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Gaily We Went To Manchester!

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Last week marked the seasonal Boutinot tasting in Manchester- for those of you who don’t know, Boutinot is a fantastic wine importer who we use a lot. You may well have tried some of their very own fantastic Rhone of the same name. If you haven’t tried them, I suggest you don’t hang around as the current vintage is superb- plus a few of them are currently on a special case offer.

Martin and I were there to try some new wines and refresh our minds one some old ones as well. However we were also there with some special guests, Ali and Arthur from The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms in Thornhill, Dumfrieshire. Arthur and his family have been restoring The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms (BQA) for almost a year now to an exceptionally high standard.

I saw the hotel before the work began and still can’t quite believe what has been achieved in a year by an army of Polish builders and a Dutch family with exacting standards and a desire to bring back the heart to the local community. The last time I was at the hotel I was speaking to some guests who had stayed there under the previous owners. They had been advised to bring some tents to pitch in their bedrooms as the roof was leaking, things have definitely changed!

Now, in the centre of Thornhill stands a building that the centre of such a beautiful Scottish town deserves, with food and accommodation to match.

To make sure the wine list at BQA is up to date and up to scratch we met up with Ali and Arthur in Manchester for an afternoon of tasting and an evening of fun. Given that Arthur has for the past year absorbed himself fully in the world of hotels we thought it would be best to leave him in charge of booking the accommodation. However after a great afternoon with Boutinot where we found some superb new wines we went to the hotel to have a quick meeting and a drink. As we approached the hotel (rated number 2 on trip advisor apparently in Manchester) the number of rainbow flags increased significantly and we walked past esteemed establishments such as “Queer”.

Arthur in our hotel i Manchester

The four of us, all male entered the hotel, greeted by a a cabinet full of rubber ducks describes as “personal massagers”. Having been shown to our rooms we reconvened in the downstairs bar for a semi serious chat about wine and plans for the future. I always find that these meetings are benefited by disco lights, heavy crushed velvet seating and drinks full of glitter, which the barman described as “not really designed for putting in  drinks with but not too bad for you”.

After an hour or so of “serious” meeting we could not take listening to Kylie at full blast anymore so decided to move on to a fantastic Italian restaurant, the name of which I can’t remember but it was in The House Of Fraser, if you want to go. The sensational head waiter persuaded us to have far more food than we needed, which set us up perfectly for drinking some amazing cocktails in Mojo Manchester.

We then snuck back into our beds (separate) satisfied with our well indulged afternoon.

You can win a nights stay at The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms in Thornhill and meet Ali and Arthur for yourself,  just enter our new competition!- Enter here.


Happy Valentines

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

This blog is mainly for our female customers, particularly those in relationships at the moment!

I am sure you were all woken up this morning by a wonderful breakfast in bed and then showered with roses and chocolates. Then you will spend today being scrubbed, lathered and rubbed in some heavenly spa before being whisked off to dinner on a yacht with Kenny G playing live for you.

If not, I am sorry!

However, nothing says I love you and I loved the romantic Valentines day you planned like sending your much loved man a case of wine!

As luck would have it, we currently have a major sale on our set cases! http://findwine.co.uk/buy_wine/case_list.php

Make your man happy with wine (or men, make up for forgetting quick by buying some wine!) Or single people build your confidence by drinking (responsibly!)

Happy Valentines!


More Great Wine Vids

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Here is another great wine video courtesy of Rob Macintosh- I am looking forward to trying to recreate this one!

 


More Great Wine Vids

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Thanks to Robert Macintosh for suggesting these videos-

 


Great Wine Videos

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

The plan is for Find Wine to make a some new wine videos and so I went looking for inspiration online- this is what I found and I love them!

We would love any suggestions you have for Find Wine videos, if you come up with a winning idea, you may even find yourself in a staring role with a free case of wine as well!

 

 


Martins Tasting

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Bit of an eclectic tasting caused through boredom – bit of a headache!
Fabiano recently recognised critically Amarone 2007 – beautiful, complex and elegant even at 15%. Fetters rest Shiraz 2005 Geelong – a monster and a baby. Dom Martinho 2008 Alentejo – soft complex great value. Belvedere Dry Creek Valley Cab 1997 California – amazingly good for age, still lots of fruit, cedar, ripe tannins, some complex savoury notes. From High Bradford Mountain vineyards.

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Sausages

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The only way to start a good meeting at 8am in the morning is to have 4 spicy pink pepper sausages and a cup of tea before the talking begins. I defy any other method.

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Some Young Punks- Naked On Roller Skates

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

I was about to launch into a witty opening paragraph explaining that if you like your light and elegant wines you should really look away now, but it struck me that this would do this wine something of a disservice. Yes, it’s a bit of a brute but it’s not a big wine just for the sake of being a big wine. This is a fun Aussie wine which is not trying to hide any of its charms.

A little background is probably needed here. I’ve long loved the wines of Some Young Punks winery in Australia. Their labels appeal to my inner child and also to my dislike of boring old fashioned wine labels. I know a wine label isn’t the main thing people look for when choosing a wine, but I bet it makes a big difference to some. The main reason I first tried the Some Young Punks “Monsters, Monsters Attack” Riesling in The Sampler was because the neon green Monster on the label was almost glowing in the enomatic machine. It caught my eye which in my view is an important job for a wine label.

The wines themselves are also excellent. This one in particular has some rather good pedigree behind it given the grapes for this wine come from the Adelina vineyard in Clare Valley. This vineyard adjoins the famous Wendouree vineyard on two sides (home to some of Australia’s most boutique and highly respected wines) and it’s actually a former Wendouree vineyard itself.

It’s perhaps no surprise then that the wine itself oozes class. The flavours are very concentrated and it’s a deep and brooding purple inky colour. It smells like blackberry gateaux which is certainly a good thing in my book. The finish is very long. Seriously, these full on black fruit flavours will be with me into next week…..

The introduction of the 15% Mataro certainly seems to have added a little structure whilst the Shiraz is allowed to run free and provide decadent black fruit notes. This is drinking really well now but I’d love to try another bottle of this in a few years time too just to see how it develops. I suspect it’d age gracefully for a good while yet.

So there you go. A wine which is classy yet menacing. I’d be thrilled if someone said the same about me….


Bodegas Macia De Batle- P.De Maria 2007

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Do you feel like you’re stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to Spanish red wine? Do you favour Rioja but occasionally wonder whether you should try something like a Ribera Del Duero before swiftly buying even more Rioja? Well fear not, because this could be just the thing you’ve been looking for….

Firstly, you will need to leave the region of Rioja. In fact, you’ll need to get off the mainland all together because this highly interesting wines comes from Mallorca of all places.

Secondly, this wine has a serious pedigree. Macia Batle is one of Mallorca’s most respected producers and the wine was given an honourable mention in the list of the most influential wines of the Year in El Mundo newspaper recently. When you consider the sheer number of Spanish wines this is a bit of a coup.

Anyway, on to the wine itself. This is a blend of Manto Negro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot with the Manto Negro contributing 55%. You get an immediate hint as to the complexity of this wine when you take an initial sniff. There’s a lovely whiff of the new French oak which the wine was aged in together with notes of cardamom and spice.

After a few glugs of this wine it continues to impress. It has a dark and brooding character with deep concentrated cherry and dark berry flavours and a subtle line of oak running through the wine. The finish lasts forever! There’s also a nice element of acidity to the wine too meaning it’d go nicely with a hearty red meat dish.

I’m a big fan of this wine and to be honest I sometimes struggle to love Spanish reds. If I were you I’d buy a couple of these, some to consume now and some to hang on to as I get the impression this will age very well indeed.

Find Wine have cleverly snaffled quite a few bottles of this but I genuinely don’t think they’ll hang around for long!


Finch’s Lines Shiraz, Hunter, Australia, £19.99

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

We have unleashed our critic on one of my favourite wines we have ever sold!

I make no secret of my love for Australian Shiraz, but like many people I’ve become increasingly keen on examples which shy away from the massive fruitbomb typed wines that previously have defined this wine.

Happily this has been replicated by a number of Australian winemakers, including those from South Australia, previously Fruitbomb Alley, showing the same preference…..

The Hunter Valley has never in my view embraced wines of a massively over extracted style, preferring to keep things slightly more Rhone-like. I find myself buying more and more wines of this style which has also seen me becoming increasingly keen on Syrah from Hawkes Bay amongst other New Zealand regions.

I was aware of the love for Finch’s Line at Find Wine when chatting to Mike Howes, and once he offered to send one I didn’t even try to play cool. I insisted he send it immediately which Mike thankfully did. Mike also sent a link to Jamie Goode’s blog where Jamie was effusive in his praise for Finch’s Line Shiraz (see http://www.wineanorak.com/australia/finchsline).

This wine is one which made an enormously positive early impression. My initial thought was of how pure the wine is, it’s just so clean and crisp. The purity of fruit, mainly blackberry and plum, wash over you leaving you keen for more and ensuring that the bottle seems very small indeed. It reminded me a lot of the top end Syrah coming out of Hawkes Bay.

To add to this awesome wine, just as I took my first sip a power cut hit, leaving us to drink the bottle in candle light. You couldn’t wish for a better setting to try a wine like this!

I’m not one for exaggeration, but this is one of the best wines I’ve had this year. I urge you to try it for yourself (though please, don’t buy it all….)