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The Castle Hotel, Taunton TA1 1NF 22 March 2019

Burgundy Wine Dinner

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The Castle Hotel, Taunton TA1 1NF 22 March 2019

Burgundy Wine Dinner

Join Burgundian wine expert Nina Sears at the Castle Hotel in Taunton for a decadent evening of fine food and wine.

Showcasing wines from world renowned producer Louis Latour, tickets are £109 per person, please book direct with the Castle Hotel.

 

Menu

 

Canapes

Smoked Salmon with Lemon

Chicken Liver Parfait with Cumberland and Smoked Bacon

Cheddar Gougeres

Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Blanc

 

Selection of Breads

 

Tempura of Broccoli and Courgette with Gribiche Sauce

Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Simonnet-Febvre

 

Brixham Crab and Lobster Salad with Carrot and Frisee    

Meursault 1er Cru Chateau de Blagny Louis Latour

 

Tasting of Old Spot Somerset Pork with Savoy, Celeriac and Beetroot

Nuits St Georges Louis Latour

 

Burgundian Epoisse Cheese with Sourdough

Chassagne Montrachet Louis Latour

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Perranporth TR6 0BH8 December 2018

Alcatraz Cheese & Wine Night

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Perranporth TR6 0BH8 December 2018

Alcatraz Cheese & Wine Night

Visit Alcatraz in their cosy cliff-top bar and indulge in a tasty experience of wine and cheese tasting. St Austell Wines’ Catherine Murden, who has worked in the wine industry all her life, will be hosting a 2 hour session to introduce 6 wines and 6 cheeses from around the world.

To purchase tickets, please click here.

To find out more about this unique venue, please visit their website, or find them on facebook.

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Blog, Food Pairings, Wines31 October 2018

Vegan Wines Explained

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Blog, Food Pairings, Wines31 October 2018

Vegan Wines Explained

It wasn’t so long ago that veganism was sceptically seen as a small contingent of defiant earth warriors out to save the planet by avoiding animal-made products and foods. But what started as a fringe movement has today become mainstream and everyone is taking note.

World Vegan Day started in 1994, and now 24 years later, it is no longer an annual nod to a tireless campaign but a normal, daily, subconscious movement to help the welfare and health of animals, and well, humans too.

According to a survey carried out by the Vegan Society last year;

  • More than half of UK adults (56%) are now adopting vegan buying behaviours and Britain is more vegan-friendly than ever before.
  • Half of those surveyed said they know someone who is vegan and over a fifth said they would consider becoming vegan themselves.
  • One in five cut down on the amount of meat they buy and the same number check if their toiletries are tested on animals.
  • Nearly one in eight now choose meat or dairy free options from the menu when eating out.

Restaurateurs, ignore it at your peril…

Is Veganuary the New Dryanuary?

Looking back to the start of this year it feels like Veganuary was even bigger than Dryanuary. Something of a relief for those of us in the drinks trade, but also a serious indication of the power of the vegan movement. With ever increasing numbers of people converting to veganism, we expect Veganuary 2019 to be more popular than ever.

So what does this mean for wine? And how should it influence your wine offering as a pub, bar or restaurant?

Firstly we need to really understand what vegan wine is.

To know whether a wine is vegetarian or vegan, you need to know how a wine is clarified (or fined) to remove the solid particles that would otherwise make it cloudy. The substances used for this process can be derived from many sources, some of which come from fish and animals, some from dairy products and some from clay or synthetic substances. Certain producers do not fine their wines at all while some choose just to filter.

Though the traditional fining agent of bull’s blood was banned by the EU after the BSE crisis, a number of animal-derived products are still permitted for the production of wine sold in Europe. Among the most prevalent are isinglass (fish swim bladders), gelatine, casein (milk protein), and albumen (egg whites). If a wine is fined with bentonite (a clay) or activated charcoal, the wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. If a wine is fined with casein or albumen it is suitable for vegetarians but not for vegans.

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Tarr Farm, Liscombe TA22 9PY13 October 2018

South African Winemaker Dinner

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Tarr Farm, Liscombe TA22 9PY13 October 2018

South African Winemaker Dinner

Acclaimed winemaker Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf Winery, South Africa, hosts a tasting and paired dinner menu at the fabulous Tarr Farm in Somerset. This brilliant range of wines are the result of the Borg family’s immense passion for wine, art and animals and works tirelessly for the conservation of South Africa’s most endangered carnivore, the African wild dog.

For tickets, please contact Tarr Farm direct on 01643 851 507 or visit their website.

Menu

Canapés

Smoked Eel, Horseradish & Beetroot

Smoked Duck & Sage Pesto Quail Scotch Eggs

Cheery Tomato & Mozzarella Brushette

The Den Sauvignon Blanc

 

Coriander & Brandy Cured Salmon

Pickled Cucumber, Citrus Crème Fraiche, Treacle Bread

The Den Pinotage Rose

 

Pan Seared Pigeon Breasts

Baby Onion, Cured Bacon & Pea Jus, Crispy Potato

The Den Pinotage

 

Roasted Ribeye

Béarnaise Sauce, Pomme Puree, Roasted Beetroot

Guillermo Pinotage

 

Dark Chocolate Fondant

Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Vanilla Sauce

Madach

 

Selection of West Country Cheeses

Served with Accompaniments

Pictus 4 Shiraz Grenache, Mourvedre

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The Castle Hotel, Taunton TA1 1NF 12 October 2018

Painted Wolf Winemaker Dinner

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The Castle Hotel, Taunton TA1 1NF 12 October 2018

Painted Wolf Winemaker Dinner

We welcome South African winemaker Jeremy Borg to the South West. Hosted by The Castle Hotel in Taunton, Jeremy will introduce the highly acclaimed wines from Painted Wolf winery, pairing them with a delicious tasting menu designed especially to compliment these stunning wines.

Organically farmed and made with a philanthropic focus, a proportion of sales from each bottle is donated to the Tusk Trust – a charity dedicated to the conservation of African wild dogs – South Africa’s most endangered carnivore.

For more information and tickets, please contact The Castle Hotel on 01823 272671.

Menu

Canapes

Chargrilled Celeriac and Somerset Truffle

Smoked Salmon with Lemon and Dill Crème Fraiche

Charred Pork Belly with Carrot

The Den Sauvignon Blanc

 

Starter

Cured Organic Stream Farm Trout with Cucumber, Kohlrabi, Horseradish, and Exmoor Caviar

The Den Pinotage Rose

 

Main Course

Exmoor Venison 3 Ways – Char Grilled Loin, Slow Cooked Shoulder and Braised Faggot with Beetroot and Roast Sweet Potato

Guillermo Pinotage and The Den Pinotage

 

Dessert

White Chocolate Mousse with Blackberry

Madach

 

Cheese

Burt’s Blue Cheese 3 ways Blue Cheese Mousse with Celery and Grape, Blue Cheese Beignet and Burt’s Blue on Toasted Sourdough with Pictus 4 Chutney

Pictus 4 Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre

 

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Blog, Wines6 September 2018

Same Grape, Different Country

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Blog, Wines6 September 2018

Same Grape, Different Country

Wine does itself no favours when it comes to simplicity.

Enthusiasts need to get to grips with different regions, a myriad of grape names, vintage variations, each countries’ legalities, and ever-changing legislations. And, as an industry wine has very few brands to familiarise oneself with. It could be said that there’s also the need to speak a number of languages to understand the pronunciations. Ok, it’s not a necessity but it does help. (Heard over the tannoy in a large green-lettered supermarket ‘Try so-and-so Merlott’. And that’s one of the easier pronounceable and recognised grapes). To add to the knotted-vine confusion of this captivating drink, there are a number of well-known grapes that have different names in different countries but are the same grape. Syrah-Shiraz, Pinot Gris-Pinot Grigio, Tinta Roriz-Tempranillo to name some of the more common grape synonym examples.

So are they different? And what is the difference?

In brief, no, they aren’t different, but in fact the exact same grape.

The main reason for the difference in names comes down to style, and the name gives an indication of style produced from the winery using that name. The style is mostly determined by the terroir and climate that ultimately produces a lighter or heavier wine and flavour. A winery may decide to choose a grape name for the label dependent on popularity, customer engagement and market demand. Island Fox Zinfandel Blush from Italy is probably our best example of this.

Still wearing a confused frown? Let us attempt to de-code some of the various grapes and their foreign cousins to explain the differences so you know what to look out for when perusing a wine list.

Syrah/Shiraz

This is the grape with perhaps the most commonly used synonym depending on where the grape is produced and what style the wine is.

Syrah is a red grape from the Rhone area of France. It is used exclusively in Hermitage, Northern Rhone and and in the South of the region, it is blended with Grenache, Mourvedre and several other grapes to make the famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Cotes du Rhone. In its purist form it gives a dry, savoury, powerful wine with a freshly-cracked black pepper note.

Shiraz, is the name given to the same grape by Australian winemakers, and gives a character that can be based on black or red fruit but tends to have a riper, fruit forward flavour, jammy even.

This is a generalisation of course as wine flavours can be influenced by oak treatment, ageing, blending and grape quality but this gives a starting point.

Syrah/Shiraz is produced in many countries; South Africa, Chile, Spain, New Zealand, all of which can use either name but they will tend to use whichever name suits the style of their wines. For example; Martin Fierro Syrah from Argentina, Avanti Shiraz-Malbec from Argentina. In this case the Syrah is from San Juan wine producing area north of Mendoza in Argentina – an area becoming known for producing quality Syrah with the signature fresh black pepper note. Avanti’s style is aimed at those customers used to drinking approachable and easy-going Aussie Shiraz, so they use Shiraz on their labelling to appeal to the target market, blended here with the ever-popular Malbec grape.

Zinfandel/Primitivo

Sutter Home winery in California invented the sweet pink wine we know as Zinfandel Rosé. Then Italy claimed the Zinfandel grape to be the same as their Primitivo grape (red grape grown in Southern Italy). Zinfandel has become the recognised ‘brand’ so Italy now produces similar sweet pink wines (see Island Fox Zinfandel Blush), and even plays on the American style red Zinfandel with True Zin, an organic big juicy vanilla-packed wine.

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