Monday, 28 September 2009

A collaberational event between The South Lodge Hotel in rural Horsham/Mid-Sussex, Carr Taylor (award winning English Vineyards) and Ben Furst of English Vine Tours.

The award winning chefs of South Lodge, in-conjunction with hotel manager Rupert Spurgeon had created a unique menu specifically to match a range of elegant, beautifully made English wines from Carr Taylor Vineyards. A glorious evening, the sun setting over the lush fields of green on what had become a magnificent Indian Summer September. Not only creating a wonderful atmosphere for the evening but further ensuring that 2009 is going to be a bumper crop for the English Vigneron.

Smoked Chicken Salad with Rapeseed Oil Dressing and Quails Eggs - Matched with Carr Taylor Sparkling Brut NV. Bordeaux Wine Challenge Winner 2009.

Slow Cooked Sussex Fillet of Beef, Caramelised Onions with Honey Jus - Matched with Carr Taylor Sparkling Rose. Mainly Made from Pinot Noir and the first commercially available sparkling rose made in England.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Prune Compote - Matched with Carr Taylor Ginger Wine. Gold Medal Sussex Taste Awards.

Cocoa Loco Organic Chocolate Mille Feuille with Praline - Matched with Carr Taylor Mead.

And to finish....fresh coffee and petit-fours. A fantastic event, set in a wonderful location and executed magnificently by arguably one of the very finest hotels in the UK. Thank you to Rupert, his superb team and the The South Lodge Hotel in Sussex. Look out for Hot & Spicy Foods matched with English Wines next...

Carr Taylor Sparkling Brut NV
2009 Award Winning Wine!

This terrific wine is the only British winner of a medal at this year's "Challenge International du Vin 2009"!

It won the Bronze, an achievement which makes it, quite literally, a unique British Sparkling Wine!

Made from a carefully selected blend, the Brut has an aromatic nose, a hint of honeyed sweetness and a warm, full flavour. It is ideal for parties and barbecues and other celebrations.

Carr Taylor Sparkling Rose NV
Having rested briefly on the skins to produce the delicate colour, the secondary fermentation has enhanced the fruit flavours of the Pinot Noir grape, creating this mellow, flavoursome sparkling wine. It was the first commercial quality sparkling Rosé in England. Grape Varieties: 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier.

Carr Taylor Ginger Wine
Gold Star Award Winner at Great Taste Awards 2009 Ginger Fruit Wine

Sweet - 11.5% vol - 50cl It has a delicious, warming flavour. It can be mixed with whisky to make a Whisky Mac, or brandy to make a Horse’s neck. Good with pears and rhubarb or poured over ice cream. Wonderful in stir fries to give an oriental flavour. Great with Christmas pudding.

Carr Taylor Mead
A sweet honey based wine ideal for summer!

This sweet wine made from honey has been popular in England since Medieval times. We follow the age- old tradition of fermenting grape and apple juices with honey, using modern fermentation techniques to produce this invigorating beverage. It is even said to be an aphrodisiac. It makes a good hot toddy when mixed with whisky or makes a mouth- watering dessert when added to thick natural yogourt. A perfect honeymoon or wedding wine.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Ockenden Manor Fine Wine Tasting

The evening setting of Ockenden Manor in West Sussex is simply stunning. The sun was starting to set, the air was cool and refreshing and the wines were opened!

A nice group of 7 directors from a London based firm were the tastees, they were staying at Ockenden for a power meeting with a wee stay-over, cause they can!!

On show I was presenting 6 mixed and interesting wines; Bloomsbury 2006 Sparkling Wine from Ridgeview in Ditchling, Clos de Ratier Menetou Salon 2006, Saint-Aubin 1er Cru La Chanteniere 2007, Crozes Hermitage Les Gravieres 2006 Jean-Luc Colombo, Chateau Liversan Cru Bourgeis 2006 and Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2006 Cantina di Negrar.

Suffice to stay they were all superb, the white were served chilled but not too cold as to close them down, the reds were are carefully decanted;

Bloomsbury Sparkling Wine 2006
Ridgeview Vineyards/Ditchling
61% Chardonnay, 27% Pinot Noir & 12% Pinot Meunier
An award winning estate run by Mike Roberts. Quality English sparkling wine made in the Traditional or Champenois method, the same grape varieties as Champagne, similar soil and sub-soil structures. One of the many internationally acclaimed English Vineyards and wines today.

Clos de Ratier Menetou Salon 2006
Domaine Henry Pelle/France
100% Sauvignon Blanc. A lesser know classic Loire wine region. Just South West of its more famous cousins Sancerre and Pouilly Fume. The vines are grown on similar soils as Sancerre and the best wines from the region are hard to tell apart from Sancerre. The wine is produced and aged in tanks on the dead yeast cells or lees until bottling, adding a weightier and more aromatic style of wine. A similar process is carried out with Muscadet (Sur Lie), which lies at the mouth or estuary of the Loire near Nantes.

Saint-Aubin 1er Cru La Chateniere 2007
Domaine Gerard Thomas/Burgundy-France
100% Chardonnay
The white wines of Saint-Aubin (1er Cru), are classic white Burgundians. A stone’s throw away from both the villages of Puligny and Chassagne Montrachet situated in southern Burgundy. 20% of this wine is in new oak and ageing is for 10 months. Whilst good young this wine will mature and fatten over the next 3-5 years.

Crozes Hermitage Les Gravieres 2006

Jean-Luc Colombo/Northern Rhone
100% Syrah
Arguably one of the finest producers in Northern Rhone today. The vineyards of Crozes Hermitage are just on the outskirts or the surrounding lower slopes of the Hermitage. The vines are on average 40 years old, hand harvested and matured in small, new oak barrels for no less than 6 moths. The resultant wines are deep in colour (long maceration period during fermentation), notes of raspberries, blackcurrants and vanilla hints. Smooth with soft tannins and will mature further over the next 2-4 years.

Chateau Liversan Cru Bourgeois 2006
Grand Vin de Bordeaux
60% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauvignon & 1% Cabernet Franc
Liversan has been a classified growth in Bordeaux since 1932 and has never lost this classification, which is testament to its consistency of quality. Each grape is fermented separately then blended after a period of rest then matured in new French oak for no less than 12 months. The heavier depth of Merlot makes a more forward style of Bordeaux and is more easily accessible from a younger age, yet will/can benefit from further ageing.

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2006
Cantina di Negrar/North Eastern Italy
Corvina, Rondinella & Molinara
One of the most famous wines from Italy. A blend of three indigenous grape varieties that have been hand harvested and left to dry over straw mats for a period of 3-4 months. The resultant grapes are shrivelled leaving less water and higher sugar and potential alcohol. Soft and rich on the palate with heady notes of dried fruit, prunes and red berries.

Ben Furst has been involved in the wine industry for 20 years. Having gained his WSET Diploma several years ago, Ben regularly presents wines to corporate and private groups throughout Sussex as well in London. Ben also consults for an English Vineyard as well as arranges group tours (and tastings) of English Vineyards, in addition to sourcing and advising on fine wines to private clients.

Taylor & Shroff at The Curry Lounge in Nottingham

The Taylor and Shroff story continues to grow. The next port of call was to Nottingham where Arfan Razak (Raz) and The Curry Lounge beckoned! Since appearing with Gordon Ramsay on the Kitchen Nightmare’s programme Raz has been inundated with caller, journalists and mores the point – a full and heaving restaurant.

Wednesday 16th September, The Curry Lounge and Taylor and Shroff joined forces and offered every diner a free sample or two of these unique wines along with their meal. The food is second to none and you can tell by the clients that Raz has built up a great reputation and die-hard local diners who cannot get enough of his great food.

Also there on the night was BBC Radio Nottingham who not only interviewed Raz about Taylor and Shroff but also interviewed the customers. The response was excellent as agreed that the food matching was second to none.

Many thanks to The Curry Lounge in Nottingham for all their help and are now officially the 2nd quality Indian restaurant in the UK to be pouring Taylor and Shroff!

Next stop is Imli in London then Indian Ocean in Manchester followed by Assam's in Glasgow. The story grows......for further information or if you wish to stock the wines please contact -

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Taylor and Shroff at The Taste of India with Mr Karim and Mridula Baljekar

Taylor and Shroff at The Taste of India with Mr Karim and Mridula Baljekar

A superb meeting of minds today as Taylor and Shroff continues its development into the hearts, minds and restaurants of the finest spice merchants in the UK. The Taste of India Restaurant was established by Mr Karim 20 years ago. Not satisfied in running a first class Indian/Bangladeshi Restaurant Mr Karim is involved in his local Mosque, raises £000’s for Breast Cancer as well as being involved in the revival of the Bangladeshi Caterers Association.

The Taste of India is the next fine restaurant to be listing and pouring Taylor and Shroff wines, over ice and by the glass. On 25th November there will be a gourmet celebration of his 20 years there which will be attended by Mridula Baljekar, one of our finest curry chefs and author’s today. Mridula has also recently finished her latest book which ties into her new TV series, soon to be aired. Keep an eye out for her new website too where there will be live web-cam cookery demonstrations.

For those interested in attending the forth-coming gourmet evening at Taste of India in Ash vale/Surrey, call Mr Karim – 01252 334046…..

Taylor and Shroff marches onwards and upwards and will soon be at a restaurant near you!