The Canterbury Wine School: Autumn Wine courses

I am delighted to announce that this Autumn I will be teaching at the new Canterbury Wine School, offering the opportunity to study WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) courses, as well as enjoy bespoke events and training.

There will be two WSET Level 2 courses in Canterbury. The evening course will commence on Tuesday, September 24th. It will comprise 9 two hour sessions, including examination.  Canterbury on the following dates: September 24th, October 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, November 5th, 12th, 19th. From 7.30pm to 9.30pm. The course will be held at the Main Campus, Canterbury Christ Church University.

And there will also be a WSET Level 2 tought as six 1/2 day sessions on Mondays on the following dates: September 30th, October 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, November 4th. From 9am to 1pm. This course will be held at the Hall Place, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury.

The cost of each course, including course material, tasting wines, use of glasses and examination fees and marking is £365.00. If you have any questions regarding the course or would like to request an application form please contact Ann Morris by email on canterburywineschool@gmail.com

or Visit

www.canterburywineschool.com

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Wine Supper at Rafael’s Restaurant at the Goods Shed, 19th June

Rafa has put together a late spring, early summer, almost solstice supper, for us. It promises to be flavoursome yet light, perfect for those late warm evenings.

We will start with a glass of English sparkling wine and proceed with wines to partner each course. The full menu, with matching wines, is below. The meal, wines and tea and coffee are all included in the cost of £55/person. Places are limited so please, to avoid disappointment, please book as early as possible.  

As usual we will go to the table at 7.30 pm, with the bubbles being poured from 7.15 pm. Carriages, taxis and departure from 10.45 pm.

So if you would like to enjoy the flavours of the season please do get touch and book your place(s). You can book by emailing me at clivewine@aol.com or calling 07778 640381.

 

Aperitif 

Ambriel Sparkling Wine, Redfold Vineyard

 Confit Loch Duart salmon
spring vegetables, crisp skin

J B Adams Riesling, ‘Nature’, Alsace 2011

Garden of England asparagus
duck egg, Kelly’s goats cheese

Domaine Villargeau, Coteaux du Giennois 2011

Rump of Romney Marsh lamb in hay
courgette & mint

Chateau du Pey, Cru Bourgeois, Medoc, 2010

Dante Robino Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, 2006

Buttermilk pudding
poached fruits & berries, ice cream

Quady’s Black Muscat ‘Elysium’

 

An English Wine Table: Tasting notes

Tasting notes from the English Wine Table at the Goods Shed, Canterbury, 31st of May 2013.

Limney ‘Blanc de Blanc’, Kent 2007, £19.75

The Limney Blanc de Blanc, sadly one of the few remaining bottles, showed a lean, green apple fruit lifted by some yeasty notes, very clean and fresh, despite its age. The palate was still youthful, with a vibrant mousse, and fresh character. The apple notes came through on the palate , the wine has a clean, light character with a medium finish. It is certainly one of the better ‘non-champagne varietal fizzes produced.

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Ambriel, Redfold Vineyard, Sussex, £27.50

Ambriel has a fine brioche nose with ripe citrus characters which follow through onto a dry, crisp, flavoursome palate. The mousse is fine and persistent , the lemon notes are  pure and ripe, and lead to a citrus fresh finish. There is a maturing character to the wine which can be drunk with great pleasure now but will round out marvelously over the next 2 to 4 years.

Pilgrim’s Harvest, Barnsole Vineyard, Kent 2010, £10.50

Made from Huxelrebbe this wine showed intense aromatics of muscat and ripe peach with a catty edge. Many on the table loved its fresh character with the touch of sweetness balancing the crisp acidity. Certainly an English wine for warm summer days in the garden.

Throwley Reserve, Faversham, Kent 2008, £10.80

This is a mature Ortega wine and has a fairly neutral character but showed some pear and cobnut aromas. On the palate it is dry and broad, not too old, but clean and crisp. Its more neutral character puts one in mind of a Chablis; mineral and pure, a perfect foil for white fish.

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Darnibole Bacchus, Camel Valley, Cornwall, 2010, £17.00

Bob Lindo’s single vineyard Bacchus is still vibrant, showing that herbal, grassy note so typical of Bacchus. The palate is flavoursome and long with a linear style. The slate soils of the vineyard show through in the crystalline manner of the wine.

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Gribble Bridge Rose, Biddenden, Kent 2011, £9.90

The Biddenden rosé was well received at the Table with red cherry and berry fruits, a light, moreish palate, and its clean and fresh style. Sometimes a well made simple wine, well balanced and sapid is all that one requires and this wine achieves these objectives well.

Gribble Bridge Red, Biddenden, Kent, £9.90

The two reds were both from the dornfelder grape. But each showed a different style. The Biddenden wine was light, with flavours of wild strawberry and a touch of spice. The tannins were light and it had a Beaujolais freshness and style.

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Canterbury Choice Red Reserve, Barnsole Vineyard, Kent 2010, £12.50

The Dornfelder from Barnsole has more weight and heft. The fruit more in line with cranberry and dark spices. The body feels slightly fuller and the tannins offer texture and grip. And the closest French style would be that of Cabernet Franc from the Loire. The table was split, some prefer the lighter Biddenden others the grip of Barnsole, especially after the second mouthful and some fine Ashmore Cheese.

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Westgate Hall Wine Challenge, 20th April

I am delighted to help the Westgate Community Trust raise funds for the refurbishment of the Westgate Hall. We will be holding an event on the 20th of April. It iss short notice, I know, but I thought you’d like to know there are a few tickets available. It promises to be a great night of fun, food and wine.

The Challenge involves tasting six wines, in teams of 5 or 6 people, and answering some questions about the the wines (with some clues and advice from me). The most successful team will win a selection of wines. There is also a delicious light supper produced by Patrick Williams (of Patrick’s Kitchen, from the Goods Shed).

The Westgate Hall Wine Challenge is on the 20th of April, at 7pm at the Westgate Hall,  Canterbury. Tickets are £25 and will help raise much needed funds for the refurbishment of the Hall. You can book as teams of 5 or 6 or individually (we can help make up tables). To book please send an email to the westgatecommunitytrust@gmail.com or call 07912626433.

Here is a bit more information about the Westgate Community Trust and what they are trying to achieve:

“About three years ago the Westgate Hall, a 100-year old large Drill Hall in the centre of Canterbury that is used for community events, dancing, fairs, giving blood, concerts,  meetings, etc. was threatened with demolition due to budget cuts. A group of local people got together and formed the Westgate Community Trust, a charity that have managed to give this big building a new future as a community hall and a digital cinema, by forming a partnership with Curzon Cinemas. They are about to sign the lease for the building now and are getting ready to do a major refurbishment of the building, which needs a new roof, new windows, doors, etc.

Canterbury is a great city, attracting so many visitors from all over the world, yet local people can often feel that there is little for them in the city, and few opportunities to engage in social activities and hobbies. The Westgate Hall will be run as a centre for people of all ages Canterbury to meet, learn and play. And it will be a venue for local businesses to hold events.”

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Dinner at Samphire Whitstable

It has been a long time since I worked with David Hart, ex of the Fitz at Goodneston and the Goods Shed (amongst) others, and also with George Lister, but I am very happy to report that we will be combining on a fabulous wine dine at Samphire in Whitstable. The date is Thursday May 16th, arrive 7.15 pm for an aperitif and we aim to start serving the dishes at 7.30 pm.

The tickets are £55 per person and will include a glass of each wine with each course, additional glasses will be available at £3.00 per glass.  The menu and wines to be served are listed below. If you are interested please apply directly to Samphire on 01227 770075.

Aperitif

Salad of peas, broad beans, cured ham and poached egg

Comenge Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 2012

Poached Sea trout with Jersey Royals, Kentish Asparagus and hollandaise

Domaine Villargeau, Coteaux du Giennois, 2011

Roast and braised Monkshill farm lamb with shallot puree, cherry tomatoes and rosemary

Biberius Crianza, Ribera del Duero, 2009

Cheesemakers of Canterbury Brie with a truffled walnut salad

Domaine Vieux College, Fixin, Les Recilles, 2009

Rhubarb tart with elderflower ice cream

Ancienne Cure, Monbazillac, 2010

Wine notes from the Central Italian wine dinner at the Sportsman, March 7th

The Sportsman, Seasalter

 Central Italian Dinner March 7th

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‘Miolo’ Brut Villa Cresptori, Franciacorta NVOkay , so it is not from the region but it is a delicious, fresh sparkling wine made in the Method Traditionelle. There is a light bready, yeasty note to the wine which also appears on the palate along with a touch of ripe lemon and brioche. The wine is dry, with a fine mousse, and fresh without the austerity of Champagne but retains an uplifting freshness reminiscent of its upland origin.

Smoked cod deep fried breaded balls with an intense blanched parsley purée.

Oysters fresh and baked

Belissario, Verdicchio di Matelica 2011

Delightful crisp and gently aromatic white with a light to medium body and long fresh finish. The wine was wonderful match for both forms of the oyster.

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Pigeon Rissotto

Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d’Abruzo 2010

A black cherry fruited wine with focus on fruit and a light yet sustained tannic underbelly. Slightly overwhelmed by the risotto but fine on its own.

Fattoria le Terrazze, Rosso Conero 2008

Another expression of the Montepulciano grape but this time with more body and tannic structure. The fruit was dark berry, chocolate and leather. Its depth and spice a fine partner for the risotto.

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Sea bream with smoked seabream roe sauce

Vesevo Greco di Tufa, Campania 2011

A pleasing, medium bodied wine with good breadth and freshness but lacking the mineral core to partner the fish.

Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2010

A fine example of the style with a silky texture and some savoury, nutty notes to counterbalance the ripe pear fruit. A good partner for the bream with the extra weight and depth required.

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Ox Cheek

Fontodi, Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2008

A stylish, Chianti offering good density and concentration with flavours and aromas of dried herbs, cherries and cedar. Long and powerful, still in need of a couple of years to mellow and integrate.

Isole e Olena, Cepparello, Tuscany 2006 

Terrific wine with fine, complex and sensual aromatics giving an array of dried red fruits, spices, herbs and sweet leather. The characters evolved in the glass yielding up further aromatic notes. The palate was clean, bright and intense. The fine tannins were in harmony with the elegant fruit, acidity. This is a very well balanced wine, drinking exceptionally well now and with a good 8 years ahead of it. And the closure is a stelvin!

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Sportoletti, Vina Fidellia Rosso, Umbria 2005

Served as an amuse bouche this was a powerful , dense, tannin driven wine supported by dark black fruits and a hint of mint. A sort of St Estephe of Italy. Really well done and just getting into its stride. I first tried this wine 2 years ago and found it too tannic, time seems to have worked its spell.

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Tea Junket with Pina Colada Ice Cream

Selvapiano, Vin Santo 2005

Not the perfect match by any stretch of the imagination but the wine performed very well. The aromatics are of honey, caramel and dried figs and dates, there is a touch, just a touch, of oxidation to bring complexity. The palate is intensely flavoured and very sweet and lush but is cut by a fine fresh acid and delivers a long harmonious finish.

Wines and Prices

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‘Miolo’ Brut Villa Cresptori, Franciacorta NV 18.00
Belissario, Verdicchio di Matelica 2011 9.25
Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d’Abruzo 2010 9.00
Fattoria le Terrazze, Rosso Conero 2008 17.25
Vesevo Greco di Tufa, Campania 2011 13.90
Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2010 15.99
Fontodi, Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2009 19.50
Isole e Olena, Ceperello, Tuscany 2006  59.00
Sportoletti, Vina Fidellia Rosso, Umbria 2005 28.00
Selvapiano, Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina 2004 34.70

Spring Dinner at the Goods Shed

A great night of food and wine at Rafael’s Restaurant at the Goods Shed, with Rafa choosing some seasonal dishes of interest and quality. I have selected some terrific wines to partner to dishes including some new wines imported directly from Spain. The menu is to be found below.

Spring Dinner

 Rafael’s Restaurant

Thursday 21st March

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Franciacorta Brut

 Canapés

Comenge, Rueda Verdjo,2012

 

Confit Rabbit

Biberius Crianza, Ribero del Duero 2009

 

Turbot with Roasted Chicken wings

Bucci , Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore, 2010

Domaine Vieux College, Marsannay Blanc 2010

 

Rhubarb Dessert Platter

A Mano Aleatico di Puglia Passito, Puglia 2009

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The dinner, including wines, coffee or tea, costs £55 and tickets can be purchased by emailing me on clivewine@aol.com or phoning 07778 640381. It promises to be a great evening, starting with aperitifs from 7.15 pm and going to the table at 7.30 pm. We aim to finish at around 10.30 pm.

The wines have been carefully selected to give interest and quality and to partner the dishes. Whilst each wine is fascinating and offers a taste treat, I am particularly looking forward to  the exceptional Aleatico di Puglia Passito, made from semi dried Aleatico grapes, which has an extraordinary character of sweet ripe fruit and sour cherry acidity.

Places are limited so if you would like to attend please let me know soon.