Sip & Learn - The Wine Tasting box

Learn about wine and how to pair it with food

  • Spätburgunder, Germany’s rising star

    Germany is so closely associated with white wine - especially Riesling - that it almost comes as a surprise that it is actually the world’s third biggest producer of Pinot Noir, or Spätburgunder - as they call it in Germany. Not tried Spätburgunder yet? It's time to realize that Pinot Noir is not all about Burgundy!

    Vineyards in Pfalz - Photo Wolfgang Staudt Vineyards in Pfalz - Photo Wolfgang Staudt

    Key facts about German Spätburgunder

     Pinot Noir plantings

    • Germany is the world’s third largest producer of Pinot Noir after France and the US.
    • Germany grows more Pinot Noir than Australia and New Zealand combined.
    • Pinot Noir is the most planted black grape variety in Germany, accounting for 11.5% of total plantings. It has grown steadily since the 1980s when it accounted for less than 4% of German plantings.
    • Baden – Germany’s southernmost wine region – accounts for almost half of total Pinot Noir acreage in Germany. There are also significant plantings in Pfalz (one of the sunniest regions in Germany), Rheinhessen and Württemberg. Together these four regions account for 85% of Pinot Noir plantings in Germany.
    Spätburgunder vineyards - Photo Denkrahm Spätburgunder vineyards - Photo Denkrahm

    The keys to produce great Pinot Noir

    • Pinot Noir needs a “warm spot in an otherwise cool climate”. Steep, south-facing German vineyards are among the few places where Pinot Noir can thrive.
    • While the French almost exclusively favour limestone soils to grow Pinot Noir, in Germany this grape is grown in much more diverse soil types (limestone, schist, slate, sandstone, loam, volcanic soils, etc.) which results in a spectacular range of styles.
    • With so many variations in soils and winemaking, there is no such thing as one style of German Pinot Noir. However German Spätburgunder remains definitely “Old World” in style, with fresh red berry aromas and a vibrant, refreshing acidity.

     

    Spätburgunder flavour profile

    Pinot Noir flavour profile

    Appearance: pale to medium ruby colour

    Nose: Intense, bright aromas of fresh fruits: red and black berries such as raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, black cherry, mulberry and any other berries you can imagine. Floral hints with aromas of violet and rose petals. Sometimes complemented with oak aromas (vanilla, toast, smoke, cloves, cinnamon, etc.)

    Palate: Light and delicate on the palate with crisp, refreshing acidity that enhances the bright fruit flavours (raspberry, black cherry, etc.) Low level of ripe, silky tannins.

     

    A few of our favourite Spätburgunder

    Oliver Zeter Pinot Noir

    Oliver Zeter Pinot Noir Reserve 2012 - Pfalz (£25.00 RRP) - Intense aromas of perfectly ripe red berries, raspberry and red cherry, together with well-integrated oak (hints of toast and vanilla). Well-balanced and silky on the palate, with a refreshing acidity, fine-grained, ripe tannins and a rather long, juicy finish. A well-balanced, modern wine showing immediate appeal. Very good.

    Bernhard Huber Bienenberg Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs 2012 - Baden (£34.46 RRP) - Vibrant aromas of fresh red berries and spices. Well-balanced and delicate on the palate, with a solid acid backbone which makes it definitely German in style. Long vibrant finish. An outstanding wine from Germany's Pinot Noir "godfather".

    This blog post is based on Anne Krebiehl MW's seminar on "Germany’s rising red star – Pinot Noir" at G Major Trade Tasting organised by Wines of Germany.

     

    Want to know more about German Pinot Noir? Have a look at this interview of Anne Krebiehl MW (@AnneInVino)

  • Malbec World Day

    Here are the top 3 things you need to know about Malbec!

    1 - Malbec originates from Bordeaux and South-West France but it’s in Argentina that this grape variety has gained global fame. If you are looking for a full-bodied red wine with big tannins then Malbec is for you!

    Malbec grapes in Cahors - Peter Hastings Malbec grapes in Cahors - Photo Peter Hastings

    Whilst it was first grown in South-western France, Malbec is one of those grapes that have gained global fame thanks to their New World version. Today Malbec has clearly become Argentina’s “national variety”. Grown in the high altitude vineyards of the Andean foothills, Mendoza Malbec has a plush texture and velvety tannins together with intense dark fruits and spices aromas.

    In South-western France, especially around the small town of Cahors – where Malbec was traditionally known as Côt or Auxerrois – more and more quality Malbecs are now  being produced, often in a more rustic style than in Argentina.

    Photo Tony Bailey Vineyards in Mendoza - Photo Tony Bailey

    2 -Malbec flavour profile

    • Appearance: deeply coloured wines, deep purple, sometimes almost opaque
    • Nose: blackberry, mullberry, black cherry, black plum, violet, liquorice, often with aromas from oak ageing (vanilla, toast, sweet spices, cinnamon, cloves, etc.)
    • Palate: full-bodied, often with a plush, velvety texture and big tannins

    Malbec flavour profile

    3 - Pairing Malbec with food

    Argentinian-style rib-eye steak
    Problably the most classic pairing in Argentina. Malbec - with its ripe berry aromas, mouth-filling texture and chewy tannins - is exactly what you need to match the pronounced, charred and perhaps peppery flavours of the steak.

    Roasted duck breast
    Roasted duck steak requires a big red wine. A light and delicate wine would be overwhelmed by the texture and the pronounced aromas of the duck breast. However a Malbec – with its velvety texture and high tannins – has sufficient structure to be a very good match. Why to serving it with a sweet cherry sauce that will echo the cherry and dark berries aromas in the wine?

    Traditional French Cassoulet
    Ever heard of Cassoulet? It's a traditional, slow-cooked casserole from South-West France made with duck, pork sausages and white beans. With such a rich and hearty dish, Malbec from South-West France will be a close-to-perfect match.

    Photo Stijn Nieuwendijk Rib-eye steak - Photo Stijn Nieuwendijk

    Happy Malbec Day!

  • Pairing our Pouilly-Fuissé - scallop tartines with red onion compote

    The buttery and nutty aroma of our Chardonnay Pouilly-Fuissé, Les Chevrières, Domaine Cornin will enhance the flavours of the scallops while displaying sufficient acidity to keep the palate fresh even if they are served in a rich sauce.

    On this instance, we have decided to pair it with a fairly simple recipe, adapted from Fumiko Kono's - La cuisine de Fumiko's book.
    This is one of my go-to recipe when I want to prepare a fancy dinner but don't have much time: it will be perfect for a special occasion (Valentines day and anniversaries we are looking at you) or a date night.

    Tartine is the french word for open sandwich. But don't judge it before you try it - it's damn good!

    Scallop tartines with red onion compote and curry

    For 2 people as a main course (or 4 people as a starter)
    About 10 minutes of preparation and 10 minutes of cooking

    You will need:

    • 12 scallops (3 per tartine)
    • 4 slices of French sourdough bread or similar
    • 4 tablespoons of Philadelphia cream cheese
    • 6 red onions
    • half a teaspoon of powdered curry
    • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
    • maldon salt and pepper

    Nice to have:

    • a few leaves of fresh coriander
    • 2 or 3 radishes

    Peel and slice thinly the red onions.
    Slice thinly the radishes.
    Soak about half an onion and the radishes in iced water for 10 good minutes.
    This will ensure you don’t ruin your date night by eating raw onions as it will mellow the taste and take away the stinging bite and the lingering after taste.

    Prepare the red onion compote:

    Scallops tar tines with red onion compote

    Heat a frying pan with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil or salted butter and sauté the onions until they are tender and caramelised. Add the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan. Turn off the heat and add a bit of salt and pepper.

    Toast the bread and spread the cream cheese on it.

    In a frying pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and sear the scallops on high heat for 2 minutes each side.

    Cut the scallops in two so they are half as thick.

    Scallops tartines with red onion compote

    Divide the onion compote on the tartines of bread, add the slices of scallops and top them with the raw onions and radishes.

    Sprinkle some curry and add a few leaves of fresh coriander.

    Serve as a starter for 4 or a main course for 2 with a few leaves of salad (preferably with no vinegar).

    ET voila! Enjoy your dinner with our beautiful Pouilly-Fuissé for a perfect pairing! :)

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  • Cheers to the end of dry January - competition inside

    As the rabbit says - let's celebrate the end of dry January with some wine!

    The rabbit says cheers

    We are so excited about everyone being able to drink again that we are offering a 3-month Sip & Learn subscription to a happy winner.

    Actually, we also think that a subscription to Sip & Learn would make a great gift for your loved one so we have decided to call our competition 'Cheers to Valentine's day'. To give you a chance to receive the first Sip&Learn box in time for a wonderful Valentine's evening, the competition is closing on Sunday 7th of Feb 2015, at 11pm.

    To enter the competition, click on the button below and submit the form!


    Full Terms & Conditions:

    1. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition
    2. To enter the competition you must be at least 18 years old and be a UK resident
    3. To enter the competition, click here and answer both questions and fill in your details

    4. Closing date for entry will be Sunday 8th of February 2015 11pm GMT. After this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
    5. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
    6. The prize for the winner of the competition is as follows: one 3-month subscription to the Learn the Basics Sip&Learn programme.
    7. No responsibility can be accepted if the first box isn't received by the winner by the 14th of February 2015.
    8. Sip&Learn reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of Sip&Learn’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible.
    9. Sip&Learn is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
    10. No cash alternative to the prize will be offered.
    11. Winners will be chosen among correct answers by an independent adjudicator appointed by Sip&Learn
    12. The winner will be notified by email within 24hours of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
    13. Sip&Learn’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
    14. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
    15. The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the following address: Sip&Learn, 16 Primrose Gardens, London, NW3 4TN
    16. You are providing your information to SIp&Learn ltd. and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at http://sipandlearn.co.uk/privacy-policy.

  • Pairing our Sauvignon blanc - Asparagus, lemon and mint risotto

    This is one of my favourite risotto recipe, it’s easy enough to be made on a week night but elaborated enough to make a great dish for a dinner party with friends.

    The good think with risotto is that even though it's quite hard-work, it is very forgiving: you don't have to be too precise with the quantities. As long as you don't over-cook the risotto, the result should be nice :)

    The creamy texture of risotto and the flavours of this particular recipe will enhance the zesty and grassy character of our Sauvignon blanc. This lemon, mint and asparagus risotto will be a perfect pairing.

    Don’t think you need to add dairy to achieve the creamy texture. If you are trying to avoid dairy or would like to make a vegan version, just replace the butter with olive oil and skip the cheese or replace with vegan parmesan (see recipes below).

    This recipe is perfect as a main dish for 4 adults or makes a side-dish for 6 people.

    It would pair well with chicken breasts (you could marinate them with lemon juice and a bit of mint) or you could simply add roasted almond flakes to give a bit of crunchiness.

    Asparagus, lemon and mint risotto

    You will need:

    • 1.5 liter of vegetable broth (about 6 cups)
    • 3 + 1 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
    • 2 shallots, chopped
    • 1 or 2 bunches of asparagus (12 to 20)
    • 400g of Arborio or Carnaloni rice or other starchy rice (about 2 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint
    • the zest and juice of 1 organic or unwaxed lemon
    • 50gr of parmesan or vegan parmesan
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry white wine

    Almost any decent quality white wine can be used for the risotto. Here are a few tips that should help avoiding any mistake. Do not use a wine that is too aromatic - such as Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Viognier, Torrontés or Sherry - as it would be likely to add extra flavours that are not necessarily desirable in the risotto. Also avoid using an overly acidic wine as it could result in a risotto that doesn't taste creamy and yummy. Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Muscadet or Pinot Grigio would be perfect.

    Now that you are all ready, let’s get started with the cooking!

    Over medium heat, bring the broth to a simmer in a large pan and reduce to low.

    In the meantime, chop the shallots and remove the ends of the asparagus.
    My favourite way of doing this is to just bend the asparagus at its end until it breaks, it tends to break at the best point so you only keep the soft part.

    Chop the asparagus into small disks but keep the tips whole.

    In a separate large pan, heat 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil other low heat. Once warm, add the shallots.
    Cook gently until the shallots look soft (after 5 to 10 min). Stir regularly so they don’t colour.

    Turn the heat up, add the rice and stir, it should sizzle.
    Keep stirring so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and add the white wine.
    Stir until evaporated (about 30 seconds).

    Now the most important part - you might want to pour yourself a glass of sauvignon blanc as you won't be going anywhere more than a meter away form the hob :)
    Turn the heat down (medium) and add about 1 cup of the hot broth and let it simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently.
    Keep adding the broth about 1/2 cup at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more.

    After 15min, add the asparagus and keep stirring for about 10-15 more minutes until the rice starts being creamy and tender and the asparagus are cooked. Make sure you don’t overcook the rice as it should be soft and creamy but still hold its shape (if it looks like rice pudding, you probably over-did it by quite a bit). When you are approaching the end of the cooking, make sure you taste the rice until it reaches the right consistency as you might not need to use all the broth. Once the rice is ready, turn off the heat and add the cheese, the last tablespoon of butter or olive oil, the mint, lemon juice and zest and season with salt and pepper if needed. Cover and let it rest for a minute. You can then add some freshly grated parmesan on the table.

    Vegan parmesan:

    Most parmesan cheese are not vegetarian so if you prefer to avoid it, here are 2 alternatives:

    • a nut version: in a food processor, mix 1 cup of raw unsalted cashew nuts, 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, a tiny bit of garlic powder if you have some and a pinch or two of salt.
    • a bread version: in a food processor or in a bowl mix 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, salt and pepper (garlic powder if you have some).

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  • Gift ideas for wine lovers

    With Christmas coming up, here are a few gift ideas for wine lovers.

    Zalto glasses

    Zalto glasses

    Zalto glasses are some of the most sought-after glasses by wine lovers, probably even more so than the far more expensive Riedel Sommeliers Series. These glasses are designed to offer the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics. Zalto glasses are hand-blown in the northern part of Lower Austria in a manner that echoes the delicate virtuosity of the great Venetian glass artists of the Renaissance. This results in extremely thin, light and delicate glasses which are stunning to enjoy a good bottle of wine. As they are produced without the addition of any lead oxide, they are resistant against clouding and may be washed in a dishwasher. £30.00 per glass.

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    Sip and Learn – the wine tasting box

    Raise your hands if you have never stood in front of the wine section at your local shop with a look of despair on your face or if you have never felt a bit panicky at the idea of choosing a bottle at the restaurant. Don’t worry, Sip and Learn is made for you. Sip and Learn is a new way of drinking great wines whilst learning at the same time. Gift a subscription (from 1 month to 1 year) and every month your friend will receive 2 bottles of wine carefully selected by our wine expert as well as a comprehensive (but fun and superbly designed) educational booklet to start learning all about wine. £30.00 per month

    Wine grapes Jancis

    Wine grapes by Jancis Robinson

    This 1280-page book by some of the world's greatest experts is a must-have for every wine lover. Where do wine grapes come from and how are they related to each other? What is the historical background of each grape variety? Where are they grown? What sort of wines do they make and, most importantly, what do they taste like? Written by Jancis Robinson MW, possibly the world’s greatest wine expert, Julia Harding MW and Dr José Vouillamoz of the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. £96.00

    Coravin - Photo US CPSC

    Coravin

    Coravin is a system which allows you to access, pour and enjoy your favourite wines by the glass whenever you like, without even pulling the cork. Instead of opening the bottle, you insert a hollow needle into the cork and pour a glass of wine without any oxygen getting into the bottle as the system uses pressurized argon gas. Unlike other wine preservation systems (vacuum pump, inert gas canister) – which preserve the wine for a few days – Coravin allows you to enjoy a great glass of wine and then store the bottle back in your cellar for a few more years. £269.00

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  • The perfect wine for Thanksgiving

    What is the perfect wine to pair with your Thanksgiving turkey? Here are a few tips for our American friends in the UK.

    Photo: Tim Sackton Photo: Tim Sackton

    Pinot Noir

    You do not need a massive wine to pair with the delicate flesh of a freshly roasted turkey. A delicate red wine such as Pinot Noir would probably be a better match. US Pinot Noir – either from California or Oregon – would be the obvious choice here. Alternatively, you can opt for Burgundy Pinot Noir such as Domaine Carré Hautes-Côtes de Beaune. Light and delicate on the palate with bright raspberry and cherry flavours, it will be delicious with your Thanksgiving turkey!

    Gamay (Beaujolais Cru)

    Gamay produces wines which are not too dissimilar to Pinot Noir, generally light-bodied with bright fruit aromas. Beaujolais crus – wines made from grapes grown in one of the top vineyards of the region – can offer incredible value. Paul-Henri Thillardon’s Chénas Les Carrières would be a great choice: fresh dark berries and cherry flavours yet with enough structure and delicate tannins.

    Red Côtes-du-Rhône

    A Grenache-based blend from the Southern Rhone is likely to be significantly fuller-bodied than Pinot Noir or Gamay, but round and not overly tannic. Why not trying a red Côtes-du-Rhône by Clos du Mont-Olivet, one of the top estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape? This is rich and soft on the palate with plenty of flavours that will remind you of ripe strawberries, plum and chocolate.

    Burgundy Chardonnay

    Yet you do not necessarily need a red wine to drink with turkey. When served with classic pan gravy, a full-bodied white wine could even be a better choice. Domaine Cornin Pouilly-Fuissé Les Chevrières is made from Chardonnay grown in Southern Burgundy. It has intense flavours of white fruit, citrus, nuts and butter, together with a full-body yet with sufficient acidity to balance the rich sauce.

    Photo: Yi Wang Photo: Yi Wang

    Rosé Champagne

    Champagne could also be an option to celebrate with your friends and family. However you need a Champagne that is rich and vinous enough to pair with turkey. Rosé Experience by Champagne André Jacquart – made from 80 % Pinot Noir and aged in barrels – has an unusually deep pink colour and intense aromas of red fruit, biscuit and nuts. On the palate, it is rich and vinous and will be the perfect partner for your Thanksgiving turkey.

    Do not hesitate to contact us (sylvain@sipandlearn.co.uk) if you have any questions regarding food and wine pairing.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • Our top wines from Pouilly-Fuissé

    I have recently tasted more than a hundred Chardonnays from the Mâconnais region at Artisans Vignerons de Bourgogne du Sud  annual tasting. This small-scale wine fair – held annually at the Castle of Hurigny in Southern Burgundy – gathers “a small group of wine-growing friends in the Mâcon wine-growing region” who aim at producing wines “on the basis of small-scale, human, craftsman-based agriculture”.

    Domaine Cornin Pouilly-Fuissé Domaine Cornin - Photo: Marie-Anne Onraed

    Even without some of the best-known names in the region such as Domaine Ferret or Belgian-born Jean-Marie Guffens, I have to say that I have been very impressed by the high quality level of most wines presented at the tasting. The Mâconnais is increasingly becoming the region of choice for those looking for excellent value white Burgundies. The most talented winemakers of the Mâconnais now produce complex and vibrant Chardonnays selling for little more than what you would pay for entry-level regional appellation wines from the far more famous Côte-d'Or in the heart of Burgundy.

    Here are our top five wines from Pouilly-Fuissé, the star appellation of the Mâconnais region (in no particular order). Other very good Pouilly-Fuissé tasted there include wines by rising-star Denis Jeandeau, Pierre Vessigaud or “natural wine” oriented producer Philippe Valette.

    Pouilly-Fuissé vineyards seen from the Rock of Solutré Pouilly-Fuissé vineyards seen from the Rock of Solutré - Photo: Sylvain Wellhoff

    Domaine Cornin Pouilly-Fuissé Les Chevrières 2012: this is a wine we know pretty well as Cornin’s Chevrières 2011 is the Chardonnay we have selected for Sip and Learn box #1. The 2012 – which was still a bit closed in previous tastings – is now showing very well, with elegant aromas of pear, citrus fruit, nuts, honeysuckle, together with hints of butter and vanilla. Round and perfectly balanced on the palate, in a more delicate style than Clos Reyssié (Cornin’s other single-vineyard Pouilly-Fuissé). Excellent (organic)

    Saumaize-Michelin Pouilly-Fuissé Clos sur La Roche 2013: “Sur La Roche” vineyard in the village of Vergisson is one of the most intriguing single-vineyards in the Pouilly-Fuissé area. As the name suggests, the vines are grown on the limestone soils of the Rock of Vergisson. At around 400 metres above sea level, this is a high-altitude vineyard by Burgundy standards. Probably not the most expressive wine of the tasting, but elegant and delicate, with excellent acidity and a strong mineral character. Good / Very good (organic).

    Château des Rontets Les Birbettes 2012: Château des Rontets wines will never be the showiest wines around when young but the 2012 Birbettes is surely one of the most elegant Pouilly-Fuissé of the vintage. White fruit flavours with delicate aromas of nuts, white flavours and just the slightest hint of vanilla. Not quite as big on the palate as many others wines, but perfectly balanced, with a long finish. Will need cellaring to unfurl fully. Excellent (organic)

    Domaine de Thalie Pouilly-Fuissé 2012: made from purchased grapes as this young winemaker – whose winery was established only five years ago – doesn’t own vineyards in Pouilly-Fuissé. Flavours of ripe peach, pear, vanilla with a slight iodine character. Not the most concentrated wine on the palate, but very well balanced. Rather long finish with orange marmalade notes. Well worth a try if you can get your hands on one of the only 1,500 bottles produced. Excellent value (organic).

    Frantz Chagnoleau Pouilly-Fuissé Pastoral 2013: Frantz Chagnoleau was born and raised in the Cognac region – not Burgundy. He established his winery five years ago, after working with Olivier Merlin, one of the best-known names in the Mâconnais region. His wife Caroline – a trained enologist who has worked in Napa Valley – is now working with him. This wine has been made from purchased grapes as Frantz Chagnoleau doesn’t own vineyards in Pouilly-Fuissé. Elegant aromas of citrus fruit, with a hint of reduction and toasted notes from oak ageing that will integrate over time. Rich, round and balanced on the palate. Frantz Chagnoleau is convinced that there is still plenty of room for improvement for this wine. Already very good (organic).

    Pouilly-Fuissé is only the tip of the iceberg of great wines produced in the Mâconnais region Coming soon: our top wines from the lesser-known appellation of Southern Burgundy (Saint-Véran, Viré-Clessé, Mâcon-Villages).

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  • Why you should get yourself a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau

    Today is Beaujolais Nouveau day, and it has been so every third Thursday of November for more than 60 years now. Yet most wine lovers will simply ignore Beaujolais Nouveau as many consider it as no more than a marketing invention to sell huge quantities of under-par wine. Is Beaujolais Nouveau actually no more than that?

    Beaujolais vineyards - November 2014 Beaujolais vineyards - November 2014 - Photo: Goproo3

    What is Beaujolais Nouveau?

    As any Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau is 100% Gamay, a grape that is too often overlooked. It is made from grapes that were harvested two months ago and made into a light and fruity wine designed to be enjoyed young and fresh. When made with care, Beaujolais Nouveau can be deliciously fruity with intense flavours of fresh raspberry, blackberry and violet. Aromas of banana and nail polish – which have unfortunately been associated with some wines – have no more place in Beaujolais Nouveau than in any other quality wine.

    A new generation of young and talented producers really takes pride in producing excellent quality Beaujolais Nouveau. One of our favourite producers is 28-year-old Paul-Henri Thillardon, one of Beaujolais’ rising stars, whose Beaujolais Nouveau is well worth a try!

    What to pair with Beaujolais?

    As a simple and fruity wine, Beaujolais Nouveau is not made for pairing with complex dishes. It’s probably best enjoyed as an uncomplicated drink to share with your friends. In Lyon – not far from where it is produced – Beaujolais Nouveau is often paired with local sausages cooked in a Beaujolais sauce.

    If you are looking for a more complex wine to pair with food, why not trying a “Beaujolais Cru” – a wine made from grapes grown in one of the top vineyards of the region. The likes of Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie or Chénas offer more complexity and body while still exhibiting deliciously fruity aromas.

    Cheers!

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  • Introducing Sip & Learn!


    We are so excited to be launching Sip & Learn today!
     
    This is just the beginning but it is a key step in a journey that started several months ago.
    We love wine and we’ve always wanted to learn more about what we drink to make the most of it.

    However, it’s always been a huge frustration that I couldn't tell what was in my glass or when I tried to learn that what was in my glass never matched what I could read in books or on blogs.

    This is the reason why we decided to create Sip & Learn: to bring you great wines and at the same time help you to learn all you need to know about those wines so you can appreciate them the most.

    Sip & Learn - The Wine Tasting box pack shot

    But it’s not only about the 2 bottles in the box, we have created a programme to teach the basics about wine so you will discover how to taste wine, how wine is made, the main wine regions of the world and the most important understand what wines you like and why. The idea is that month after month you will discover general knowledge about wine and specific grape varieties which will help you to select wines in shops or in restaurants that you will really enjoy.

    Our wine expert Sylvain has visited hundreds of vineyards over the past few years; and tasted several thousands of bottles of wine to bring you his top picks. But it would be too good to be true for him if it was only about tasting wine; he also worked hard to write great educational content.

    As you’ll see, it’s at the same time easy to read and to understand and you’ll learn so much that you’ll be impatient to receive your next box!

    There has been setbacks along the way - who said it was easy to create a company in the UK? Well, certainly not if you want to sell wine! - but we are so proud that what was a nice idea 6 months ago has turned into such a nice and exciting product.

    We’d like to thank our designer Delphine for her amazing work on the website and the booklet, as well as our web-developer Alvin, and all those who supported us along our journey to launch Sip & Learn.

    On this blog, we will share additional wine education content, food and wine pairing, and much more.

    We would love to hear from you, please write on our Facebook page or send us a tweet @sipandlearnuk !

    The Sip & Learn team


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