BIRMINGHAM WINE WEEKEND
16–18 October 2020
WINE OF THE MOMENT
BWW2020 TOP TIPPLES
With our favourite weekend so close we can almost taste it, we’ve been on the search for something to quench our thirst. That’s why we grabbed five minutes with each of Brum’s brightest beverage critics to find out what they’ve enjoyed sipping on recently and why it’s a must-try.
So, while you wait for #BWW2020, pour yourself a glass and wet your whistle with these unmissable wines…
“The Sicilian grape Frappato isn’t among the best known wines in this country, which is a pity because its versatile and really rather fab. I’ve been drinking gallons of the stuff recently – mostly Incanto Frappato, Baglio Gibellina which, at around tenner a bottle from Connolly’s in the Jewellery Quarter, is an absolute snip.”
“It’s a red wine but try it slightly chilled, which brings out its freshness. It’s light, fruity and joyful.It’s great with pasta, light meats, deli boards and even fish. Or, of course, just by itself in the garden on a sunny day.”
“When you think about where delicious wines come from, you may think of Italy, France, Spain or South America… wherever it is that your mind strays to, I can almost guarantee that it isn’t Romania. I’m really loving the wines from Nachbil at the moment. Based in North Western Transylvania, its Grunspitz is truly exceptional. As a wine, it not only checks all the boxes for current trends by being “natural” and an “orange” wine, but it also tastes really bloody good.”
Nachbil is believed to be the only grower of Grunspitz – an ancient Romanian grape variety – left, which is pretty exciting in itself. It’s even more exciting when you start to drink it, with floral almost rose petal notes and Seville oranges, a seductive minerality to it but a tannic backbone from 5 days’ skin maceration. It’s great with cheese, especially aged cheeses, but I fell in love with it when we had it with our Christmas turkey.”
“Introducing the San Marzano ‘Talò’, Puglia, Verdeca 2018. A refreshing, dry Verdecca which shows a richness of aromatics- white flowers, crisp green apple and a hint of honey. This award-winning vineyard uses modern and technologically advanced vinification techniques producing elegant wines.
This playful Italian wine is my ‘Wine of the Moment’ because not only is it delicious but it is also extremely affordable. Introduced to me by Hallgarten Wines, you can buy it from our friends at Loki Wine here in Birmingham. Pairs extremely with seafood and delicate sauces, or just simply enjoy on its own. Cin-Cin!”
“If this is anything like last year’s round up of experts picking wines, I will have the least expertise out of all the selectors by about a gazillion miles. I guess the plus side of that is that I’ll pick a very accessible, very reasonably priced wine. And lo! It is so! The Chardonnay that single-handedly convinced me that not all mid (and low) range Chardonnay’s are terrible, Bread & Butter is now the house pour in Casa Del Cullen. The emphasis on the name really has to be on the butter element. This is buttery and creamy and complex, but moreish and melty. It’s usually £15.99 a bottle at Majestic (Shirley) but get yourself six and that comes waaay down to just £9.99 a throw.”
“My favourite wine of the moment is Vinteloper Urban Winery Project Red No 6 2017 (£24.99). It’s a blend of Shiraz and Tempranillo (Tempranillo is the grape variety that makes Rioja!), which makes for a soft, fruity, elegant and really quite quaffable wine! It’s also a natural wine, so that box is very much ticked, however it doesn’t taste like your typical Natural Wine; it’s super smooth and super clean! I could drink it all day. Extra bonus points for the awesome label, too.”
“English wine is having something of a moment in the sunshine, literally. The climate in the South of England is much like it was in Champagne 100 years ago and the soil has always been very similar, chalky limestone. No wonder then that English sparkling wine is regularly beating Champagne in blind tastings, even in France. And English Wine production is soaring as a result. 5.6 million bottles were produced in 2017 and after a very warm Summer, that number almost reached 16 million in 2018.”
“So, whilst English sparkling wine has already established itself on the world stage, our lesser known still wines are getting better and better too. Introducing my wine of the moment: Chapel Down, Bacchus 2018. With grapes grown in Essex, Kent and Sussex Bacchus has become the UK’s Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a Riesling-Silvaner Müller Thurgau cross that makes much better wine in England than it does in its native Germany. The slightly cooler climate in England delivers a crisp, refreshing and aromatic wine. Melon and peach on the nose, zesty, zippy and fresh on the palate. Served at No.10 Downing Street, this might be the only thing they’ve got right behind the black door in recent years. You can pick a bottle up in your local Waitrose. Cheers!”
27 WEEKS TO GO!
Fancy giving one (or, you know, all) of these a go? You’ve got 27 weeks until #BWW2020, so bag these top tipples, take a sip, and enjoy!