Wine in Winchmore Hill
I am Clive Woodhouse, a local Wine Educator who runs Passion4Wine Ltd. (www.passion4wine.co.uk), a Wine Events and Consultancy business in North London. In the coming months I aim to raise interest in wine by running Wine Tastings and Wine Education Courses in the area, and by posting articles that I hope will be of general interest. Please use the contact form on my web site to find out more or get in touch with me.
The “N21 Live Local Spend Local” Campaign encourages residents to support local businesses, and when it comes to buying wine we have every opportunity to do so as there are two very good independent retailers in the area that complement each other. Village Wines is a specialist wine shop run by Jude Perera and offering a wide range of wines from Europe and the New World, whereas at The Larder Mark Wastell has a smaller but imaginative selection that matches the quality of the food on sale in the shop.
Whether you want to buy some wine for the coming days, top up your collection or purchase a bottle for that special occasion, I strongly encourage you to visit these outlets , look at what they offer and spend local.
The closure of Oddbins left the region with no independent wine merchant within easy reach, so I was delighted when, in December 2011, I noticed that Village Wines had opened just 3 doors away from the old Oddbins site.
Jude’s range is competitively priced and includes wines from Europe (France, Spain, Italy and Greece), South Africa, the Americas (USA, Chile and Argentina), Australia and New Zealand. A good selection of budget wines is available from under £5 per bottle – look out for special offers – but do take time to browse around and find some gems that are otherwise not readily available.
Italy is well represented, including Pinot Grigio (white & rosé), Chianti (from £5.99 to the excellent Antinori Peppoli at £18.99) and three styles of Valpolicella, and the selection from France includes Bordeaux wines from the 2006-2009 vintages (£7.99 to £21.99). There are 10 wines from Greece and Cyprus, countries with an ever-increasing focus on promoting their native grape varieties, including some from the Keo range and the highly regarded Nemea region. If you are looking to spend a bit more on a special occasion wine, look out for the Evergreen Vineyards Pinot Gris (£12.99) and Pinot Noir (£13.26) from the USA’s Oregon State, Bodega Septima Gran Reserva (£15.99) from Argentina, Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir (£19.99) from New Zealand or the Finca Monasterio Rioja 2008 (£23.99) from Spain.
Walking into The Larder I was immediately impressed by the range of wines that Mark has chosen, with most falling into the £6 to £12 price range. I am always keen to promote English wines so I was pleased to see bottles from the Chapel Down Vineyard in Kent on the shelves (their Sparkling Brut Rosé was served at last year’s Royal Wedding and won a Gold Medal at the 2011 International Wine Challenge).
Riesling is a much underrated grape that produces food-friendly wines such as the (dry) Weingut Winter Riesling Trocken (£12.95) from Germany and Albert Mann’s Alsace Riesling (£14.95) from France. Other whites include a Muscadet, Sauvignon Blancs from France and New Zealand (£7.95 to £16.95) and a White Rioja from Spain, a style of wine that has benefited enormously from the introduction of modern winemaking techniques. There is a fascinating selection of red and white wines from Bonetto delle Tezze from Veneto in north-east Italy including Carmemère, a variety more readily associated with Chile.
Amongst the red wines there is an entry level Rioja Tempranillo at £6.50, Pinot Noirs from Burgundy (St. Aubin) and the Languedoc (Domaine Lalande), Moulin de Gassac from the prestigious Mas de Daumas Gassac estate in southern France and a mature Chateau la Maison Martin 2005 (£10.95) from Cahors in France, the traditional home of the Malbec grape. And for a special treat, why not indulge yourself with a half bottle of sweet white wine; there are three available including Château de Jau Muscat de Rivesaltes, a wine that invokes some personal memories for me.
You can read about my selection of Italian wines available in April from Village Wines here
If you could be interested in joining a wine appreciation course please get in touch.