001 Bride Valley Brut

under 50 blueWe thoroughly enjoyed this racey little number from England's finest county, Dorset.. seductive fruit, long enjoyable mouth feel. Light bodied. As far as analogies go, try the accelerating Tesla, pulling away across the palate, silent but exhilarating. A great sensation.

Made from ~30% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% pinot meunier with grapes from the 2014 vintage, the Bride Valley Vineyard is about a mile from the channel receiving its fair share of southwesterly weather fronts. The topography of the land is striking for its bowl-like form, oddly hidden from the outside, but with steep hilled sides and a high horizon, the vines are almost enclosed. Newly planted trees as windbreaks add to the concealment.

We finished the bottle with some panfried pheasant breast but this is an aperitif bubbly and was much better in that role. The pheasant would have been great with Hambledon Vineyard #bubbly from Hants or perhaps any number of luxuriant bodied lees aged champagne varieties.

Available from Liberty Wines: http://www.libertywines.co.uk/wines/view/BV401B14/

Read/watch our extended interview with Steven Spurrier here: Bride Valley Vineyard: A Spurrier family affair

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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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