Chapel Down Winery Pinot Noir 2009 & Union Red 2010

Our last evening in London my husband and I decided to have dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks Restaurant in St. Giles. Sure there was the obvious celebrity chef lure, but we were really drawn in by the fact that not only are the ingredients all locally sourced, everything served is British grown and produced, from the spicy coriander in the beans on toast to the nightcap brandies, it is all proudly British sourced. I selected Chapel down Winery Pinot Noir to accompany my rich, spicy beans on toast and chips, and their Union Red 2010 to enjoy with my woodman pizza delightfully loaded with Westcombe cheddar, wild mushrooms, tarragon and chervil.

Chapel Down Winery has the honour of being the first English producer to ever win a gold medal for sparkling wine at the International Wine Challenge. With a goal of producing the best wines in the UK, the winery is quickly establishing itself as an international brand.  Their modern winery focuses on producing varietal-driven, fresh wines that highlight their unique English terroir.
Pinot Noir 2009
Light ruby in colour, aromas of rose petal, strawberry and hints of chocolate swirled about in the glass. Strawberry and cherry flavours were joined by astringent green tea tannins in the light to medium body. Traces of cedar and damp earth elements comprised the brief finish. Simple and easy drinking, it enjoys a light meal or appetizer to expose the earthy richness.

100% Pinot Noir
Estate Bottled
$23 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2013

Union Red 2010

Dark garnet with violet around the rim, aromas of black current, vanilla and blackberry radiated from the glass. Jammy blackberry and black cherry flavours mingled with hints of sweet woodsy oak in the medium body. Spicy white pepper and traces of black currents lingered in the moderate finish. Round, soft fruit flavours make this a straightforward glass excellent with dinner or sipping on its own.

Winemaker’s blend of Pinot Noir, Rondo, Pinot Noir Précoce
Estate Bottled
$22 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2014

Santero Asti [NV] & Stone’s Original Ginger Wine [NV]

My sister and I were having a leisurely stroll about the wine shop when I caught sight of Stone’s Original Ginger Wine. I had been thinking about procuring ingredients for a summer patio cocktail, I just wasn’t in the mood for a vodka or rum drink. I think because we had just watched Casino Royale the night before, and the wine shop had a liqueur tasting, one of them being ginger liqueur, I arrived at the merry conclusion to make a wine cocktail. I picked up Asti Santero to go with my ginger wine and I was set. I chilled both bottles, muddled fresh mint from my garden, and then poured in the wines in equal measure. Delightfully sweet and spicy, the mint contributed a bright, refreshing element to each sunny, sparkly sip. I named it the Tallow Wood, and surmise that I may just add some lime zest next time….


Santero Asti [NV]

Santero is a family owned and run winery founded in 1958. They have a strong tradition of pursuing innovation and respecting nature. In addition to their grapes, their winery in the heart of the Asti D.O.C.G. also processes grapes brought in from over 300 local winegrowers.
Pale gold in colour, aromas of summer apple and honeysuckle rose from my glass. Sweet, rich honey flavours and traces of juicy peach mingled in each fizzy sip. Easy drinking and fun, this is a vibrant glass fantastic with desert or any celebration.

Moscato Bianco
Produced by Santero S.P.A.
7.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Stone’s Original Ginger Wine [NV]
Stone’s Ginger Wine can be traced back to 1740 when a company called The Finsbury Distilling Company was founded in the City of London. To produce their restorative wine, they blended high quality raisins and pure ginger. In 1751 the Excise Act was passed which prohibited distillers from selling directly to the public. Joseph Stone was part of the network of retailers The Finsbury Distilling Company constructed in order to sell their wine. Stone became a solid part of their network, and his name was given to the ginger wine in his honor.
Golden amber in colour, aromas of ginger and autumn woods swirled about in my glass.  Plump fruity grapes and spicy ginger mingled with smooth, sweet honey and traces of Christmas like juniper notes. Energetic and self assured on it’s own, it does make for a brilliant spicy addition to cocktails and whiskey alike.

Produced and Bottled for Accolade Wines, LTC., Guildford
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now