Posts Tagged ‘food’

Team Awesome

June 25, 2010

Chilean Desert Wines

April 26, 2010

CYT Late Harvest Sauv Blanc & Vistamar Late Harvest Moscatel

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Last night I gathered a bunch of friends to try a couple of Chilean desert wines with a homemade lemon tart (recipe courtesy of @SareySue). The tart in particular generated a lot of interest on Twitter from the likes of Mel D, FoodyPhil, BlueVanMan1, Marieiram, and TEDavis, and was a great success. It was a Rick Stein recipe, and was my first bash at pastry in recent memory. The base was nice and biscuity, and the filling was soft, creamy, rich, dense, full of flavour, zesty, tart and refreshing. The combination of the sharpness of the lemon and the richness of the cream and eggs in particular made it a bit of a challenge for me to work out what to pair with it, so I decided to try a couple of different styles of wine against it, both Late Harvest sweeties from Chile.

Six of us were tasting together: Me, Rob, Sonia, Paul, Steve, and Charlotte.

First up was Concha Y Toro Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (£5.99), a tart, crisp and refreshing desert wine that was surprisingly light and sharp in style – the citrus and gooseberries you expect in Sauvignon were definitely showing through, despite the sweeter and more intense nature of the wine. It was a zippy little number with bags of citrus flavour. Paul, Steve and Rob went for this wine with the tart as their preferred pairing. Rob in particular was keen on the match, but preferred the second of our wines on its own.

The rest of us opted for the Vistamar Late Harvest Moscatel 2009 (£5.59) with our lemon tart. The wine was much richer and more honeyed, with flavours of caramel and apple sauce, but nicely balanced with refreshing acidity to keep it on the right side of syrupy. The finish was decent as well, with a touch of orange peel and toffee coming through (I would have tweeted more, but we sat down to watch 28 Days Later, and the glow of a phone/laptop was a bit of a drain on the atmosphere). I found I preferred the richness and luscious texture of the Moscatel with the tart, as it worked really well with the creamy and thick lemon filling in the tart. This is probably as much down to personal taste as it is to the quality of the pairing; as a group we were evenly split on preference, with the other half liking the fact that the zingy Sauvignon Blanc style with it’s startling acidity cut through the thickness and heavyness of the tart. My love of all things rich and sweet is doubtless responsible for my own choice.

It was a fun night’s wining and dining in the end, and the movie wasn’t bad either. If you’ve not seen 28 Days Later it’s an entertaining horror flick. I usually get very easily bored by horror films but it kept me interested, despite the second half being poorer than the first. The wines were fascinating to taste, and proved two things to all of us – Desert wines don’t need to be expensive to be good (both under £6), and they aren’t all gloopy, syrupy, rich things. the crisp acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc in particular was a suprise to most of us. Although Charlotte didn’t enjoy the sharper style, the rest of us all enjoyed both wines a lot.

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Thanks again to @SareySue for the Rick Stein recipe which I shall try and blog later in the week.

Deli of the Year 2010 – We need your help!

February 4, 2010

Your favourite local food and drink shop, The Wineyard & Deli, is officially competing to be named Deli of the Year 2010, and we need your help! If you think we deserve to crowned Deli of the Year (and if not, get in touch ASAP and tell me why so we can step up our game before the contest is over), you can vote in one of two ways. First, and easiest, is to pop over to the following web-site:

http://www.purplelove.co.uk/nominate/vote/

Everything is explained there, and there’s a few boxes to fill out your details, and why you think we are a cracking Deli (again, if you don’t I really want to hear from you, pronto). In the coming days, we should also have a nice little stack of old fashioned voting slips you can fill out and post off, or give to us to send off. Voting has its perks by the way; a lucky winner drawn at random during the summer will get a trip for 2 to Spain to see the olive harvest, expenses paid courtesy of the competition organisers! Take a look around the website for more info.

The second stage of our candidacy requires us to submit as much top-notch evidence of our brilliance as we can get our paws on, such as photos of the shop, our stock & displays, press releases and quotes, customer comments, etc. Rather than just send in a bland batch of pictures of the shelves, I want as many of you to get involved as possible and get lots of snaps of yourselves and our produce.

If you’re eating and drinking stuff from the Wineyard, take a quick picture, preferably with yourself and a nice big cheesy grin and thumbs up, and get them in to us ASAP (email, Facebook, Twitter, or a print given in person – whatever’s easiest for you). It doesn’t have to be just yourselves or everyday stuff either – the more unusual or outrageous you can make it, the better! Just some quick and simple ideas: take pictures of us or your friends around the shop and out and about with our goods, take some of our food on a picnic, organise a party and get us to kit you out with all you need, climb a mountain and have a toast at the summit, go camping & cook our sausages over a stove with a few beers to wash them down; I’m sure you can think of more and better things yourselves.

Any tributes you can make to The Wineyard would also be absolutely wonderful; the more creative the better! Stuff like a nice big poster proclaiming your love for our shop, or perhaps a message written in the snow since it’s coming down thick and fast again at the moment. We’ve got until June to organise the supporting material we’re going to submit, and for votes to be collected, so there’s no immediate rush, but do get in contact if you’re thinking of doing anything – it’s bound to warm our hearts and earn you some discount in-store if nothing else! 😉

As an extra incentive, my favourite customer-contribution will win themselves a prize of some sort (I’ll be working on this in the weeks to come, more details to follow at a later date – At the moment I’m thinking a quality bottle of wine, a selection of our food, or a mixed case of beers for example). I’ll be deciding the winner based purely on my own personal favourite – anything that makes me laugh is bound to be in with a good chance, as is anything demonstrating some serious effort and love for what we do here. Just make sure you give us your name, and contact info, when you send anything in.

And if you want us to do something different or better at the shop, I’m 100% serious about you getting in touch and telling me. As well as being a lot of fun to get involved with, this contest also gives us a great chance to really evaluate what you all think of The Wineyard & Deli, and what you’d like to see us change or do more of. After all, each and every one of you is why we’re here, so I want to be absolutely certain each and every one of you is as happy as possible with us. I’m actually out of the shop all next week (6-14th Feb) but I’ll be checking my emails and the blog to see who’s been in touch, and I’ll be on Twitter and Facebook regularly as usual. I’ll also be writing up notes on recent tastings for the blog so keep an eye out for that.

Lastly, I’m thinking of putting together some new mixed cases of wines for special offers later this month, primarily to offer online via Facebook & Twitter, but I’ll also be letting subscribers to our emails know about them. If there’s any particular themes you’d like to see in a mixed case (e.g. Italian whites, Spain other than Rioja, all Red/White/Rose, etc – anything at all) get in touch via the usual methods and let me know. Suggestions for what you’d be willing to spend on a mixed case of 6 or 12 bottles would also be useful.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for taking the time to do so, and for having such an interest in what we’re up to – we love you ever so much for it and we’ll do our very best to keep things fresh and interesting whenever we see you.

All the very best,

Ben.