Delicious Vinos-Gewurztraminer

I just love a good Gewürztraminer, scrap that my lovelies, I adore it.  I cease to be failed by this fragrant little number.  The one I am currently blogging about is  Marks and Spencer’s version 2014  Baron de Hoen. In one of my earlier posts I talked about Strasbourg in The Alsace region when I was bleating about one of my recipes ‘Chicken Strasbourg.’  At risk of repetition, I will say again and only once that the Alsace region of France is exquisite to say the very least.  Gewurztraminer, I have recently found myself falling in love with again after a very good friend of mine sent me a case as a thank you for helping her.  I had probably until that point not drank it for around a decade.  Not too sure why, other than looking for new things, and preoccupation with other exciting wonders.  Anyway, the case was quoffed pretty quickly, and gave me the incentive to put it back firmly on my shopping list and never neglect it again.  For me Gewürztraminer makes a great aperitif as the flavours are very powerful and distinctive of Lychee, freshness, rose petals coupled with the colour being golden like the locks of a strawberry blond elegant lady.  The wine also pairs well with a strong feisty dish, capable of holding its own in the food and drink arena such as Chinese, Thai or perhaps some Game.  This wine is from the Beblenheim area of Alsace in the Northeast of France.  Alsace as mentioned has a distinct identity and for me should sit firmly on bucket lists.  Gewürztraminer M&S, you are my induction back in the Gewürztraminer fold, I am going to sadly have to be flirtatious with others to find out other key identifiers that set you all apart.  It will be an arduous journey, but someone has to do it.

  

Delicious Vinos- The Hedonist Shiraz, McLaren vale 2010 Australia.

My client at work  has been talking about this wine for a couple of months now…  I’m not usually a syrupy very pungent  vino type of girl, and once I’d decided to purchase a bottle, I’d made up my mind to  

 stereotypically be unwelcoming.  I rudely presumed the The Hedonist to not be my cup of tea at all. How off the mark could I be? This gorgeous babe is mega voluptuous, super sexy, silky, satin like, deeply  intelligent and über classy.  The name is precisely fitting, packaging spot on and delights all my  hard to reach corners.  Bravo indeed….

Chicken Strasbourg 

    This really easy and wonderfully delicious recipe came to me whilst on way home from work.  I fancied a little soupçon of Gewurtztraminer and started to dream of chicken, lardons of bacon, cream, sweetness and suchlike.  I visited Strasbourg, the Alsace capital as a teenage gal a couple of times and was affected by its vibrancy and breath taking beauty coupled with stunning back drops.  This really easy and very reasonable recipe is a little decadent with a splash of wine and a couple of spoons of double cream to add richness…

    Serves 4

    Take a 100 gram pack of bacon lardons, and sauté gently in a splash of olive oil. Set aside and use same oil to seal and colour your chicken supremes.  Cook for around 3 minutes on either side before placing on some miniture new potatoes and placing in the oven to roast for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile chop a bunch of spring onions, 3 garlic cloves and soften for a minute in the same oil. Add in 200 mls of chicken stock, a splash of white wine and reduce for 10 mins.  Add in the set aside lardons, a shredded baby gem lettuce and a cup of petits pois and simmer for 3-4 mins.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of Tarragon, then take a little of the jus, mix in with 70 mls of double cream then add back into the sauce ( this avoids splitting rather than adding the cream directly).  Take out new potatoes, place in centre of plate, place chicken supreme and spoon over glorious sauce in abundance with some chopped chives…..serve with a glass of Alsace wine or as I have done a little Vino Esmerelda by fam Torres…… 

        
     

    The Vineyard at Stockcross.

    • I know, I know what you’re all gonna say.  You’re reviewing the gaff where your hubby works.  Well yes I am, but dearies I have always loved the Vineyard from when my former colleague David Sharland was Head chef.  I literally live 6 minutes away but associate The Vineyard with sanctuary. Over the years the quality and consistency has always been on par from the rooms to the food.  Let’s talk about wine, well the owners are wine makers too and the Michael family vineyards in California produce award winning and to die for wine.  The hotel boasts stunning wine, unrivalled food, non stuffy service.  The service in fact is non intrusive with a sprinkle of just right humour.  This adds to the overall feeling that the team on site are genuinely delighted to be with one another. I believe The Vineyard is entering a very exciting new era.  Service is bang on, business is booming and the golden gem of a brand new head chef in the form of Robby Jenks is just the ticket.  I had the pleasure of tasting the new Spring Menu last week, and for me frankly the food is the best I’ve tasted. 

       

    Delicious Vinos-Chateau Tayac Cru Bourgeois Margaux 2002.

    • We have six bottles of this little beauty, and after googling it and discovering that one cannot buy it wondered if I should opening it or flogging it. I decided on the former due to the fact that I’ve been drinking far to much mediocre vino lately and deserved a little treat.  My father in law purchased this little stash who very sadly   is no longer with us.  I lit a candle, put it next to his photo, poured a little glass for him too and raised mine to his honour.  My father in law (Fouad), was a lover of all wonderful things.  Fine wines were one of his passions alongside treating his family every year to a holiday in Provence en mass.  Being a middle eastern family, things never ran smoothly especially when we used to traipse around Cannes looking for a table of 20 most evenings.  Caution to the wind is how we lived on those holidays and wonderful they were. I’m going off piste here, so down to business……this wine is a Bordeaux blend, silky, distinguished, luxurious, wonderfully classy with thin tannins.  The 2002 is a divine example and literally went down a treat last night.  So moorish in fact that it felt like it had evaporated.  I had to share the bottle but could have happily drank the entire bottle plus more I guess.  I doubt though that I would be feeling so bright this morning as I do.  At 12.5% abv it was just perfect in fact- no grogginess for me.  The wine is made from grapes from the Soussan commune in the Margaux appellation, and the chateau itself has had a renovation of sorts providing stunning brand new oak casks.  Not sure if that was pre or post my wine but the clarity was just spectacular in any case.  Highly recommended by me if you can get some….. Cheers to you Foufou.

    The Bull Inn Sonning.

    • This gorgeous pub is steeped in wonderful history and is totally one of my favourite places.  Mainly of course because it serves a good glass of vino, but also down to the whole vibe.  Sonning it seems is a very close knit community who one would not want to annoy.  The Bull, along with its owner St Andrews Church who now rent the pub out to Fullers, is the hub of the village.  Sonning itself is an adorable place, with some absolutely breathtaking sites.  The Bull is a must visit and sums up olde worlde England in a nutshell. The Bull is next to The church and would be an ideal venue for a wedding drinkie or a place to stay whilst attending nuptials. The food is delicious and rustic and the interior is gorgeously cosy.  Outside there are tables that get crammed at the sight of the Sun. I love everything about The Bull including all the quirky stories, the cosiness, the smell, the food, vino  and of course it’s English charm.