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    Blog

    Seasonal Wines for Valentines

    If you are planning a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration and want to impress your partner with the best possible wine for the occasion, overlook everything you think you know about wine pairing. Forget choosing a red to match the steak or a white for the flounder. Lose the Champagne with chocolate (seriously, lose that one) and ditch any dessert ideas. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day is...

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    Wine meets food: Pairing the plate

    The best thing about studying wine is the moments that call into question every “truth” you think you know. These are the tiny lightbulbs that impel questions to be asked, that engender reflection and that ultimately serve as the springboard to a deeper understanding of wine. It is often the interaction of wine and food that delivers these teachable moments for me—when I am relaxed, not hurried, and free to ponder at will. This series of blog posts shares my memorable discoveries about what happens when wine meets food.

    This series of blog posts shares my memorable discoveries about what happens when wine meets food. Read part 1 and part 2.

    My husband and I rejected our usually healthy diets the other night to mark a happy occasion. Steak and pan-fried potatoes drizzled in warm butter were on the menu. As I was sipping…

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    The White Side of the Rhône with Matt Walls

    Webinar Abstract:

    Just 6% of Rhône Valley wines are white, but there is huge variety of styles, from straightforward, everyday wines to some of the finest, most distinctive whites in the world.

    Though they share some grape varieties, the white wine in the Southern and Northern Rhône are very different. With some destined for the dinner table and others deliciously drinkable by themselves, there are styles to suit all tastes and plenty of value to be found at every level.

    We’ll take a close look at the varieties and appellations that make white Rhône an increasingly popular and sought-after category.

    Transcript: Top Rhône Whte Wine Producers by AOC

    Find below Matt's top white wine produce selection for the Rhône Valley, classed by appellation.

    • Côtes-du-Rhône: Domaine du Seminaire, Domaine de l’Amandine, Domaine Gramenon, Domaine de Remejeanne.
    • Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Laudun – Vignerons Laudun-Chusclan
    • Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Roaix – Domaine Pique-Basse
    • Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Sablet - Domaine de Verquière
    • Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Séguret – Domaine de l’Amauve
    • Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Valréas – Clos Bellane
    • Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Visan - Domaine La Florane
    • Cairanne - Oratoire Saint Martin, Domaine des Amadieu and Domaine Hautes Cances
    • Châteauneuf-du-Pape - Château Rayas, Clos des Papes, Domaine de Marcoux, Château de Beaucastel, Le Vieux Donjon, Domaine du Banneret
    • Vacqueyras - Domaine la Ligiere, Le Sang des Cailloux and Roucas Toumba
    • Lirac - Château de Montfaucon, Domaine des Carabiniers and Domaine Lafond Roc Epine
    • Condrieu - Andre Perret, Yves Gangloff, Remi Niero, Yves Cuilleron, Domaine Georges Vernay
    • Saint-Joseph - Domaine Gonon, Domaine Guy Farge, E Guigal, Bernard Gripa, M Chapoutier
    • Hermitage - Domaine JL Chave, M. Chapoutier, Domaine Marc Sorrel, Delas
    • Crozes-Hermitage - Domaine Aleofane, David Reynaud, Dard et Ribo
    • Saint-Péray - Remi Nodin, Domaine du Tunnel, Cave de Tain, Bernard Gripa

    Presenter: Matt Walls

    Matt Walls is a freelance wine writer and consultant based in London.

    He is a contributing editor at Decanter and writes regular articles for other magazines and websites such as Foodism, Imbibe and timatkin.com.

    He won the Best Newcomer awards at the 2013 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards for Drink Me, his first book on wine, which has sold over 10,000 copies.

    He publishes a popular wine blog, www.mattwalls.co.uk, for which he won International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year 2015.

    When not writing, Walls advises restaurants on wine lists, hosts tastings, judges food and wine competitions and develops wine apps.

    Matt is interested in all areas of wine, but specialises in those of the Rhône – he is Regional Chair for the Rhône at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

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    Seven Things You Might Not Know About Rhône Wines

    The Rhône is France’s second largest producer of AOC wines (after Bordeaux). Its viticultural history dates back to the Romans who sculpted its terraced topography and introduced the vine.

    It is in the Rhône where east  meets west. The granite and schist of the Massif Central (west) collide with the sedimentary soils of the Alps and its foothills (east)….
    So, how well do you know the Rhône?

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    PODCAST: Christophe Tassan & Andrew Jefford on the Rhône

    Christophe Tassan is interviewed by Decanter Magazine’s Andrew Jefford about the Rhône Valley and its wines. “I was born in the dining room, in hospitality,” Christophe tells us, which seems appropriate, as this interview took place in a San Francisco restaurant around the corner from The Battery, where he is currently the wine director.

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    Northern Rhône Wine Who's Who with Olivier Hickman

    Abstract:

    As with all wine regions, there is a list of producers with whom every wine student should be familiar in order to understand the diversity and complexity of the wines produced.

    In the Rhône, the list is long because there are those known for their traditional winemaking styles and those known for being more modern (if not avant garde!).

    In this seminar, you’ll meet the rogues and renegades and old guard.

    Presenter: Olivier Hickman

    British national residing near Gigondas in the Southern Rhône. Born to a French mother (from Provence), Olivier studied Economics at Cambridge University and, having obtained First Class Honours, took the well-trodden route into industry working for Unilever, Time Warner and Linklaters LLP.

    Olivier's passion for wine took off at Cambridge but a decade later after gaining qualifications with the WSET, Olivier established a part-time boutique UK wine importing business with Jeremy Williams in 1999. Their passion for wine encouraged them to make their own wines in Provence for sale in the UK by sourcing locally-grown fruit.

    Olivier and his lawyer wife, Janet decided to permanently leave the London rat race in 2003 and move to Provence. Olivier planted his own micro-vineyard in Valréas from which he continues to grow and make small quantities of wine today; but it was his fascination for the French concept of “terroir” that took Olivier on a different route.

    Whilst French wine culture is routed in “terroir”, the concept is very poorly understood (if at all) by majority of the wine-drinking public. With time on his hands, Olivier embarked on a two year research project interviewing growers and winemakers to get to the root of this elusive concept – what is terroir and how does it really influence wines, wine-growing and wine-making practices? What is truth, what is myth and more interestingly, what do we still not know?

    Olivier decided that the best way to educate wine consumers was by establishing what was in 2006, the first Rhône-based Wine Tour business www.wine-uncovered.com. Olivier consulted on inaugural Grenache Symposium in 2010 and provides consultancy services for importers and educational services on behalf of the professional association, Inter Rhône.

    Read more...

    Southern Rhône Wine Who's Who with Olivier Hickman

    Abstract:

    As with all wine regions, there is a list of producers with whom every wine student should be familiar in order to understand the diversity and complexity of the wines produced.

    In the Rhône, the list is long because there are those known for their traditional winemaking styles and those known for being more modern (if not avant garde!).

    In this seminar, you’ll meet the rogues and renegades and old guard.

    Presenter: Olivier Hickman

    British national residing near Gigondas in the Southern Rhône. Born to a French mother (from Provence), Olivier studied Economics at Cambridge University and, having obtained First Class Honours, took the well-trodden route into industry working for Unilever, Time Warner and Linklaters LLP.

    Olivier's passion for wine took off at Cambridge but a decade later after gaining qualifications with the WSET, Olivier established a part-time boutique UK wine importing business with Jeremy Williams in 1999. Their passion for wine encouraged them to make their own wines in Provence for sale in the UK by sourcing locally-grown fruit.

    Olivier and his lawyer wife, Janet decided to permanently leave the London rat race in 2003 and move to Provence. Olivier planted his own micro-vineyard in Valréas from which he continues to grow and make small quantities of wine today; but it was his fascination for the French concept of “terroir” that took Olivier on a different route.

    Whilst French wine culture is routed in “terroir”, the concept is very poorly understood (if at all) by majority of the wine-drinking public. With time on his hands, Olivier embarked on a two year research project interviewing growers and winemakers to get to the root of this elusive concept – what is terroir and how does it really influence wines, wine-growing and wine-making practices? What is truth, what is myth and more interestingly, what do we still not know?

    Olivier decided that the best way to educate wine consumers was by establishing what was in 2006, the first Rhône-based Wine Tour business www.wine-uncovered.com. Olivier consulted on inaugural Grenache Symposium in 2010 and provides consultancy services for importers and edu

     

     

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