The medal winners at this year’s Sommelier Wine Awards have just been announced and there is good news!
And there are SILVERs for our Alpha-Zeta Pinot Grigio, our Fantini Sangiovese, our new Gigondas La Haute Marone and last but definitely not least our new Lunetta Rosé Spumante, which is a beautiful dry, fruity pale pink stunner (and comes in cute individual mini-bottles, perfect for the garden).
Quite a haul and great to see four medals for our By The Glass selection. Picking our new wines for Summer back in January and February you never know what will catch the judge’s eye at the big competitions, but since our principle is: We Always Serve The Good Stuff I’m constantly looking for the best possible quality to serve at reasonable prices.
This year I was determined to find a really lovely Chardonnay to pour by the glass, in an on-going quest to rehabilitate this wonderfully-diverse grape variety with (especially younger) guests. From all the trade tastings I attended I collected samples of 16 Chardonnays from around the world. One Spring morning I set them out on my table-tennis table and invited some of our team to taste them blind. First, I asked them how they felt about Chardonnay. “Ugh!” they said. “Nasty oaky, buttery, heavy stuff. Last thing I’d ever choose.” Ten minutes later they’d found one, two, three they really loved. “This” said one, “is derrrlicious! I would definitely drink this. It’s got honey, and citrus and what’s that? Apricot?” The choice in the end came down to two wines from the Mâconnais region of Burgundy, long a source of good value, quality Chardonnay. We plumped for the Mâcon-Charnay Réserve Personelle – and, three months later, so did the judges at the Sommelier Wine Awards.