Wine News, 20-27 May

Welcome back! Here’s what we talked about this week in the world of wine:

It’s English Wine Week, so get up to speed with the best English producers. For starters, check Fiona Beckett’s favourites in the Guardian, where she goes beyond the often-praised English sparkling wines and picks Sussex’s Bolney Estate Lychgate Red, made from the rondo grape, as her favourite from a recent tasting of English wines. Check the English Wine Producers website for a listing of English Wine Week events happening all over the country.

Madeline Puckette at Wine Folly offered pairings for 8 popular pizzas, from basic pepperoni to pizza margherita. As Riesling lovers, we were intrigued by the idea of serving it with Hawaiian pizza. Don’t miss the comments section on this post, where Madeline was challenged to match a Korean pizza served at a Minneapolis pizzeria with a wine, among other combinations.

Check your diary and see if you are available to become a member of Aldi’s consumer tasting panel, called the #aldiwineclub. The supermarket is searching for 10 amateurs to review two Aldi wines per month and post reviews in 140 characters on Twitter. Application details are available on the Aldi UK site. You only have until 2 June to enter.

Janet is happy this evening (despite the fridgepocalypse) because Daniel drew Portugal in the office World Cup sweepstakes. Bring on the Touriga Nacional during matches!

The best wines we drank this week:

The Society’s 2011 Exhibition Juliénas
This was the best Beaujolais we had tasted in a long while. It was smooth and light, but also a little rich for a Beaujolais, with a bit of bubblegum or banana on the nose and a good deep colour. It had a good length, and instead of being a young fresh Beaujolais, it was mellowed by a bit of age, which we found we really liked.

We had a hunch that this one might be good chilled, but the fridge-freezer at Winetuned Headquarters broke while the Juliénas was supposed to be chilling. Instead of tasting it cool, we ended up gathering all the cheese in the fridge along with the bottle and tested every combination. The Juliénas makes a good match for almost any cheese, from the somewhat sweet to the smoked to the pungent. Our only hesitation was with a cheese with hot chilli peppers in it because the wine did increase the burn a little and cause it to coat the mouth for quite a while afterwards.

Meerlust 2010 Merlot
This was absolutely delicious. It was well-balanced but had loads of fruit and a touch of cedar. It was mouthwatering and moreish, and though it had a heavy mouthfeel, it somehow seemed light. Daniel couldn’t get enough.

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