

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The Pago de los Capellanes Joven Roble 2016 is a young red wine of a bright cherry colour. Revealing an intense floral aroma with notes of red fruits and hints of spices, this Tempranillo from the Ribera del Duero, Spain, is a great companion for your first barbecue of the year. But the Pago de los Capellanes would also warm you up if the nights are still a bit fresh. Amongst friends, family or just for you, this wine is made to be enjoyed.

 

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The Il Palagio Sting Message In A Bottle Bianco 2016 is a dedication to the pop hit of musician and winemaker Sting. In the 90ies, he rebuilt the Italian winery Il Palagio and ever since, stands for the high quality of Tuscan wines. This white wine cuvée is especially apt as an aperitif, or as a companion for fish and vegetable dishes. And with its light body, this wine makes for an excellent introduction convincing on every line. Why don’t you open a bottle yourself, see what kind of message is in it for you? 

 

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The Canyon Road White Zinfandel Rosé is a product made by Canyon Road Winery which owns 140 acres of vineyards. The majority of the grapes for its wines are sourced from coastal appellations and selected Northern California vineyards. The California appellation is part of the key to the brand’s success since it allows winemakers to roam prime Californian sources for just the juice they want.

 

 

 

Foto: CandiceP

Wine Selection for the Mobile World Congress 2018

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From Monday, 26th of February, till Thursday, 1st of March, Barcelona will be filled with suits and innovative technology. Every year, the Mobile World Congress 2018 brings together man and woman from all around the world to exchange expertise and introduce new products and technologies. 

You meet people who you wouldn’t be able to meet during the rest of the year. So, people use this opportunity for extended lunches, after-parties and dinners. Moreover, we can see an increased interest in European wines, mainly from Spain and France. But not just any wines. No, oh no. We’re talking about the créme de la crème of wines, royal grapes, delicious gems that you wouldn’t enjoy in your everyday life. 

At Uvinum, we have matched the MWC 2018 visitors’ interest with our product catalogue to present you our selection of wines for this year’s Mobile World Congress. I hope you find what you’re looking for! 

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Vega Sicilia Único 2008

Vega Sicilia Único 2008 assembles to perfection the qualities of tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon. Probably one of the wines with the longest ageing process in the world. 

 

 

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Ornellaia 2008, a red wine from the region of Hermitage produced with Syrah from the 2012 vintage.

 

 

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E. Guigal La Landonne 2005: The E. Guigal La Landonne 2005 is the ideal red to combine with birds and meat. Uvinum users rate this red wine with 4 out of 5 points 

 

 

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Château Mouton Rothschild 2009, a red wine from Pauillac made of Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc of 2009 and has an alcoholic strength of 13%. The Château Mouton Rothschild 2009 is the ideal red to combine with foie and veal. 

 

 

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Château Haut-Brion 2010 is the ideal red to combine with red meat and cheese. According to Uvinum users, this red wine earns 4 out of 5 points while renowned wine experts rate it as follows: Robert Parker: 100 and Wine Spectator: 99. 

 

 

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Contador 2015, a red wine from the region of Rioja based on the best Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano from 2015 and shows an alcoholic content of 14.5%.

 

 

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Petrus 2009: The few people who were able to taste Petrus 2009 say that this is an exceptional wine to enjoy from 2020. Internationally renowned critics gave this French red excellent reviews boosting the wine’s value and recognition. 

 

 

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Flor de Pingus 2014 is a red wine from Ribera del Duero produced by Dominio de Pingus that is based on 2014 Tempranillo, Tinto Fino, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tinta Fina and has an alcohol content of 15%. 

 

 

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Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5º Año 2012 a red wine from Ribera del Duero made of Tempranillo, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tinto Fino of 2012 and presents an alcohol content of 14%. 

Speak Wine Or Sip It

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Hands up who can identify with the following reaction to poetic wine tasting notes like these. We read:

A straightforward sip with a mouth-filling and rich character” or “Great fruit on the attack and a dry mid-palate“. 

We think: “Mouthfilling….of course, it fills my mouth,  I just took a sip. Straightforward….can a wine lie to me? Mid…what, who attacks?”

Wine language is the expression of a social development that has been delivered to us figuratively in a Bordeaux wine glass. Worldwide renowned wine critics like Jancis Robinson or Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, have built and formed an elegant language that was meant to be for the wine elite and people who spend their time mainly with wine for professional or personal reasons. This had some advantages marketing-wise on the one hand and quality-wise on the other. Nonetheless, this evolved use of language has alienated wine from common people who just enjoy drinking wine. 

Today, everything is different. There comes a new generation that demands inclusivity in society in all aspects, even for wine. Millennials, the most polemic generation of the past 50 years, want to drink, enjoy and even understand wine. Love us or hate us – yes, I am one of them – but we brought back wine to people like you and me. If interested we can still find these kinds of wine descriptions and they still have a place in the world. It is just that their meaning has changed. Now, you can get a simple and -let’s say it- ‘straightforward’ description of a wine. Instead of a ruby red with garnet rim, a wine can be just ruby red or deep red. Instead of a nose of strawberry ginger marmalade, a wine can smell of fruity and spicy aromas. The taste of fresh cut grass after a lush summer rain is allowed to be just a slightly bitter finish. 

Just a thought: The world of wine is a very open one. There is room for elegant, artistic descriptions but without judging those who just want to get information. In the end, both groups share one goal which is to enjoy wine as it comes and that is the way it should be.

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Porta 6 2016 is the product of the fertile vineyards from the Alenquero and Cadaval, in the mountains in the North of Lisbon. 

 

 TAGS:Gïk Live (blue wine)Gïk Live (blue wine)

By drinking Gïk Live, you are drinking something innovative. You are drinking the possibility of creating your own rules. 

Top 7 Instagram Accounts for Wine lovers 2018

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Over the past years, the world of wine joined the social networks and grew a not so small audience. That is why, at Uvinum, we have researched the Top 7 Instagram accounts for wine enthusiasts.

Nowadays, you can find a community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for each wine niche in order to discover the most beautiful wine hikes, breathtaking châteaus and the most delicious food pairing. Starting with wine recommendations to creative photos and competitions up to videos – there is nothing that does not exist. In the Instagram account of Uvinum, for instance, you find fun images, phrases and – most importantly – video tastings of mainly Spanish wines. From time to time, however, we also get to taste and evaluate international gems.

To all wine drinking Instagrammers: Take a look at our list of the 7 most important winefluencers from all around the globe. Thanks for exciting and artistic pics, they will beautify your 2018.

winewankers

The WineWankers bring youthful charm and wit to the traditional wine world. They don’t hide behind diplomatic descriptions but say exactly what is on their minds. Following these, you’ll get to know new wines from Australia and other faraway corners of the world and simply enjoy nice photos.

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winerylovers

2,025 posts and 124k followers by the time of creating this post speak for themselves. Winerylovers offer a virtual home to all wineries and wines, as well as a free wine dictionary for true wine fans. Discover new wines, picturesque landscapes and get inspired by innovative food pairings.

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veuveclicquot

As one of the world’s most prestigious champagne houses, Veuve Clicquot gains an audience with inspiring pictures in pastel shades. Gorgeous wine moments, recommendations and just beautiful to look at. A must for champagne enthusiasts.

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champagneworldwide

With Champagneworldwide, we’ll stay in the world of French sparklings. These posts contain wonderful pics of breathtaking champagnes and deliver interesting information about methods, production processes, terroir, châteaus and grape varieties. 

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enoblogger

Wine and fashion enthusiast Emanuele Trono shows us his wine impressions from Italy under the alias Enoblogger: landscapes, exceptional wine shops and, of course, wines. The routined wine blogger doesn’t miss one opportunity to share personal experiences. Especially charming when he regularly asks his followers about their opinions and answers to each comment.

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jmiquelwine

Julien Miquel describes his “obsession with … wine, food, travel and family” in expressiv images that tell real stories. Wine recommendations from France or even Japan, artistic photos and wine landscapes – this wine blogger is an absolute Must-Follow.

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foodandwine

An excellent vlog on the subject food and wine. Old recipes in a new and fun edition and you will learn new combinations of taste. If you see yourself as a private gourmet chef, with foodandwine you get the chance of getting published and be seen by approximately 2.4 million followers. 

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3 Classic Prosecco Cocktails to Break the Ice

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Are you planning a dinner party, and not sure what drinks to serve? As guests arrive, you may want to serve them an aperitif cocktail to break the ice and stir up the conversation. There is nothing better to break the ice than original cocktails with a special ingredient like Prosecco as the base. Here are some interesting Prosecco cocktails to break the ice at your next dinner party:

1. Classic Prosecco Aperol Spritz Aperitif

This classic cocktail comes from the area of North-eastern Italy and is commonly served as an aperitif. To make it, you will need 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and 1-part soda water. In a wine glass, mix the Prosecco and Aperol together, and then, add the soda water. Garnish your Spritz cocktail, use oranges, which can also be frozen ahead of time to use as an alternative to ice cubes. Fresh strawberries in the spring are also an excellent choice for garnishing your Aperol Spritz cocktails.

2. Bellini For a Peachy Aperitif Cocktail

Another classic Prosecco cocktail is Bellini is a peach drink that is great on hot summer nights. It is a drink with origins in Venice, and its main ingredient is Prosecco. To make it, you will need to mix 4 parts peach puree or juice with 4 parts Canti Prosecco Spumante and one-part sweetener. To garnish this cocktail, use fresh peaches. If you can find white peaches, they go well with Bellini Cocktails.

3. Fizzy and Spicy Apple Cider Prosecco Cocktail

During the holidays, apple cider is one of the drinks that are popular in many countries. Rather doing apple cider, why not consider an Interesting Prosecco cocktail for your dinner party? To make your cocktail, you will want to start with Teresa Rizzi Prosecco Brut and add apple cider and spiced rum. Garnish the cocktail with an apple wedge for presentation.

Ingredients:
• 1 Braeburn Apple Wedge (Garnish)
• Teresa Rizzi Prosecco Brut 4oz
• Journeyman Old Country Goodness Apple Cider Liqueur 3oz
• Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold3oz
Instead of adding ice to the cocktail, freeze apple wedges and use them to keep your original apple cocktails cool.

With an interesting aperitif cocktail at your new dinner party, you will be sure that your event will be a success. There are three types of Prosecco; Brut, Dry and Extra Dry, which you may want to try beforehand to see which work for the cocktail recipes you are planning to use.

 TAGS:Moët & Chandon Brut ImpérialMoët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial is an emblematic cuvée. The world’s best-selling champagne brand. 

 

 TAGS:Billecart-Salmon Brut RéserveBillecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve is an attractive and tasty champagne from Champagne with notes of ripe fruit and flowers. 

 
 
 

Foto: Handspire

New Year’s Hangover Cure

 

Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve, you partied like a rock star, and your Christmas rush is quickly followed by a holiday hangover. Too much sparkling, eggnog – although there isn’t such thing as “enough eggnog” – candy, cakes, liqueurs…STOP! Enough, it’s over. I can’t hear it anymore.

I don’t believe in diets, I believe in enjoying. But during the festive season, it’s hard to not cross the line. Your work’s Christmas party, dinner with friends, family reunion – there is no escape. Some people are smart enough to hold a diet before the craze starts. I’m not one of them. As I’ve already said, I don’t believe in diets. But my hangover cure for the new year is based on an old ritual from my ancestors and brings meback to life each year. Don’t worry, anything healthy coming.

Phase One: It’s the first shower of the year. Enjoy it, make it a really long and hot shower, massaging your head with your favourite shampoo, getting rid of redundant body hair, put on a hair mask, why not, use your body scrub, for God’s sake. It’s the first shower of the year.

Phase Two: This is for the early birds amongst you. Turn on the TV around 10 AM and enjoy the annual concert of the Wiener Philharmoniker. And if you feel like it, in the right company, this is the first opportunity to clink with a nice Champagne or Sekt from Austria.

Phase Three: Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, and you already had your Champagne. So, what does it matter now? Go to your New Year’s family brunch, friends lunch or whatever you have planned, and order something you didn’t have the last days. If you have knocked yourself out with eggnog on Christmas, order some dry white wine like this José Pariente Verdejo 2016 from Spain. In order to get the right feeling, you should order something with less alcohol content and/or contrary taste. Did you go crazy on sweet wines? Enjoy a good beer. Had you too much red wine? Fight your hangover with cava. This is one of the moment, where your gut literally tells you which way to go. Listen to your instincts.

Phase Four: Don’t exaggerate. One or two glasses really is enough. Drink some mineral water in between. And no matter what happens, don’t accept the liqueur if offered any! In case of any doubts, just say thank you with a smile and walk home.

If you’re someone that doesn’t want to close the celebrations with a healthy diet, just fade out smoothly. Don’t exaggerate, your body will adapt and you’ll have some last hours of fun before real life catches up and you have to go back to work.

Remember, that too much is never good. But there is a nice saying in Austria and it goes like this: “Ein Mal ist kein Mal”, meaning “Once is never” or if it happened only once, it’s like it hasn’t happened at all. Don’t worry if you have too much wine once a year, as long as it doesn’t happen every day.

The best of luck and a happy new year 2018 wishes you Uvinum!

Foto: Pixabay

15 Best Christmas Wines for under £12

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It’s three weeks until Christmas, just in case you haven’t noticed. All the lights on the streets, Christmas markets, the smell of mulled wine mixed with wet asphalt, that’s the holly jolly season in the city. But there’s one thing that really matters, and that’s wine. The right wine for your personal Christmas feast makes the difference. And it doesn’t even have to be just for one day, Christmas is a season and it started already. 

At Uvinum, we have prepared a delicious selection of white, red and sparkling wines for under £12 for you that set the perfect framework from now until the big family dinner.

White Wines for under £12

 TAGS:Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016

A must-have wine in every wine collection, summer and winter. A nice white, fresh, fruity but not without character. Delicious, unctuous and fresh are the 3 qualifiers that perfectly represent this classic of the Domaine du Tariquet. A safe value and with excellent value for money. 

 

 TAGS:Vigneti del Vulture Pipoli Bianco Basilicata 2016Vigneti del Vulture Pipoli Bianco Basilicata 2016

Vigneti del Vulture Pipoli Bianco Basilicata 2016 comes as the elegant ambassador of the Italian region of Basilicata. There, Vigneti del Vulture puts great efforts into the elaboration of the autochthone Greco and Fiano grapes. The output of this work is very presentable, a delicious and fruity white wine for young drinkers that are looking for an excellent value for money. 

 

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Villa Sparina Gavi Di Gavi 2016 stands out as the historic identity of Villa Sparina. The Italian winemaker creates a true classic from Piedmont with the autochthone Cortese grapes showing a vivid expression and a unique freshness. A gem on every Christmas menu.

 

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Nuviana Blanco 2016, wine from the region of the Cinca Valley. Bodega Nuviana uses modern techniques of vineyard management with drip irrigation and treatments that respect the environment.
It stands out for its freshness, its remarkably fruity character and its great aromatic intensity. The ideal wine to accompany the starters at your Christmas dinner. 

 TAGS:El Grifo Malvasia Seco Coleccion 2017El Grifo Malvasia Seco Coleccion 2017

El Grifo Malvasia Seco Coleccion 2017: a white wine from the region of Lanzarote based on Malvasía of 2017. According to Uvinum users, this white deserves an evaluation of 4 of 5 points. Perfect to warm up from the cold outside.

 

Red Wines for under £12

 

 TAGS:Marqués de Cáceres Crianza 2012Marqués de Cáceres Crianza 2012

From the fertile lands of La Rioja comes this Marqués de Cáceres Allevamento, a special red that combines tradition and innovation.
Elaborated by Marques de Cáceres, a winery that has been producing quality wines for more than four decades. It was founded in 1970 by Enrique Forner and was a pioneer in the renewal of Rioja wines. Currently, the fifth generation of the family is in charge of the winery. 

 

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The most wanted red wine at Uvinum also come at the market’s best price. It’s one of the most appreciated and praised wines on the Spanish market: Pruno 2015. It has been qualified as one of the world’s best wines for its price-value-ratio in several vintages, spoiling our palate with its juicy aromas and fruity, smooth and enjoyable character once again.

Discover a wine, at under £10, that also conquered the heart of Robert Parker. Moreover, this vintage comes in a lot fewer bottles: Don’t miss out on yours!

 

 TAGS:E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2013E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2013

The E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône year after year remains faithful to its quality. A great classic, a know-how and an incomparable quality-price ratio. The E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2013 is an indispensable wine in its cellar which vintage after vintage is Nº1 of sales at Uvinum and many other wine merchants.

 

 TAGS:Honoro Vera 2016Honoro Vera 2016

Honoro Vera 2016, a young red with personality. One of the most renowned wines of the Spanish appellation DO Calatayud on an international level. this wine delivers a Garnacha, grown at an average altitude of 850m above sea level – fresh, fruity and powerful. Bodega Ateca has created an expressive wine that’s easy-to-drink and to enjoy, easy to pair with any kind of dishes. Get seduced by an excellent vintage as this 2016.

 

 TAGS:El Molar 2016El Molar 2016

With El Molar 2016, Propiedad Vitícola Casa Castillo proves its high expertise once more. This Garnacha from Jumilla emphasises the appellation’s singularity. In a region with a hot and dry climate, where the brand’s winemakers mainly cultivate Monastrell grapes, El Molar 2016 stands out like a shiny diamond for its fruity touch. The previous vintage of 2015 already received high evaluations from nationally renowned wine guides and this vintage targets anew, excellent and well-earned critics. Don’t wait any longer and try a glass of this Jumilla gem.

 

Sparkling Wines for under £12

 

 TAGS:Parxet BrutParxet Brut

Parxet elaborates this Parxet Brut (£8.30), a sparkling wine from Cava vinified from Viura, Parellada, Pansa Blanca and Macabeo and has an alcohol content of 11.50%. The Parxet Brut finds an ideal companion in food like white meat and roast. The Uvinum community values the Parxet Brut with 3,7 of 5 points and also has the following ratings: peñín: 90. 

 

 TAGS:Col Vetoraz Prosecco Extra DryCol Vetoraz Prosecco Extra Dry

Col Vetoraz Prosecco Extra Dry is made with the Charmat method. This Prosecco Extra Dry wine has a persistent perlage. It’s a fruity sparkling, easy to drink, enjoyable. To be sipped with friends as an aperitif.

 

 TAGS:Castillo Perelada Brut ReservaCastillo Perelada Brut Reserva

Over the decades, the Castillo Perelada Brut Reserva created its own identity thanks to the use of native grapes and the cultivation area’s mild climatic conditions. The Xarel.lo adds the sparkling’s distinctive character, flavour, and structure, the Macabeo cares for appreciated freshness and the Parrelada provides delicacy and elegance. Castillo Perelada Brut Reserva is a true masterpiece!

 

 TAGS:Aviva GoldAviva Gold

Just like the rose could be defined by the element of fire, this Aviva Gold might be perfectly equalled to liquid gold. Glowing, bright, magical, this sparkling wine is a pleasure for the sight as well as the palate. It is ideal to accompany desserts, sweets, chocolates, in a way which will delight the most glutton and will give your party the unique fun and bright touch that this sparkling wine can give. 

 

 TAGS:Cordon Negro Brut MagnumCordon Negro Brut Magnum

Cordon Negro Brut is Freixenet’s most popular cava and is often referred to as the “Black Bottle Bubbly.”
Wine Spectator – “This shows more finesse than many of its peers, displaying a subtle juiciness, joined by aromatic apricot, quince, mandarin orange and almond notes. Finely meshed, with a lightly spiced finish.”

Interview with Sommelière Isabelle Brunet

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“…every wine lover can and has to take care of his/her proper education and opinion”

Whether you know it or you don’t, but as a wine enthusiast you’ve probably had contact one way or the other with the renowned French sommelière Isabelle Brunet. Educated at the “school of life“, her way finally led her to Spain where she soon started working for and with Ferran Adrià at his famous restaurant “El Bulli”. But she didn’t stop there and kept going with new promising projects. Today, you can meet her at Monvínic, a place 100% dedicated to the experience offered by a glass of good wine in Barcelona.

1. On your website (www.isabellebrunet.com) you call yourself “not qualified sommelière”. What do you mean by that? 

When I say “sans diplôme” in French…I refer to the school of life! My adolescent years are marked by my parents in a homble village in the South of Chinon. First, Christophe, my brother and sommelier qualified in La Loire infected me with wine. In 1994 in London, Christophe started to travel the world and they offered me his position. It was known already that London was and still is the platform for the wines of the world. This is how I attended all the tastings and travels offered to me during the following 5 years. All with a nice environment of sommeliers & vignerons. Before I came to Spain, I travelled around visiting vineyards as a present to myself.

2. You’re from France but have been living in Spain for quite a while now. Champagne or cava?

Neither. It depends on which Champagne or Cava we’re talking about.

One can’t generalise, let’s try not to compare an industrial Champagne produced by a commercial brand with an artisanal Cava elaborated in a fresher region than usual with low yields and a long ageing on the lees.

Some of my favourites don’t even come from the official DO Cava. I prefer sparklings with a wine character, with a bit of positive oxidation.

How can I know – as a beginner – if a sparkling is good or not? Having in mind points of guides and critics, DOs,…

I want to use this opportunity to say that every wine lover can and has to take care of his/her proper education and opinion. At the beginning, guides with their evaluations can be helpful to get to know names, regions and types. It may seem hard but all depends on our effort and concentration we apply.

With my humble experience of 20 years, I’ve learnt to give my opinion without grading the wine immediately. Rather enjoy the moment and live the emotion transmitted by the wine. That’s also what I tell my team of sommeliers and the customers frequenting Monvínic.

How can I find the Cava of my taste?

Tasting a lot until you find a vigneron style you like and start to know your own taste. Also, we won’t stay with the same cava always. The diversity of styles and tastes are is enlightening.

How do I know if the Sommelier understands my needs?

First of all, if s/he has listened more than s/he’s talked.

If s/he looked to find a humble and constructive dialogue.

Then, how the sommelier manages the information and my preferences.

If the recommendations come from a place of heart and not a commercial place based on trends or his/her tastes.

Do you have a favourite food pairing with a sparkling? Want to share it with us?

With only a few euros you can get a 20-year-old Champagne paired with fresh pasta al dente and white truffles.

Also, a Sumoll Espumoso Brut Nature with a 3-year-old “Papada” on the grill.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Isabelle!