Llopart – fine bubbles from Catalonia

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Llopart looking towards Montserrat

Llopart – fine bubbles from Catalonia The Llopart winery in Catalonia is just 40 minutes away from the bars and cafés of Barçelona. This is the heart of sunny Penedès, an ancient and thriving wine region. Here, the still wines made under the Penedès DO co-exist with sparkling wines all made, (until recently), under the famous name of Cava. While …

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Three Colours Red – Beaujolais, Pt.2

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Three Colours Red: Fleurie

Three Colours Red – Beaujolais, Pt.2 Beaujolais part 1 was mostly a love letter to the region where my wine journey started. This part 2 is Three Colours Red. It covers the three main divisions, namely Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, and four of the ten Beaujolais crus. There is a wine recommendation for each one, from encounters over the past couple of years. Then, …

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Lessini Durello – Exciting Fizz from the Veneto

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Lessini Durello glass and panorama

 Lessini Durello – Exciting Fizz from the Veneto Between Verona and Vicenza in Northern Italy lies a currently obscure DOC, based on a little known Italian white grape variety called Durella. Eclipsed by Venetian vinous heavyweights such as Valpolicella, Soave and Prosecco, the small enclave of Lessini Durello nevertheless makes unique sparkling wines. Now, some thirty years after becoming a …

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Asolare: drinking Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG (Pt.2)

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Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG

Asolare: drinking Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG (Pt.2) Part 1  introduced the Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, setting it in a cultural context and describing its relationship with the larger Prosecco DOC and the neighbouring Prosecco DOCG of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. Now Part 2 features a dozen recommendations for Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG.  In style, these range from bone-dry to sweet, each with food matching …

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Asolo: Prosecco with a sense of place (Pt.1)

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Asolo, Cathedral Bell Tower

Asolo: Prosecco with a sense of place (Pt.1) On a clear day in Venice, take a moment and look inland to north-north-west. On the horizon, shimmering in a lagoon haze, are a range of hills forming the first outliers of the alps, some 60 km distant across the pancake-flat land of the pianura. Here lies the town of Asolo; perched on …

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Mirabeau: Rosé from the Côtes de Provence

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Mirabeau: Rosé from the Côtes de Provence

Mirabeau: Rosé from the Côtes de Provence This article is about Provençal rosé and the wines from one of its leading companies, Mirabeau. Mention the word “Provence” to virtually anyone, and that will invoke an immediate response, accompanied by a smile. Such is its resonance. The images and memories it conjures might be of chi-chi glam locations; of Aix-en-Provence or the …

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Mosnel EBB – White Gold for the 180th Birthday

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Mosnel EBB White Gold

Mosnel EBB – White Gold for the 180th Birthday Recently, Franciacorta winery Mosnel celebrated its 180th Birthday, and I was privileged to be invited to take part. In the course of their celebrations, they had a very special treat. It was an opportunity to taste every release of their vintage Franciacorta called Mosnel EBB, back to the very first vintage of …

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Friday Night Fizz Night

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Friday Night Fizz Night

Friday Night Fizz Night What a week for the UK! Huge divisions have been opened up over Brexit, with politicians of all hues and financial markets in turmoil, while Iceland thrashed England at Euro 2016. Take your pick about what’s gloomy for you. But just because we are living in turbulent times it doesn’t mean that we can’t still have …

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I’m forever making Bubbles

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Bubbles

I’m forever making Bubbles A popular Wine Alchemy event is called Making Bubbles; how different ways create sparkling wines. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Wine comes from the alcoholic fermentation of freshly picked grape juice. We regard this chemistry is straightforward, but for centuries, it was not understood. We know now that yeast digests the sugar in the grapes, producing alcohol and …

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What is Franciacorta?

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Franciacorta Report

What is Franciacorta? Q: What is Franciacorta? A: A world-class sparkling wine region in Lombardy, Northern Italy. Franciacorta is the only real alternative sparkling wine region to Champagne. Their sparkling wine is world-class. I’m a huge fan and visit as often as I can. It’s a tiny area (map), of immense natural beauty, nestled between Bergamo and Brescia in Lombardy and …

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