Wine Review – Central England Co-Operative – Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

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This month for the Central England Co-Operative We Like Wine Blog, I’ve chosen to go for something with a little bit of fizz to celebrate what is finally summer; a Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Australia.  Sparkling wines tend to be fermented twice, as opposed to once for still wines, where the second fermentation produces the bubbles that we all love!image

Britain first started to become aware of the emerging wine growers of Australia in the 1990s, and by 2008 we were consuming more Australian wines than we were French and that love of Australian wines continues to grow today. With the diverse terrain and temperature range that can be found in Australia, you will find many varieties of grapes being grown and therefore a diverse amount of flavours being available to you.

Champagne tends to be made from the Chardonnay and Pinor Noir grapes from the ‘Champagne’ region of France.  The Chardonnay grapes introduce a crisp, citrus flavour whilst the Pinot Noir grape tends to produce a lightly coloured, medium bodied, low tannin wine. This wine from Jacob’s Creek incorporates both of these grapes and all of the flavours of ‘champagne’ without the associated price tag.

Sitting in the garden as the sun was going down on a Saturday evening, whilst enjoying a delicious dinner of roast and sweet potato wedges, chicken breasts stuffed with basil and haggis then wrapped with proscuito along with a serving of roasted onions and peppers, was the perfect accompaniment to this beautifully chilled bottle of wine.

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I was sent a voucher with which to purchase this bottle of wine, which retails at £7.99. (Price as at 04/07/2015).

An evening with Lisa McGuigan Wines at the Goucho Restaurant

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There’s a new range of wine hitting the shores of the UK in 2015, courtesy of a very lovely lady called Lisa McGuigan.  Lisa is a fourth generation wine maker from one of Australia’s most famous winemaking dynasties.  The two wine ranges being introduced to the UK are her ‘Silver’ range comprising a robust Shiraz and a delicate Chardonnay along with her ‘Wilde Thing’ range which introduce us to her Cabernet Shiraz and her blend of Chardonnay with a Pinot Grigio.  All of Lisa’s inaugural wines are from the Southern Australian region.  They are blended with her innovative winemaking approach which she perfectly blends with her iconic style and design to bring you not just a beautiful looking bottle, but an incredible tasting wine.

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We were introduced to Lisa at the Goucho Restaurant in Charlotte Street, not far from the iconic BT Tower, in the Fitzrovia district of London.  Step inside to be surrounded by a calm atmosphere with chic and contemporary black and white styling; where you leave the hustle and bustle of the London street to continue outside whilst you enjoy all the styling of Buenos Aires.

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When you meet Lisa, you see the venue chosen to introduce the UK to her wines is a perfect match with her stylish appearance. She too is very chic and her personality is one that lights up a room with the warm welcome that she affords to all those there.

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The ‘Wilde Thing’ Range (RRP £7) takes its inspirational name from the ‘wild’ yeasts that are found on the skins of the grapes and introduced into the wines, and has been blended with the British palate firmly in mind. The pale coloured Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio was my favourite of the evening; a delicate white wine with just a touch of oak introduced on an element of the Chardonnay. The Cabernet Shiraz is a medium bodied, deep ruby red with silky tannins.  (I brought a bottle of this one home and it didn’t last long when my husband opened the bottle, I can tell you!).

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Lisa’s Silver Range (RRP £9) introduces us to a Chardonnay which is fermented for 20 days to add colour and flavour intensity, whilst her Shiraz is fermented with the skins on and has an oakiness introduced into it.  Both of these are incredible tasting wines and are very drinkable.

The wines were served in pairs along with a tasting menu, perfectly matched by Lisa and the Goucho Restaurant.

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A testament to Lisa’s hard work, skills as a winemaker, and her dedication to her art, sees her wines being served in Business Class and in Economy on both Jetstar and Quantas Airways in Australia.  She has won awards from Australia, London, Spain and France in recognition of what she is brining to the market.

Lisa’s wines are distributed in the UK by Copestick Murray Wine Solutions.

Lisa, thank you so much for letting me share your amazing wines.  I wish you so much success; you truly deserve it; Cheers!  (And yes, I did rather like the reds in the end!) xxx

The wines were so good that not only did I miss my first train home, but I then missed my second (and last train home) and had to catch the third alternative to a neighbouring town and ask my husband nicely to come and collect me from there! OOPS!)

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I was invited to Lisa’s wine launch in the UK by her PR company in the UK along with 9 other food bloggers.

Wine Review – Central England Co-Operative – Fair-trade Pinot Grigio

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One of two wines I’ve chosen to review for Central England Co-Op We Like Wine blog is from their Fairtrade range which comes from the Famatina Valley in Argentina.  The Famatina Valley is situated from the Velazco mountain ranges in the East to the Andes in the West and is produced by the La Riojana Wine Co-operative.  This Co-Operative helps ensure that farmers receive a better deal for their grapes, thus improving their standards of living.

Argentinian wines benefit from the grapes being grown in very sunny summers, which allows the grapes to ripen fully, whilst the melting winter snows provide ample water to irrigate the vines.  It’s a very reliable region, producing some very consistent wines. Argentina now produces some of the New World’s “oldest wines” following investment from the Dutch, the Spanish, the Italians and the Austrians.

This 2013 Pino Grigio is a vibrant and fruity dry white wine with delicate floral aromas, refreshing apple and citrus fruit flavours which goes perfectly well with creamy pasta dishes, grilled fish or even a Thai green curry.

I chose to pair this wine with my potato topped chicken and leek bake, the recipe for which you can find by clicking on the link.  I’m a strong believer that you should only cook with a wine that you’d be prepared to drink on it’s own.  So on that note, pour yourself a glass (or two), grab your ingredients and cook yourself a tasty dinner.  Cheers!

I was sent a voucher with which to purchase this bottle of wine, which currently retails at £6.99. (Price as at 08/02/2015).

Wine Review – Central England Co-Operative – Fairtrade Cabernet Sauvignon

One of two wines I’ve chosen to review for Central England Co-Op We Like Wine blog is from their Fairtrade range which comes from the Famatina Valley in Argentina.  The Famatina Valley is situated from the Velazco mountain ranges in the East to the Andes in the West and is produced by the La Riojana Wine Co-operative.  This Co-Operative helps ensure that farmers receive a better deal for their grapes, thus improving their standards of living.

Argentinian wines benefit from the grapes being grown in very sunny summers, which allows the grapes to ripen fully, whilst the melting winter snows provide ample water to irrigate the vines.  It’s a very reliable region, producing some very consistent wines. Argentina now produces some of the New World’s “oldest wines” following investment from the Dutch, the Spanish, the Italians and the Austrians.

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a sophisticated wine with oak barrel ageing and a wonderful, full bodied character.  Rich in fruits with slightly spicy overtones and deep with tannins, providing a perfect accompaniment to full flavoured meat dishes.  My husband declared this to be one of the nicest red wines he’s tasted in a while; so not only is it good to cook with, but it tastes fabulous to drink too!

For my meal pairing, I chose to cook a recipe from Gino D’Acampo Gino’s Pasta – Timballo Alla Torrese (Baked Pasta with Meat Sauce and Parmesan Cheese) which I served with a simple salad of mixed leaves.  The perfect dinner for a cold, blustery and wet evening when the promise of spring being just round the corner still seems a little too far away.  Cheers!

I was sent a voucher with which to purchase this bottle of wine, which currently retails at £6.99. (Price as at 08/02/2015).