Part 2 of our visit to Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire, southern England. Here, Ian from Hambledon discusses the English "terroir"  and how it effects grape variety planting.  We then travel with Aussie winemaker, Brendan Barratt to London's Chinatown to try out some unusual but very fitting food pairings!

Here are some of the "wine vocabulary" of terms that you will encounter in this film clip:

Acidity - a natural component of the wine giving zesty characteristics and making the a "mouthwatery" feel. Having good acidity is vital if a wine is to be balanced and have aging potential. In sparkling wine, acidity is a major component that people talk about. It can sometimes be countered by adding higher levels of sugar or, become a major feature of the wine by adding less sugar.

Body - How does the wine feel in your mouth? A bit like the difference between skimmed milk and full fat milk; the latter has more body. In wine the body is largely determined by the alcohol level. The higher it is then the more full-bodied it is likely to be.

Complexity - Complex wines are how we describe great wines with nuance and layers of character, giving contemplative pleasure.

Depth - Intensity and concentration of the wine. If there are layers of complex and intense flavours, we might describe it as having depth.

Lees - These are the dead yeast cells that are left usually floating to the bottom of a tank after fermentation. Leaving a wine "sur lie", literally on the lees, will add another layer of character and complexity.

Structure - This refers to how the components in the wine (such as acidity, tannin, alcohol, etc.) are working together. Good structure is what we look for when determining if a wine will improve in the cellar over time.

Terroir - "Terroir" is a French word with no exact translation into English, however, we use it to describe all the factors that may influence the conditions for growing the fruit in the vineyard. This includes, the soil and subsoils, geology, the climate (temperature & precipitation, etc.) and can also include the winemaker and what techniques they employ to nurture their grapes.


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Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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