Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Thank you British Airways

After a rather disastrous journey with British Airways I have received a selection of 3 wines by way of an apology. I'll add them to the cellar and let you know when the cork is popped (or screw cap twisted).
Rosemount - Chardonnay 2006 (Australia)
Ses'fikile Matriarch - Shiraz 2004 (South Africa)
Santa Rita Reserva - Merlot 2005 (Valle del Maipo - Chile)

Le Di Vin, Edinburgh

We moved to Edinburgh a couple of years ago during the height of the festival. On our walk home we would often pop in to La P'tite Folie for a last glass of wine, a delightful French restaurant upstairs and a haven amongst the madness downstairs. We moved across the city and I haven't had chance to drop in for some time. However last weekend my Aussie mate an I were in the area and so I suggested dropping in for a night cap.
I was expecting to arrive at the little bar but was some what surprised. The small bar is still there and has a 'restaurant' sign on the door. But to the left is the new wine bar Le Di-Vin. Housed in the Tudor building and next door the La P'tite Folie on Randolph Place.
I returned to Le Di Vin on the following Tuesday for a glass of wine after work, this time accompanied by Monsieur and Vin the Man.
It looks new and feels new but at the same time the large glass windows in the ceiling retain the history of this impressive building (formerly a chapel). The decor is tasteful and the bar impressive. There's a ground floor area and a mezzanine balcony from where you have an open view of the fantastic large bar area below. From the mezzanine you can glimpse the rotunda of one of the buildings that edge Charlotte Square.
Now to the wine-list. It's extensive with a good representation of wine from across the globe. There are a few familiar names along with numerous new ones to discover. The list is well presented and organised with lots of great wines available not only by the bottle but by the glass too.

First try:
Cooper's Creek, Marlborough NZ 2006 - I was feeling nostalgic, we spend 18 months leaving in Wellington, I'd received a text from a friend there the day before about how much he missed us. It's a light pinot, some black fruits but not intense, the savoury notes feel stronger on the nose and the palate. 2006 was the year we left and NZ and if my memory serves me right it wasn't a great summer, which probably explains this. It's not the best NZ pinot I've ever had but it holds it's own and takes me back to Wellington, a good start.

We order a mixed plate of cheese and dried meats. There's lots of choice, the salami is outstanding. There's a hard cheese (sorry don't know the name) which is just lovely. This came with a basket of bread too, all was fresh and well presented.

Round two:
Cote de Beaune, Domaine Jessiaume, 2006
I'm sticking to the pinot for a bit of comparison. This one is fruitier than the NZ and works perfectly with the cheeses on offer. The acidity was quite high but with the food that's no problem. I enjoy this little number.

The boys opt for something different:
Marques de Riscal - Rioja at £15.50 a bottle it's a really reasonable price for a great wine. The tempranillo grapes show their true character, it's earthy, mushroomy with dark fruits such a plums and blackberries. The tannins are smooth and balance is good, the flavours lingering on my tongue for some time.

Le Di-Vin is a great place and I'm looking forward to working my way through the fantastic wine list.

Top marks!

Only one suggestion from Monsieur Vin, a couple of comfy sofa's would be divine, although I don't think we would ever leave if this were the case...........

Sunday, 15 June 2008

A few recommendations

I've spent the last few months getting back to the appreciation of wine rather than the analysis, here are a few recommendations from my endeavours:

Luis Cavas, Reserva Fauilia, 2001, Rioja (Alavesa) - had this little number whilst having dinner at Oloroso, Edinburgh. The sommelier was very knowledgeable and helped with my choice. No notes as such just a great match to my ostrich, smooth, fresh and fruity.

Senorio De Cruces, Albarino (Spanish white) - Picking a Spanish white in a french restaurant probably isn't the done thing but Monsieur Vin had never tried this grape and I new he would like it. Mouton Noir is a relatively new French establishment recently opened in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh. An easy drinking white, but a bad match for my rich french main course, great wine, wrong food match. Would be lovely with Paella.

Cooper Hill, Pinot Noir, Oregon, USA - believe it or not I had this wine on the in the Oregon Bar and Grill on the 42nd floor of the Detsu building in Tokyo with spaghetti in a tomato sauce with King Crab. Divine, light fresh and a great price this organic little number was a great accompaniment to the food, the view and the company.

Burgundy Wine Tasting - Arno's Wine Club - Edinburgh

Arno is a man who clearly knows his stuff when it comes to French wine. It's the first tasting session I have been to in Edinburgh that isn't interested in what you purchase but aims to provide you with information about the area the wine comes from (in form of OHP ), a bit of history, terroir and the grapes.
I have my Aussie mate in tow who admits she knows nothing about French wine but is a prolific drinker of Aussie wine and dabbles a little with the odd Italian. She discovers all the reds will be Pinot Noir and all the whites will be Chardonnay as this is a Burgundy wine tasting, a strange concept for an Australian.

I relish the opportunity to try £70 bottle of Burgundy and hope I am not disappointed.

The wines we tried:
The Whites
Domaine Bouchard 2004 Prem Cru £23.95
Puligny Montrachet, Domaine des Lambrays 2005 Prem Cru £52.00
Meusault-Charmes 2001 Prem Cru £70.00

The Reds
Macon Louis Latour 2005
Lavigny Les Beaune 2005 £20
Domaine Faiveley, Clos des Cortons, Grand Cru , 2000 £80

Apologies if these names aren't quite correct, but all the wines were delightful and my notes leave a lot to be desired.

The whites provide various levels of lovely toast and vanilla but it has to be said the Meusault-Charmes had an excellent balance and good length. The cheaper ones are sharper and less smooth but have great qualities at a more reasonable price. My fellow tasters were certainly from the more affluent areas of Edinburgh and it is certainly the first time I have heard the suggestion for a food match "Oh I think this wine would go beautifully with foire grois, what"

The reds are good too, lots of earthy mushroomy aromas to fill the nostrils. The grand cru is a complex mix of all things pinot, but £80? I'm not sure.

If I had to pick a favourite it would be the Domaine des Lambrays 2005 Prem Cru

All in all a fantastic evening and some great discoveries including where the Edinburgh hoy poloy hang out of an evening.