Wine consumption is an excuse to make maps or maybe it’s the other way around. Whichever, if you fancy a wine crawl along Carmel Valley to explore the nineteen or so wineries then these maps may prove useful. A copy of my one page Carmel Valley Wine Route printable .pdf is also available.
Many people know far more about the sinking of the Titanic than that of the modest English wine industry. Admittedly, English wine does account for less than 1% of the UK domestic wine consumption . While some English vineyards claim to export 10% of their wines, the 4 million bottles produced in 2010 is decidedly diminutive compared to the 7-8 million bottles produced in France - the world’s largest producer - each year. So what does the English wine industry have to do with the Titanic? As a school auction event hostess I decided to combine my partiality for WhoDunnit murder mysteries with some appropriately themed food and wine. An excellent downloadable Titanic Murder-Mystery game gave me the perfect opportunity to introduce the good people of California and their trained palate to the finer subtleties of English wine and some solid British comfort food. Click on the link: Menu Titanic for a breakdown of the food and wine consumed while on board our ill-fated journey.
At our most recent Wines & Spines, the book up for review was non-fiction “Home” by Bill Bryson. Mr Bryson spends a year living and breathing the history of his rectory in Norfolk, England. Using his Georgian pile as a back-drop, he launches into a historical account of domesticity and architecture broken down by each room in the home. The home as a backdrop made for a very approachable and comprehensive history lesson when combined with some equally approachable wine and food.
The Pichon Longueville Baron 2003 (US$121/$1452 case BBR) was the product of a particularly hot summer which resulted in a wine higher in alcohol thanks to all those sugars (13.4%); the somewhat lower acidity and consequential earlier consumption. As a year of birth gift to our son, we bought a case of the Baron and imagined opening the first bottle on his 18th birthday but already this vintage is said to be ready for drinking until 2025 (Parker). We hope that by 2021 it wont have faded too much for him to fully appreciate. I needed something impressive (hopefully) to go with a NYE Beef Wellington and so it was decided the Baron was a good bet. Parker had announced that the 2003 was the most powerful the chateau had ever made so I was keen to see just how bold it was. Despite giving the wine time to breathe it still held some slight restraint but this could just have been my pre-conceived expectations.
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