Happy February! Happy Leap Year – you have 29 days this month to drink wine!
This month’s pack was designed as a way to encourage you to wage war on the cold with fortifying tagines, hearty stews & comforting vegetable soups. Try roast venison with kale or fish pies boasting fresh clams & mussels. Finish things off with rhubarb crumble & custard. All ingredients that are in season this month!
We picked this pack with a selection of new & old favourites. We chose wines that reminded us of sunnier days or from regions drenched in sunshine to help keep out the chill. These are wines that will match with the ingredients in season right now & also go along with the kinds of dishes we feel like cooking in this weather.
We hope the reds keep you cosy & the whites remind you of future holidays in the Italian or Spanish sunshine.
As is the Cork & Cask way, we snuck in a wildcard, which this month is a beautiful English natural cider that was designed to match with cheeseboards & cheddar in particular (hence the name!) Read more about it below.
This month’s pack includes:
Fall Corbieres 2019 (France)
A medium bodied red wine from the Corbieres region of Southern France. Made with a blend of grapes – Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault & Grenache aged in stainless steel. We showed this at the wine fair in November & it was a big hit! You loved the ripe blue & black fruit it displays in the glass along with a lovely eucylptus & pepper spice complexity at the finish. This wine was named & inspired by the blustery cold weather of Autumn & I think its style still carries us through to February!
Flavours of plum & autumnul black & purple fruit, it has a ‘blackberry/bramble picking’ feel to it with a leafiness & savoury quality. This wine is developing as it ages & is not just full of fresh fruit anymore which gives it a lovely wintery earthy element, it still retains a fresh damson, cherry-esque acidity however making it great with meaty richer savoury dishes.
This really opened up after being open for a little bit of time to breathe.
Recommended with Cowboy beans, Cassoulet, Nut Roast or Sausage & Mash. Delicious.
Spirals Graciano 2018 (Spain)
This red is made with Graciano grapes, the grape variety that is often used as part of the blend in top-end Rioja. But here we get to see it what it can do on its own. It’s soft, velvety & smooth with black fruit, plums, smoke & hints of spice all balanced by lots of freshness. A great all-rounder on the table this winter, but perfect with a fatty cut of beef, roast root veg or meaty pie.
Spirals 06 is called ‘Oriol’ named after its 9-yr old (!) winemaker, the son of the owners, as part of a school project, made with no added sulphites.
This is a 2018 vintage, after a couple of years of aging in bottle, it is now singing. Medium bodied, heaps of black fruits & the earthy, foresty notes of age, all in a structured but balanced frame. A perfect natural wintery red for a cosy evening
Petit Immortelle Rouge 2018 (France) –
A well balanced, fresh red that beautifully showcases the land where it was grown. The focus of this wine is fresh fruit & instant availability that is inspired by the rustic country kitchen of Southern France. It is a blend of all the grapes that do well in the sunshine here – Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre & Carignan.
Scents of herbs & dark, brooding hedgerow fruits are very well balanced with spice & tannins to give a pleasant medium bodied structure. We showed it last week at a tasting with a beautiful fennel salami & it was perfect!
This wine can become your new favourite weekday wine alongside a simple lasagne or cottage pie. It also pairs perfectly alongside a Sunday Roast & all the trimmings.
Oliver’s Cheddar on my Mind Cider (England)
The return of the cheese-pairing favourite. Blended in collaboration with Cellarman Sam the cheese specialist, this is a big, meaty bittersweet cider which pairs perfectly with an aged cheddar (or any cheese for that matter!)
‘Cheddar On My Mind’ is made in Herefordshire, where Oliver’s is based, it’s a region that knows good cheese & it’s a natural combination, one well known to cider makers & dating back centuries – drinking their ciders with the local cheeses. This collaboration was born to celebrate & champion the British countryside & pay respect to the quality makers it holds; all that can be created with milk & the apple!
Expect some classic Herefordshire cider apple varietal characteristics, accompanied by some barrel smoke, complimenting the savoury profile & smooth texture of your chosen cheddar; ideally a good farmhouse wedge!
Vina Zorzal Sea of Dreams Blanco (Spain)
Made with Viura grapes fermented & aged in concrete egg & Garnacha Blanca grapes, it’s a textural, distinctive wine that can go toe-to-toe with robust flavours.
The nose is richly aromatic, with notes of almond, tarragon & lemon. On the palate, it has notes of mandarin & baked pear, with an oily texture & a long finish. This feels like Spanish sunshine to me with a refreshing fruity acidity.
This is a food friendly white that woud compliment so many different dishes from spicy thai dishes to classic asparagus & almond risotto, roast chicken with lemon & tarrogan or traditional Spanish paella.
Vialetto Grecanico (Sicily)
Grecanico is one of the great varieties of white wine grape native to Italy & is grown all over. It is known by many other names, most popular as Garganega, used to make Soave. This is from the sun drenched island of Sicily, it is a delicately floral white wine with notes of apple blossom & citrus peel. Fresh & lively to taste, showing crisp orchard fruits with riper peach flavours & a subtle almond note adds depth to the finish.
Serve well chilled as an aperitif, alongside salads or with a white fish & creamy herby pie.