France

International Grenache Day, La Garnacha Salvaje del Moncayo 2014, Majestic

Five wine picks for International Grenache Day. Don’t forget the bunting.

WE ALL love a reason to celebrate, so here’s advance warning of International Grenache Day. Buy the bunting, invite your friends round, bake a cake as it’s next Friday (September 18 2015). Grenache Day is a global event organised by the Grenache Symposium Association. I bobbed onto their website which waxes lyrical about the grape. …

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Rosa dei Frati 2014 summer pink wines

Summer pink wines to enjoy while the sun is out (or when it rains)

AS its summer,  I suggest you grab some summer pink wines,  glasses and head to your nearest park, picnic basket in hand. And as its summer, don’t forget the umbrella. Some people view pink wines as flim flam, never to be touched. One or two wines here may convince you otherwise. But first, do you know …

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Fathers Day

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a special-buy red for Father’s Day

If I had a pound for every time people say “Châteauneuf-du-Pape” when I ask them to name their special-buy red, I wouldn’t be sitting here. Sorry, but that’s how shallow I am. It’s June and you might not be thinking of red wine, but tomorrow is Father’s Day, so you have an excuse. I asked …

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Vilarnau Brut Gaudi Sleeve

Sun-kissed winning wines from Languedoc-Roussillon

TO celebrate the British Open last weekend I opened some wine. That is the closest affinity I have to golf. I didn’t even have a British “open” it was a French “open” with wines from Languedoc-Roussillon. It is the most prolific wine-making region in the world. Yes, there are some mass-produced so-what wines, but there …

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Chénas Les Carrières Domaine 2011 wine

Young bloods challenge our perception of French winemakers

PICTURE French winemakers and what do you see? Veterans. Wisps of white hair blowing in a warm breeze. Soil brushed off gnarled hands and a grape taken firmly but gently between Gauloises-stained fingers. A face the colour of Red Rum’s saddle bags turned upwards to the life-giving sun….  well that’s what I see. And of …

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Roussillon wines will warm the soul as the rainclouds gather

ROUSSILLON is  the sunniest place in France, just over the Pyrenees from Spain.  Sun and warmth. Remember that? I’ve been seeking it out in  liquid form while the rain has been ceaseless. You can turn to these wines to warm your soul alongside a gravy-rich casserole and some buttery mash. Peas too if you like. …

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Pays d'Oc Domaine Gayda wine review

Pays d’Oc – where 56 grape varieties are the spice of life

THERE’S a part of France which almost thinks its the New World when it comes to wine-making. I’m talking Pays d’Oc. Traditionally France – and other “old world” countries such as Spain and Italy – have historically developed wines based on local grape varieties, the local marketplace and as a match to local foods. But in …

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