Dessert Wines

Otherwise known as ‘sweet wines’, ‘stickies’, or as my dad endearingly likes to call them “Nectar from the Gods”, dessert wines are sadly rarely drunk except at Christmas time (when we all frantically up our sugar intake) or as part of a food and wine pairing at posh restaurants, which is a real shame. I’ve already looked at the fortified wines of Sherry, Port and Madeira which offer a range of lovely sweet wines options, but there are a…

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Tarima Monastrell 2015

Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) is a grape that requires a lot of warmth to fully ripen and whilst it is grown in many warm climate regions its tannic, often quite rustic style means the grape tends to be used primarily as part of a blend as opposed to a varietal wine. However I have found a lovely single varietal version from Alicante in Spain that I really recommend! Tarima Monastrell is hugely quaffable!  The esteemed Robert Parker gave this wine…

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Fortified – Madeira (a quick overview)

I spent so long on the last post discussing Port that I ran out of time to talk about Madeira.  So this brief (I promise) post gives a quick overview of the other great fortified wine from Portugal. Only made on the island of Madeira, the wines are fortified (during fermentation in the case of higher quality wines, post maturation for the cheaper products which are effectively just sweetened and coloured). Where Madeira differs so much from other fortified…

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SPOTLIGHT – FORTIFIEDS (Part 2)

After last week’s foray into Spain, this week we move slightly further west on the Iberian Peninsula, into Portugal –to explore Port. PORT Fortification process - Unlike Sherry, with Port the wine is fortified during fermentation (and after a fairly short and quite vigorous period of extraction - which put simply means punching down the cap of skins to ensure tannins and colour is extracted into the red wine) Note: This is still sometimes done by the traditional method ie…

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Wine Review: Fortezza Dei Colli Chianti Classico Riserva 2014

I hunted out this wine in LIDL this week after reading it had recently won a gold at the IWC (International Wine Challenge), not only that but it was in fact the lowest priced supermarket wine to win a gold! So what did I think of it… Vibrant ruby in colour with aromas redolent of predominantly red berries (cranberry, cherry, strawberry) alongside smoky dusty notes on the nose. On the palate this is a bone dry, relatively full bodied…

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