Monday, 26 April 2010

The Weird and Wonderful – Unexpected Wines from Unusual Places

The Weird & Wonderful Wine Tasting has been moved to 6 May, which is a really good thing as it’s even bigger and better than originally planned. There will be 11 different wines (15 different grape varieties) and fabulous food to accompany the wines. This is a perfect chance to try some wines that are absolutely delicious and great with food that you really should know about.

We will also be celebrating the anniversary of the Wine Century Club with president and founder, Steve de Long. For those of you unfamiliar with the Wine Century Club (, it’s an association of wine lovers who have tried AT LEAST 100 different wine varieties over their drinking lives. That might sound daunting at first but just drinking the readily available wines in the UK will get you a long way toward that 100. And if you attend this tasting, you’ll have another 15 to add to your “life list”.

This will be a ton of fun. Learn about Petit Rouge, Saperavi, Pecorino (NOT the cheese!), Frappato, the nearly unpronounceable Hondarribi Zuri, and many more. Taste wines from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Georgia (!??!). You know you have to do this.

Details are -
57 Pelham Street, London SW7 2NJ
The tasting venue is a private home about 200 meters from the South Kensington tube station so it’s easy to get to.

Advance booking and payment is required. Please make your booking NO LATER THAN Sunday, 2 May. Payment by cheque, electronic transfer, or PayPal.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Meet the Winemaker Dinner with Günter Triebaumer

Cafe Strudel, Nick Dobson and me, The Ultimate Wine Company (aka @UltimateWines) are proud to present a "Meet the Winemaker" dinner with Günter Triebaumer on 9 February 2010.

Cafe Strudel on Upper Richmond Road

Cafe Strudel are renowned for their fabulous Viennese food while the Triebaumer family have been making wonderful wines since 1691. You'll have the opportunity to sample both at the dinner on 9 February 2010 at Cafe Strudel. Seven different wines will be presented to accompany a 4-course menu specifically designed for the wines. Here are the menu details -



Pate de Foie Gras - with brioche & black pepper


Pot au Feu - with clams, prawns & mussels


Venison - new potatoes, wild mushrooms & chestnuts



Strawberry Champagne Jelly



All of this magnificence costs ONLY £70/person all inclusive, which is a deal. You'll need to book your places quickly to be sure of a space AND we really need bookings within the next week (or less) to be sure the event goes ahead. So book your places by calling Cafe Strudel at 020-8487-9800.

And now for a bit more info to REALLY wet your appetite -

Café Strudel, in the tradition of a Viennese Café, offers an environment where one can indulge in coffee and cakes at any time of the day but have a proper meal at lunchtime or a full dinner in the evening if so desired. The proprietor, Orly Kritzman-Kadron, has assembled a menu that encompasses some of the finest dishes the Wiener Küche has to offer. To complement this the wine list includes probably the most extensive collection of Austrian wines available in a restaurant anywhere in the UK.

The Food - Viennese cuisine, or Wiener Küche, is not based solely on the political borders of modern day Austria, but on Vienna's history since the middle ages as the capital city of the Holy Roman Empire, the Hapsburgs, and later Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Signature Austrian dishes like Wiener Schnitzel probably came from Constantinople via Venice and Milan. Wiener Küche dates from a time when Austria was not a landlocked country but a Mediterranean power whose main sea port was Trieste in modern day Italy (if you look in any old Austrian cookbook you will find many recipes for sea fish dishes). Strudel’s menus offer interpretations of Viennese cuisine as well as modern favourites with an Austrian twist.

Weingut Günter & Regina Triebaumer - The Triebaumer family have been active in Rust since 1691 - wine and winemaking has a very long tradition in the family. Günter & Regina Triebaumer have chosen a winemaking philosophy that is open-minded, modern and forward-thinking, combining roots and tradition with progress. They currently own 16 hectares of very high quality ‘Rieden’ vineyards in Rust, from which they produce a wide range of wines that are typical of the Burgenland region.

And for you Wine Geeks out there (and I certainly am one), here are some tasting notes on the wines -

Muscato - Pale straw with slight greenish reflections, fine mousse, lingering. Intensive bouquet of juicy-ripe pineapples, mango, blooming elder, buckthorn and dirndl. Delicate hints of Muscat. Delicious fruit sweetness, crisp, even thrilling acidity, creamy carbonic acid, seductive and refreshing at the same time. Be careful – a dangerous fruit bomb!

Traminer Spätlese 2008 - Light straw yellow, complex fragrance of sun-ripened yellow fruits, English tea-roses, a whole bunch of spices, clear and animating. Freshly picked flowers, greengage. young and full of aromas. Probably the best up to now. Pleasant fruit-driven sweetness in the upper Spätlese-range. Good Traminer spiciness. Aroma concentration on the palate. Nectarines, fresh kiwis. Finely chiseled. Makes much fun. A creamy fruit-drug, yet “easy-going” and modern. Falstaff - 92 points

Sauvignon Blanc 2008 - Straw-yellow and brilliant. Elderflower, guava and jostaberry, red and yellow bell pepper, grapefruit; an animating tropical orchard. Dry with delicate fruit acidity and a remarkable creamy texture. Gooseberry, maracuja, red currant and pomelo. Smelling of an early summer pick nick out in the open country! Complex, persistent, well structured and animating. A compact, characteristic Sauvignon blanc showing a nice potential.

Blaufränkisch 2008 - Purple with a dark violet rim. Intensive nose of cherries and black pepper. Stewed sour cherries completed by a hint of vanilla and lilac, spicy-dense, Sun-warmed dark berries. Dry, vivacious-juicy Blaufränkisch-fruit, very classic style, finely-wound tannin structure, inviting flavours of dark berries and cherries with a zesty-animating finish. Juicy and fiery notes deriving from chalky loam soils. Fruity and dense – the “heart and soul”. Wine Enthusiast - 88 points; Vinaria - "Best Buy" & "Top Varietal"

Blaufränkisch Reserve 2007 - Purple with a dark cherry-coloured rim, dense viscosity. Ample aroma spectrum displaying black heart cherries, cool elderberry stew, chocolate streusel, bark of oak, black pepper, sun-ripened blackberries, cedars, notes of blackthorn, vaguely perceptible hints of juniper. Dry, powerfully structured with substantial smooth tannins which seem as if covered with cherry chocolate. Characteristic and inviting. Very substantial, lavishly displayed. Animating fruit sweetness supported by “Rust minerality”, dressed up with a fiery temperament. Long finish with a promising ageing potential. Falstaff - 90-92 points; Wine Enthusiast - 90 points; Vinaria - "Vinaria Tipp" & "Wine with Potential"

Blaufränkisch Rosé 2008 - Clear, brilliant pink-rosé, lilac blossoms. Inviting like the fruit district in Cockaigne. Sweet peach and crisp bananas, some lemon and a hint of fresh mint. Semi-sweet, backed by a harmonious acidity. Elegant creamy texture with fragile fruit sweetness. Raspberries flirt with freshly diced mango. The small, lively fairies of the rosé whisper on the palate while the bottle is still half-full.

Ausbruch (Welschriesling) 2006 - Sparkling golden yellow, rich traces of viscosity on the glass, delicate notes of honey, a fragrance as if Welschriesling would directly descent from yellow peaches, underpinned by notes of passion fruit, pineapple and stewed apricot – simply delicious. Noble sweetness combined with a really racy acidity, soft peach skin, fragrant yellow fruit flesh, pear juice, juicy all through. Like a noble piece of jewellery, totally on the precise and reductive side, vivacious and backed by most delicate hints of blossom honey; minerality originating in Rust complements the aroma spectrum, a gentle grizzly, so to say, matures wonderfully, but not necessarily … Falstaff - 93 points

Now, aren't you thirsty?? Be sure to reserve your place at the dinner ASAP