John Torode creates new semillon wine with McGuigan

Mcguigan Torode lunch Hunter Valley

I’ve found my new favourite wine, Hunter Valley semillon from Australia, with the help of one of the UK’s most popular chefs,  Masterchef’s John Torode.

John has joined forces with chief winemaker Neil McGuigan from McGuigan Wines to work on a special project Vine to Glass. They have made a new limited edition Hunter Valley Semillon together and along the way have captured the story in a series of videos.

Hunter Valley semillon Torode McGuigan wine
Hunter Valley semillon Torode McGuigan wine

I met them both Down Under and their enthusiasm for their shared project is contagious. Their deep love of food and wine taste explosions, together with the chemistry between each other – a brotherly professionalism doused in humour – could in itself be bottled.

I drank alot of semillon in Australia. (I know, but it was warm and I was thirsty.) As a young wine it is light, fresh and limey. As it ages in the bottle it takes on toast, nut and honey notes with no help from oak.  It’s just helped along its way by a magical Hunter Valley alchemy.

continue reading

That uncorking wine trick using a wall and a shoe is explained!

The clip on YouTube from Mirabeau wine showing Stephen Cronk uncorking wine using just his shoe and a wall has been all over my Facebook feed this week.

Mirabeauwine: Opening a bottle of wine without a corkscrew

I’ve been asked several times by my pals – as I’m known to like wine –  if I’d like to conduct my own scientific experiment to see if it’s true. I’ve said No.

As a) I’m too bloody clumsy  b) I daren’t and c) what a waste of wine if it should go wrong.

So I  conducted a bit of  journalistic investigation stuff,  from the comfort of my settee, drinking wine opened in the normal way (ie quickly).

This is what I’ve found.

Apparently, there is a scientific explanation as to how the wine is opened by that Mirabeau chappie (and several other internet-type people before him) as this post from The Naked Scientists explains.

They say this is how it happens.

1) wine bottle accelerates towards the wall

2) the inertia of the wine makes it want to stay in the same place so it flows towards of the neck end of the bottle (air gap opens up between wine and bottom of bottle).
3) the wine and the bottle are at same speed

Opening wine without a corkscrew
A door handle. Posed by model.

4) the bottle hits the wall and almost instantly stops
5) but the wine continues to flow forward (like someone in a car), hits the bottom of the bottle and rebounds, hits the cork and pushes it out a bit

In the old days, my pal Julie and I never had a corkscrew for our Monday night sessions, and we always managed to open a bottle of wine with a door handle and a spoon.

I have no idea how we did it, but when you’re desperate, Human Endeavour always wins over.

That’s how our ancestors discovered chamber pots and fire and  stuff.

Just out of interest, doing this piece of investigative journalism, I also found this Wiki link which illustrates other ways of opening wines without a corkscrew.

But I suggest you always have a corkscrew. Saves having to watch a viddie when you need a drink.