I had always been aware that eastern Germany made wine, even that the old DDR had a couple of wine regions, but had never been in a position to try any until recently. There was a lovely young German couple attending one of my courses, he was from Bavaria and she was from the countryside near Dresden in the east. I had never before met anyone from the German Democratic Republic, so it was very interesting hearing her talk of Trabants, the Communist Young Pioneers and holidays in Hungary and Bulgaria. Interestingly her husband was quite dismissive of her past life in the east, which angered her, so I hope they are still together.
One week she mentioned the wine of her region and when I said that I had never had any she immediately said that she would bring me a bottle back the next time she visited her mother. She was as good as her word and a couple of weeks later handed me an elegantly tall fluted bottle of:
Earlier this week I tutored an exciting tasting of wines from Castilla y León.
Wine Regions of Castlla y León - click on the map for a closer look
It came about when I was asked back, for a second consecutive year, to The Association of Wine Cellarmen. Last year I presented a selection of Villa Maria wines from New Zealand. This time around, just as they invited me I was about to head off on a Circle of Wine Writers trip to Castilla y León, led by John Radford no less, so I thought it would be exciting to present some of the wines that I experienced along the way. The ever genial Nick Seymour, who runs the Association, luckily also thought this sounded like a great idea.
I attended a Wines of Chile tasting the other day and my impressions from the Concours Mondial wine Competition were confirmed – yet again. I really do believe that Chile is currently a shining star that delivers great quality and value for money wines.
There were many lovely wines at the tasting, some that were nice, simple everyday drinking, but some that were really terrific wines that offered depth, sophistication and elegance.
Here are three of the stand out wines from the tasting, all of which are also new and exciting wines to the UK: Continue reading →