Taste Award Winning Wines in London

some of the judges hard at work at the West London Wine School

Forgive the plug, but I thought this may be of some interest if you live near London.

A month or so back I was a judge at the West London Wine School Wines of the Year Awards 2011.

We tasted all the best wines the School had tried throughout the year and rated those that are available to buy in the UK. We tasted some fabulous wines from across the globe and  in a wide array of styles.

It seemed a pity to waste all that hard work and so 2 walkaround tastings are being hosted at the West London Wine School in Fulham. They are on 14 and 15 December, so come along and try some wonderful wines, new things, old favourites and unexpected treasures.

You can book tickets by clicking here – they represent great value for a lot of fun – see you there…

Catalan élan

The wines of Codorníu

Recently I presented a tasting of some wonderful wines from Spain. I know that I bang on about Spain and Spanish wines, but really I do believe that country makes wonderful, wonderful wines and can boast one of the most vibrant and exciting European cultures as well.

Regular readers will be aware that earlier in the year I spent a week with Miguel Torres, a giant of Spanish and Catalan wine whose importance to the development of wine in Spain cannot be underestimated. However he is not alone in being a leading producer of good wine in Catalunya. All my adult life I have been a fan of Codorníu which is famous as the leading brand of Cava – Spanish quality sparkling wine made by the Champagne method/Traditional method. However Codorníu is much more than a Cava producer, they have been growing grapes since 1551 and making Cava since 1872 – indeed they created it – but over the last 100 years they have expanded their portfolio and production to include most of the important wine regions of Spain – and beyond. Unlike Torres though they leave each winery as a stand alone brand and you will look in vain for the name of Codorníu on the labels.

Instead they have either created new estates from scratch or bought leading producers and the results are startlingly good. I presented some of these wines in a tasting recently and everyone was hugely impressed by the quality, variety and value for money that the wines represented. Catalans see themselves as the dynamic Spaniards, the busy creative Spaniards with modern ideas, a sense of chic and no manaña mentality, so perhaps Codorníu have brought that drive and sense of élan to their outposts in other regions?

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