Saturday, 26 November 2011

IWSC Associate Judge of the Year 2011

The International Wine and Spirit Competition is the most prestigious competition of its kind in the world. Established in 1969, the competition sees entries from 82 countries put through a two stage judging process including full blind tasting and chemical analysis. The judging panel reads like a who's who of the wine and spirit world, and is comprised of people who excel in their fields.

The amazing awards dinner at the Guild Hall

Burgundy Visit, 2011 - Day Three

After the delights of the Côte de Beaune on on Day Two, our third and final day in Burgundy began in quite possibly the most picturesque little town known to mankind: Meursault. As the sun rose on the town hall, this sleepy village yawned into action, the light streaming across the vineyards in on the horizon.

The almost criminally attractive town hall in Meursault

Friday, 25 November 2011

Burgundy Visit, 2011 - Day Two (part two)

(Part one here)

The third chapter of our trip to Burgundy took us about an hour and a half south on the A6, to the southern part of the Côte-d'Or: the Côte de Beaune.

Land here is knee-tremblingly expensive. I'm told that 1/24th of a hectare (about 400 square metres, or 20mx20m) recently exchanged hands for 900,000 Euros. It seemed almost blasphemous to walk on it.

Burgundy Visit, 2011 - Day Two (part one)

Day two of our vinous adventure began, unsurprisingly, where day one had ended: Chablis. After a quick breakfast, we set about trying to find the inimitable Patrick Piuze (accompanied, incidentally, by a rather lovely sunrise).

Sunrise in Chablis

I've been aware of Patrick Piuze for a few years now, and imagined that a brief walk through Chablis would take us right past his door - it's not that big a town, after all. The reality was far more difficult, with the lettering on his door being negligibly bigger than the words you are reading now. This, he tells us when we finally arrive, is quite intentional. "Only the post-man knows where we are" he tells us, giggling with obvious amusement.

Burgundy Visit, 2011 - Day One

On November 21st, Bibendum’s Training Team packed up and headed to Burgundy for an educational extravaganza.
Why Burgundy? Simple, really: if you can understand Burgundy, then you can understand Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from all over the world. And November is an ideal time to visit, since the sun-seeking tourists are long gone, the harvest is completed, and the wine makers are still around making wine rather than on their annual pilgrimage to various wine shows around the world.
Our first visit was to the village of Prehy in Chablis, where we met with Bernard Legland. This enthusiastic wine maker took us immediately to a beautiful hillside from where we could view his vineyards. The panorama which unfolded was stunning, as you can see below:

Panoramic view of Chablis

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Filthy Martini

It has long been the case that Mrs Lowe prefers the Dirty Martini to it's sweeter, more citrus counter-part. I confess it's a cocktail I find extremely unpalatable, the olive brine being a cloying, heavy, dominating flavour which simply destroys the delicate subtleties of any half-way decent Gin (in my humble opinion).

However, in the interest of research, I set about trying to create a Dirty Martini which even I, having made no attempt over the years to hide my contempt for such a concoction, could enjoy.