ayala champagne

Carl Edmund gave us an excellent introduction to Churchill’s particular passion for “SOUP!” Most importantly that it should either be made with turtle or chicken. Given the contemporary setting and reduced number of turtles available for such occasions, I am pleased to say that a clear chicken broth was served.

The “soup” proved to be an excellent pairing with this historic house from Aÿ. The broth was quite thick and really coated the mouth, but the Ayala, unperturbed, showed persistence, clearing the palate, leaving it fresh and lively. Really impressive.


Brendan Barratt: “The first course was brilliant. A little cup of broth worked so well. You have a little bit of stock, a little bit of rich bouillon, absolutely spectacular. I think the broth has got enough weight with the oil. With champagne you always want richness or something a bit fatty and that balances well.”

Carl Edmund Sherman: “We started of the evening with Champagne Ayala, their Brut Majuer, a delicious champagne which was paired impeccably with a soup consommé… it was divine!”

Michael Edwards: “I thought it was very good. Ayala, of course, has been around since before the turn of the 20th century and has been through various vicissitudes. Ayala has a very good incisive style, not huge weight but penetration of flavour and generally freshness.”


COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

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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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