With June fast approaching it’s the time of year when Rosé comes into its own. A versatile drop… chilled to perfection it makes for a fab aperitif, a great partner to a picnic or barbecue.
Admittedly, my go-to rosé tends to be a pale, crisp, flavourful Côtes de Provence however the intriguing Spanish newcomer, Ontañón Clarete 2015 has taken pride of place this month. It ticks all of my favourite rosé boxes. A pretty pale pink wine with delicately fruity and vibrant aromas. The palate layers the softest, juicy red berries with a citrus freshness, minerality and a deliciously dry yet gentle finish.
Uncomplicated yet very appealing and dangerously easy to drink, it is just the ticket for a sunny Summer’s evening.
Clarete isn’t your average rosé, it’s particular to the Rioja region and though it may be similar to other pinks the main difference lies in the wine-making process. After carefully selecting and harvesting the ripest white and black grapes in this case, Viura and Tempranillo, all grapes are pressed and macerated together. Unlike other rosés, skin and juice contact is continued during fermentation, albeit for a short time, to obtain the desired character and colour.
So don’t be afraid to break away from your rosé comfort zone this month, you won’t be disappointed Ontañón Clarete is a great pre-dinner drink and even better with tapas!
Pick up a bottle for £10.50, 0a cracking £9.45 to wine club members
Prior to headlining the stage at Port Eliot Festival in July, alongside the likes of Nathan Outlaw and Gizzi Erskine, Katy Davidson ‘The Oyster Lady’ will be joining us at The Arc, Hawksfield on Sunday 16th July for a lazy afternoon of Oysters and Wine from 2pm.
Those that attended our Champagne Flight Club last year will know just how passionate Katy is about her work. For those less familiar with the oyster evangelist, she has converted thousands of oyster doubters at festivals and events around the world and is a leading expert in her field. Katy is currently working on her first recipe book dedicated solely to oysters and setting up the inaugural London Oyster Week to raise awareness of oysters and raise funds for oyster education and restoration projects.
Between 2-4pm, Katy will be taking you through a “hands on” masterclass in the art of oyster shucking and passing on her top tips for maximising the pleasure of eating them. There will be plenty to go round so a great opportunity to enjoy them in both their classic fresh state with clever accompaniments during ‘class’ and cooked on the BBQ too, following the main event. We will, of course, be picking out some suitable wines to match these racy little bivalves throughout the afternoon.
As well as learning all about shucking and eating Oysters, you will be taught how to make (and drink!) Katy’s favourite ‘Shipwrecked Mary’ cocktail to pair with the shellfish delicacy and get to take home your shucking knife to show off your new skills to family and friends.
The Arc will be closed to the public throughout the masterclass but will reopen again once the main event has finished at 4pm. Katy will then be running an Oyster BBQ (OPEN TO ALL) with the ARC serving wines by the glass to enjoy alongside.
Spaces for the masterclass are limited to 16 so book early to avoid disappointment.
Priced at just £60pp, tickets are available via Katy here >>> **BOOK NOW** Spaces can also be reserved in person at the ARC, Hawksfield (cash only).
Ticket price includes: Hands on Masterclass, Wine Tasting flight, ½ dozen oysters per person, Shipwrecked Mary cocktail, Shucking Knife, Q&A with The Oyster Lady
*A % of all profits goes towards oyster education and restoration efforts.
It’s that picnic time of year again and here’s an idea or two for your hamper. Amongst the bunch you will find a fun frizzante, a food-friendly Italian white, a juicy and chill-able red and a soft, crisp Spanish rosé. Don’t forget your corkscrew!
Emiliana Riesling 2013 £8.50
Bio-Bio Valley, Chile
This aromatic, off-dry white delivers on all fronts …flavour, structure and fabulous value. The result is zesty, mineral and rich with a slight petroley aroma, characteristic of the grape variety, and a long soft finish.
Well-established and substantial wine producers Emiliana are masters of Organic and Bio-dynamic viticulture taking due care in the vineyard and winery. Emiliana chooses to leave this wine on its lees after fermentation, working it to enhance body and aromas.
Great with oriental spiced dishes and nibbles or simply alongside your lime-drizzled smoked salmon picnic bites.
Feudo Maccari Grillo 2016 £11
A super example of the Italian white grape variety ‘Grillo’. Fresh and deliciously savoury with ripe citrus and stone fruit characters. The beautifully textured palate is followed by a mineral finish, there’s a nice touch of saltiness in there too. A very easy-drinking and flavourful summer white.
Feudo Maccari have harnessed the fertile volcanic soils of Sicily renowned for the black grape Nero d’Avola to produce wines with complexity and elegance, they have also risen to the challenge of raising the profile of this often underrated white grape variety.
Sardines or Mackerel on the barbecue.
Prosecco Di Paolo Frizzante NV £10.50
A fresh as a daisy Frizzante! Delicately appley with light floral and almost toasty notes. A superb aperitif with a gentle spritz.
Di Paolo produce wines delivering purity and freshness of the grapes. Nearly 100 years of experience stand the company in good stead, achieving the balance of modern winemaking steeped in tradition.
The perfect picnic fizz with its bottle top opening and swing top closure, though once open its unlikely that you will need to close it, just too drinkable!
Ontañón Clarete Pale Rosé £10.50
Viura and Tempranillo
A pale pink, soft Spanish rosé. Red berry fruits fill the palate balanced by a little fresh citrus, hints of strawberry bubble gum. This rosé is dry yet fruity and supple, with Summer in the air this had to this month’s Wines We Love!
‘Clarete’ is a traditional rosé style from Rioja, prior to fermentation the white Viura grapes (75%) are pressed together with the black Tempranillo grapes (25%) and macerated until a pale colour is achieved.
A summertime tipple to serve with nibbles or tapas!
Cline Cellars Lodi Zinfandel 2014 £11.50
Named after the sun-drenched wine-producing region from where it hails, Lodi is a smooth and smokey approachable red bringing a little bit of California to your table. A red delivering abundant fruit and complexity with oaked influences of toasty vanilla and spice.
Cline’s focus is sustainable vineyard management and the production of appealing wines which balance fruit and ‘terroir’ character. The Zinfandel grapes thrive in the Central Valley’s climate where long warm days and cool nights ripen the fruit to perfection. A little time (8 months) in oak contribute elegance and toasty vanilla whilst retaining the juicy fruit.
Smoked, pulled pork.
Villa Burgundia 2015 £13
Gamay with a smattering of Pinot Noir
Coteaux Bourguignons, Burgundy, France
A juicy and aromatic red, though light in style Villa Burgundia showcases the richness of the Gamay variety. Bursting with red berries, raspberries galore, a little spice and gentle tannins makes this a fun spring-summer red.
Coteaux Bourguignons is quite a recent addition to the appellations in France. This AOC covers ‘greater Burgundy’ including the home of the Gamay grape, Beaujolais, and allows for wines to be made from one or more of Burgundy’s authorised grape varieties. A touch of freedom for producers!
Pairs happily with white meats and fish and you can even serve it lightly chilled.
Down in the garden amongst the trees, overlooking the gently flowing stream, lobster roll in one hand and a flute of local sparkling in the other with its bubbles dancing in the sunshine… This could be your Bank Holiday tale as you join us on Sunday 28th May at Little Petherick Little Food & Drink Festival.
Between 12-6pm at The Old Mill House, Little Petherick, we will be serving local fizz by the glass alongside our delicious ‘Maine’ style Lobster rolls. With free entry and parking, chef demos, a local brewery, distillery AND winery showing off their fantastic produce plus a variety of street food offerings, it’s the only place to be. Follow the festival event page on Facebook for more details. See you there!