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Drinking alcohol makes you fat!

Date: Mon, Apr 20, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

This headline could also be....'Light exercise makes you feel more healthy'.

It is definitely the 'silly season' just before a budget. The UK government desperately needs to raise taxes to fund their inefficiencies. Alcohol is an immediate easy tax.

According to a recent article in the Telegraph these are the worrying statistics:

Large glass (250ml) of average strength red wine = 214 calories = one bag of Cheesy Wotsits.

A bottle of average strength red wine = 644 calories = 14 jaffa cakes or McDonald's Cheeseburger and medium fries.

Large glass of medium dry white wine = 190 calories = two and a half digestive biscuits.

Bottle of medium dry white wine = 570 calories = chicken with cashew nuts and egg fried rice.

One pint of premium lager = 330 calories = one four ounce fillet steak

One pint of cider = 200 calories = one KFC chicken drumstick

Large Bailey's (100ml) = 320 calories = one Snickers bar

One shot (25ml) of vodka or gin = 55 calories = one 25ml serving of single cream

(in may cases I would rather drink the alcohol!!!)

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Logan Weemala Shiraz Viognier 2006 on you tube!

Date: Sat, Apr 11, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Kate and Chris are some fun people in the leafy suburbs of Manchester at Reserve Wines. They are always trying something different and they have a friendly and easy attitude towards their customers. The shop is really well stocked with interesting wines, that you would not always see in supermarkets or on the high street. Essentially Kate and Chris are passionate about their business and this is reflected having just been selected as Independent Wine Merchant of the Year in the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2008.......which is a just reward for their hard work.
I was in the shop recently to taste and review one of the excellent Logan Wines. If you want to see a charming video click here!

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St.Emilion classification in disarray...again!

Date: Wed, Mar 18, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

The 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines has stood the test of time apart from a couple of minor adjustments (Chateau Mouton Rothschild was elevated to 1st Growth in the early 1970's). However this classification was mainly for the 'Left Bank' of Bordeaux.
On the other hand the St.Emilion classification was introduced in 1954 in order to promote the top Chateaux and show off a hierarchy of quality. The classification is reviewed every 10 years and controversially Chateaux are promoted or demoted. This obviously gives the classification more fluidity, whilst keeping the Chateau owners 'on their toes' to maintain or establish their quality.
Unfortunately it has now all gone pear shaped!
The most recent classification in 2006 was disputed by the demoted Chateaux and they took legal action. The court cases have been back and forth and unfortunately at every turn the reputation of St.Emilion becomes slightly more tarnished. The latest news from St.Emilion is that the 2006 classification will not stand.....so the lawyers have won!!!
This leaves the current labelling for Chateaux which were demoted or promoted in limbo! It also means that if the next classification takes place in 2016 we could be in for some fun.
Read more in Decanter.

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Pruning....Automatic?

Date: Mon, Mar 16, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

There are many parts of the viticultural year that have benefited from innovation and progress. Harvesting machines are the most obvious advancement from the traditional hand pickers.
These innovations take time to bed in and they also normally have critics from the older generation.
One area of grape growing that has not really had much advancement over the years is pruning. Apart from the introduction of electrical sheers rather than manual sheers...which has reduced the arthritic problems and tendinitis.
Every vine grows in a different way. The branches develop and shoot over in all directions. Therefore the pruning and more importantly the selection of the next years growth has always been done by a human. How can a machine make a judgement on a healthy shoot? How can a machine decide what looks good or bad to cut?
Well.....the Americans have come up with a new machine that will halve the labour costs and speed up the pruning....click the link here. Will we be seeing the first robot pruners in the Minervois soon?

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Wine attitudes in France

Date: Tue, Feb 24, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

This was a fascinating article on the web
France is currently having an identity crisis for wine. Undoubtedly the anti alcohol lobby is becoming stronger, whilst at the same time wine is an important fabric of the heritage of France.
It is an interesting conundrum ......support a traditional part of the French lifestyle and pastimes or become a prohibitionist state!
Unfortunately President Stircrazy is not a wine lover......perhaps he will be convinced by his potentially new BF over the pond who likes an occasional tipple and an occasional surreptious ciggie!

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Wine attitudes in France

Date: Tue, Feb 24, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

This was a fascinating article on the web
France is currently having an identity crisis for wine. Undoubtedly the anti alcohol lobby is becoming stronger, whilst at the same time wine is an important fabric of the heritage of France.
It is an interesting conundrum ......support a traditional part of the French lifestyle and pastimes or become a prohibitionist state!
Unfortunately President Stircrazy is not a wine lover......perhaps he will be convinced by his potentially new BF over the pond who likes an occasional tipple and an occasional surreptious ciggie!

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Sitt 2009

Date: Sat, Feb 21, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

No Sitt is not a typo!
It stands for Specialist Importers Trade Tastings.
This is a great opportunity for the UK wine trade buyers and journalists to taste a selection of quality wines.
There are usually about 40 different importers showing their various goodies.
We will be at Manchester this Monday 23rd (Bridgewater Hall) and London this Wednesday 25th (Vinopolis).
Bella Wines are at Table 12 where we will be showing some interesting new wines:

Logan Wines.....cool climate Australians....stunning award winning Sauv. Blanc.
Mas Amiel......fantastic Roussillon wine estate...aged Maury as well as deep reds.
Ch. Jean Faure...St.Emilion Grand Cru
Ch. de la Riviere......my favourite Chateau in Bordeaux...stunning wines.
Domaine La Prade Mari......wild hairy winemaker making exquisite wines....80 yr old Carignan aimed to retail at £5.50!!!
Cave Les Trois Blasons.....always innovative classy producer from the sunny South of France.

Look forward to seeing you this week.

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Weather and winter in Minervois

Date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


This winter seems to have dragged on too long! It is exciting and busy pre Christmas. It is fun when you have the chance to travel to a southern hemisphere country during the European winter.....but when the global economy is gloomy and the weather is bleak!
Time to plan optimistic ventures for the future......New wines to taste and discover. New prices to calculate (is this a good thing or not?). Tastings to plan. New customers to find. As I frequently get reminded ' people will always drink wine during a recession'. Lets see now.

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Weather and winter in Minervois

Date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


This winter seems to have dragged on too long! It is exciting and busy pre Christmas. It is fun when you have the chance to travel to a southern hemisphere country during the European winter.....but when the global economy is gloomy and the weather is bleak!
Time to plan optimistic ventures for the future......New wines to taste and discover. New prices to calculate (is this a good thing or not?). Tastings to plan. New customers to find. As I frequently get reminded ' people will always drink wine during a recession'. Lets see now.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Weather and winter in Minervois

Date: Wed, Feb 11, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


This winter seems to have dragged on too long! It is exciting and busy pre Christmas. It is fun when you have the chance to travel to a southern hemisphere country during the European winter.....but when the global economy is gloomy and the weather is bleak!
Time to plan optimistic ventures for the future......New wines to taste and discover. New prices to calculate (is this a good thing or not?). Tastings to plan. New customers to find. As I frequently get reminded ' people will always drink wine during a recession'. Lets see now.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Pruning Vines, Syrah.

Date: Mon, Jan 26, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business










This is a vineyard next to my office! It is owned by a chap called William Vidal. The vines are 25 years old. The top picture is 'pre haircut' whilst the bottom picture is a similar vine having been trimmed and pruned. This is a single guyot pruning system. There will be 5 eyes on the branch ready to develop foliage and fruit. There will also be an extra shoot for next years main stem. The vineyard is good quality and William is a good viticulturist and the grapes could qualify for Appellation Controlee Minervois. However these grapes will probably go in to one of the excellent Vin de Pays wines at Cave Les Trois Blasons.

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UK Wine Consumption to increase despite recession

Date: Wed, Jan 14, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

This is an interesting report amongst all the doom and gloom being announced recently. Vinexpo have commissioned this report ahead of their big wine show in Bordeaux (June 21-25).
The interesting figures are the massive decline in French(-18%) wine consumption and the steady surge of Australian(+27%) wines in the UK.
These stats sometimes have to be treated carefully....as the largest volume of wine is still controlled by the supermarket chains, and one big Australian promotion or one duff French harvest can obscure the figures. However it is encouraging to be optimistic that people will still regularly enjoy wine over the next few years! 1.62 billion bottles a year...Wow. A 12% rise in wine imports since 2003.
These stats also show that we have beaten Germany at something!!!

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Oz and James Drink to Britain BBC2 tonight

Date: Tue, Jan 13, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


These guys are fun. I have known Oz Clarke for over 15 years in the wine trade. He is always very chirpy and his knowledge and taste are exceptional...although sometimes he comes across as a bit geeky. James May is always good value. Having meandered around France and hit California they are now championing all types of drinks from Britain. Should be entertaining.

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The Wine Sale (Part 1)

Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


Two Wines at the best ever prices:

Deep Woods Ivory 2006 (Semillon Sauvignon Blanc).
Normally sold at £8.95. Sale Price = £5.95 per bottle. (Case price = £71.40)
SAVE £36 per case.
A delightful fresh white blend with light alcohol (11.5%) and excellent fresh lime characters. Great as an aperitif or with salads, light white meats.




Deep Woods Ebony 2005 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot)
Normally sold at £8.95. Sale Price = £5.95 per bottle. (Case price = £71.40)
SAVE £36 per case.
A hearty rich blend of top quality grapes from Margaret River. This red has a great balance between intense spicy fruit and evident firm tannins. A wine to enjoy with grilled meats or deeper roasts.

We can arrange delivery anywhere in the UK. Costs will be advised when order confirmed.
Email hamish@bellawines.co.uk to reserve your stock.
12 bottles minimum order.

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