Monday, 27 November 2006

Centotre 26th Nov 2006 “Casa Roma” Part 1 of 6

An Introduction
It was such a fantastic and unique night I have decided to share with you all of my notes, instead of just the usual highlights.

Oenologist and owner of Casa Roma Luigi Peruzzetto arrived in Edinburgh only a couple of hours before the event was due to start. He has never been abroad before and rather than staying a few days to look around he is due to fly out of Edinburgh at 10:00am the following morning. Why? To get back to his vines of course.

The Casa Roma estate is situated in the Piave region (Piave is the river that runs through it) north east of Venice and has been in the Peruzetto family for many years. Luigi introduced us to some very unusual wines made from traditional grapes. Luigi isn't afraid to experiment and as a result he has created some fascinating and wonderful wines.

I felt very privileged to have been apart of such a delightful evening and would like to thank Centotre for organising it, and providing a fantastic menu to accompany the wines. I would also like to thank Paul Dwyer (Wine Broadcaster & Speaker) for his company and expert knowledge and advice, a real treat for me.

For further information about Casa Roma please visit the website is excellent and gives you a history of Casa Roma got its name and information on the wines available.

For further information on Centotre please visit a place where you always receive a warm welcome, fine food and experience a great atmosphere.

To follow in part 2-6 - The Wines

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Vino Rosso Della Casa - Osteria Del Neni, Lucca

I've ordered tortellini all' ragu my all time favourite Italian dish and of course a ¼ litre of the house red wine. It sits on my table in a small carafe, illuminated by a solitary candle. This wine is a deep ruby red. The aroma is subtle, savoury, spices mixed with red plums. I take a sip. It's sharp at first but the tannins aren't strong so it feels light and easy to drink. My food arrives and I know it's going to be the perfect match. It's a basic wine with an atmosphere to match. It doesn't leave a trace down the side of the glass indicating that it's not high in alcohol. A classic easy drinking Tuscan food wine and I love it. The tasty home made tomato and meat sauce covered with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese is a true delight. I first visited the Osteria Del Neni some 5 years ago now and it hasn't changed a bit. The meal costs me 12 euros (including service). In summer you have to book a table here well in advance, but tonight I get the place more or less to myself.
The wine is different to the one I had last night in a small bar further up the valley in a town called Barga. The bar is in an ancient square and is run by a man called Marino. The atmosphere is welcoming with passing musicians dropping in to entertain you using the various instruments that hang on the walls. Here the wine is sometimes described as 'brutta'. It's rustic and raw. At the back of the bar hang the cold meats, sausages next to cheeses and bread. To receive a selection of these on a square of paper towel with a glass of the local red served from a large demijohn is simple and to some a little 'brutta', just like the wine.

I raise my glass and proposed a toast to Silvano, a friend and resident of Barga who passed away recently, he will be truly missed.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Sangiovese di Toscana, Le Mire, Tuscany, 2005

I would like to have chilled this wine, a personal preference for lighter reds, but forgot. It's made from sangiovese with a small proportion of Merlot. I wasn't surprised to find a plastic cork as this is one of the lower ranges from this particular vineyard. I think plastic corks in young wines are just fine although anything more than a couple of years old I'd have second thoughts. The cork is a stunning red with the web address; unfortunately the site is under construction this month so I was unable to check this out.
The bottle has a fantastic label of a bright red flower (research required to find out which one).
We had it with roast lamb which was probably a little over powering for this wine and a pasta dish or meaty fish (perhaps tuna steak) would have been better.

To look at:
A light ruby red.

On the nose:
A mix of raspberries with hints of dark fruits (probably from the merlot) and quite savoury.

To Taste:
Quite high in tannins for a light wine but bursts of plums and the food relax them. It has good length.

Not a complex wine but a cheerful little number for a wintry Scottish Sunday night. After the bottle had been open for awhile the fruit flavours increase delightfully.
In short for the price, a real bargain.

This wine is available from Cambridge/Edinburgh Wine Merchants for £5.99 and is on offer at the moment, 2 for £10

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Madame Vin - An Introduction

I'm a wine enthusiast who is on a journey of discovery. I'm not a fine wine expert but someone who appreciates wine for what it is. This journey is to compare research and learn about the world of wine. The subject is vast and riddled with pitfalls and I know I will make mistakes on the way. I'd like to open up discussions with you out there in cyberspace, to share my opinions and discoveries and to share yours too.

Wine to me is a personal thing, a mood, the company you are with, an accompaniment to good food and the place you drink it and most of all something you like and enjoy. Whether it costs £2.99 from your local supermarket or hundreds of pounds from a restaurant wine list, if none of the above reasons apply to your appreciation then you've missed the point of wine.

Many people who know me I think believe my interest in wine is only about the drinking and to certain extent this is of course true as this is the purpose of wine. Some of them will be surprised to learn that I now own wine that I don't intend to drink for another 10 to 15 years. I don't drink wine to get drunk although sometimes this is an obvious side effect and I guess that goes back to the company I am with.

There are many winemakers who put a great deal of time, effort, thought and personality into their wines and there are those that just, well, don't. Is there a difference in taste? Let's find out together.

There won't be lists of vintage years or what you are expected to smell/taste in a particular wine or not. But a series of thoughts, ideas and experiences and perhaps even a little bit of knowledge too.