You’ve got to admire someone who follows their dream. A few years ago Gary Adlen was on a business trip and found himself in a New York bar which not only served food, but also had its own deli.
He dreamed of doing the same in his home town of Liverpool – and now he has, together with his sister, Bretta. Now we can all enjoy the results of their shared enthusiasm at Bretta & Co (we can see what they did there).
Their latest step is selling wine online, and I was pleased to be invited for a tipple taste test. It was a challenge, I know.
Some whites from the Bretta tasting
- We kicked off with a zippy white, a verdejo from Bodegas Viore, with grapes from the Toro region (which was definitely new to me). A perfect zingy start to an evening, tropical, fresh, and mouth-watering. (Find it in the Six Spanish Wines choice, £95)
- The quality continued with the mineral, crisp, Klein Pinot Gris (£14.95) Now I’m always a pushover for a German grauburgunder (yes, it’s the same – a pinot gris) and this had beautiful aromas of lychee and lemons with flavours that lasted and lasted.
- Rene Mire Gewurtztraminer (£13.45) Wow, I’m pushed over again. Two of my favourite wines in one tasting. There were clouds of rose petals rising from the glass, but with a little spicy spike of ginger in the background in this wine from Alsace. It wasn’t too sweet and had nice clean acidity.
A couple of reds from the Bretta tasting
Old School Chateau-Maris Minervois (£13.95) is a blend of syrah (90 per cent) and grenache – both grown biodynamically. Neither grapes are known for being shy; they’re full on flavoursome and proud. Here they combine to create a peppery, fresh juicy nose with a “what IS that in the background” question from me. I decided it was sage. This wine is fruit, fruit, fruit all the way.
- Camino Terra Remota (£14.99) is Spanish and flamencos with flavours. It’s no surprise, as its a blend of four bold grapes; garnacha, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and tempranillo, each bringing their own character and personality. There’s vanilla-edged cherry aromas – there’s white pepper too – and wet leaves. It tasted (I thought) of an earthy hot pot of red fruits, with the mix of flavours reminding me of a red from the Rhone Valley.
Bretta & Co is on Heathfield Street, just off Bold Street, in Liverpool. It has an extensive deli and range of wines in store, as well as on line, and regularly holds tastings. Click here to check out their events