Posted on

#WineWednesday? Or Monday – Sunday Sips?

Time for a recycling trip

I do like a #WineWednesday, but truth be told, to limit a vinous treat to one day a week is somewhat ludicrous, how else are we going to get through the glorious (?!) English summer without a good Monday-Sunday guide of what you [I] could be [am] drinking this summer.

So as I sit here at my desk watching the torrential rain through the window [Steph wrote this last week but I’ve only just put it up, it’s about 32 degrees outside now], I feel completely inspired to share with you my favourite tipples to fit with the joys of wine Wednesday and beyond.* I’ll agree that some of them are a little dreamy rather than practical, but it’s all about self-love these days, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

*Please enjoy responsibly, these are merely daily recommendations, rather than a challenge…

Monday – Miserable or Motivational? Either way you’ve made it through day one so why not treat yourself with a little something to lift your spirits?! I’m loving the Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, its zippy citrus freshness with a touch of sweetness transports you to straight to Sicily and if you really want to embrace the Italian dream, ditch the soda mixer and top it up with a little Prosecco. I would.

Tuesday – Probably the most boring day of the week isn’t it? It means I look for an exciting wine to brighten the day, my fave ‘something a little different’ at the moment is the Fontanino Riesling, I like it because it bucks the trend; let’s face it the Italians aren’t famed for Riesling, but this little cracker from Piedmont is just perfect with a seafood pasta dinner, classic clean lemons and lime with that cheeky light kerosene edge. Bellisimo!

Wednesday – Wine Wednesday!! Woop Woop! Such a momentous hashtag-famous day should be accompanied by my all-time favourite style of wine – Sherry of course! On a very recent  #winewednesday I happened to pop by our Chichester shop, and there like a beacon of joy shinning from the enomatic tasting machine was the sublime FDC Antique Palo Cortado. Every penny of my £2.90 for a little glass of that was more than worth it – coupled up with a bag of Bonilla crisps, what a wonderful treat!

Thursday – Ooh, I like Thursdays, it’s a bit like a cuddle day – not quite that Friday feeling but a gentle reminder that the weekend is fast approaching. I enjoy a glass of Syrah on such occasions, a smack of black fruit alongside a subtle pepperiness is just the ticket for an evening in front of the telly. My pick of the Syrahs at the moment is The Seresin Estate Syrah, definitely a bottle to get your hand on.

Friday – Bubbles? It has to be doesn’t it? I like my bubbles big and creamy though, so go crazy, treat yourself – crack open a Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV. If it was good enough for Sir Winston on the daily, it’s certainly good enough for me on Friday!

Saturday – The one day where day drinking is perfectly acceptable, especially on a sunny afternoon with a BBQ and the family round. As we’ve been lucky enough to see a fair amount of the sun over the last few weekends, I have been slowly making my way through a bottle of Gonzalez Byass La Copa Vermouth. Load that glass with ice and a slice of fresh orange and max relax in the garden while you take in the complex combination of cloves, nutmeg and sweet touch to finish!

Sunday – Can we talk about roast dinners? Even in summer? Of course we can, at our table we are partial to a succulent leg of lamb, if it’s a sunny Sunday you can always swap out the veggies for a fancy salad [no you can’t Steph]. Whatever you decide, there is only ever going to be one wine I serve with my roast lamb and that is Luis Cañas Rioja Reserva Selección de la Familla. It was the first bottle I took home to my family all those years ago when I started here at Hennings. To this day, it is still one of my all-time favourite wines. Elegant and beautifully balanced with complex flavours of leather, ripe sweet fruit and herbs over a base of fine oak. Can you tell I like it? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty in stock.

Posted on

We’re all going on a…

Vineyards

“Freedom!” cheer the children, while parents and grandparents everywhere lovingly look towards six weeks of wonderful sunshine filled days…

Of course I am delighted at the prospect of not having to drag my daughter out of bed for a good few weeks and squeeze in some quality time, but my head isn’t completely in the clouds. I know it may have some challenges along the way – so as my duty to parents everywhere, here are a few tipple tips to help the summer holidays fly by smoothly as smoothly as they can!

First up, obviously as customary these days, is gin! Our gin range now resembles something very similar to Pandora’s box (with only positive results once opened though) and it seems to be expanding every week.  If I had to choose just one, I’d give Jarrolds a try. Handmade in Chichester, their tagline tells you all you need to know: “refreshingly simple, beautifully balanced”. Local, thirst-quenching and delicious so all boxes ticked! If you like something a little different to your gin I’m still a diehard fan of all the Warner Edwards range; they’re all well worth filling up your glass with ice and getting  out into the garden with.

Regarding wine, there is clearly a wonderfully huge range to choose from, pop into any of our shops or go on our website and you’ll too feel like a kid in a sweet shop. Better still if you pop in at the weekend all of our shops have wine open for you to taste throughout the summer.

My summer wines of choice this year, all seem to be hailing from Portugal, my fab colleague in Chichester, Hannah P has written a great article in our Grapevine outlining some of the super tasting and great value Portuguese numbers we have on offer at the moment including the brilliant Vila Nova Vinho Verde – it’s summer in a bottle! Of course if bubbles are more your thing then you can head over to my little entry in there, where an awesome selection of sparklers awaits you. The Domaine du Landreau Crémant de Loire Morin puts many a Grande Marque Champagne to shame – it’s brilliant stuff and under £15 for summer.

The biggest secret here is, as my very own wine Wednesday evening is in sight, it’s not any of the afore mentioned that is actually waiting for me in my fridge this evening. Tonight’s treat to kick off the summer holidays is a bottle* of Gonzalez Byass La Copa. Produced by one of Jerez’s Sherry masters, this Vermouth is made from a base of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherries; it is bursting with aromatic flavours of clove, orange peel, nutmeg, angelica and quinine, alongside a sumptuous little kick of sweetness. I’m certainly looking forward to heading out into the sunshine to enjoy a very large glass of this on the rocks with a slice of orange thrown in for good measure – is it my hometime yet?!  Cheers to the summer!

 

*disclaimer, I might not actually have the whole bottle, a nod to responsibility and all that…

Posted on

Tasting, training and taking it all in…

WSET Class

I often look back to my school days and think “if someone had told me then that working in wine is all science and geography I would have probably paid a lot more attention!” Therefore, these days, I like to make it my mission to spread the word that there is so much more to wine than just a cheeky ‘wine Wednesday’ tipple!

At Hennings we are very proud that we’re a WSET approved provider. This means that we are qualified to teach both Level 1 and Level 2 courses from  the WSET. You wouldn’t know unless you’ve attended onen but The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) offers qualifications in wines, spirits and sake, for professionals and enthusiasts.

A couple of weeks ago we held a level one day course in our Chichester branch, and I’ll let you into a little secret – teaching these courses is one of my favourite parts of my job. Colin (Nicholson #RM) and I get to meet people from different corners of the wine world, whether that be customers from our trade outlets, members of our own team or retail customers who are keen to find out more about the vinous delights we recommend to you each week!

The Level 1 course is great fun and is a day course that is jam packed with enough wine knowledge to give a confidence boost in both choosing and recommending from a wine list. We cover how wine is made as well as the impacts of climate; winery technique; principle grape varieties; food and wine matching and a whole heap of tasting! For good measure we also throw in a few activities from word searches to grape dissection!

For me it’s great when the room starts to get as interested and excited about the structures and stories behind a wine as I do. Once our budding Level 1 candidates have passed the day course with flying colours, we love to see familiar faces book onto our Level 2 course. This one is much more in depth and runs for two hours a week for eight weeks. Over these weeks we get to build a great relationship with our students, each week covering a wine region or specific grape variety in much more detail and of course we taste and analyse a plethora of wine styles to ensure we keep the palates happy with the practical elements of the course!

You may now be wondering what makes me so qualified to impart all this wine knowledge upon other people? Well, beyond the fun and fascination of Levels 1 and Level 2, comes the serious business of Level 3 and the Diploma. Two years and five exams down (three to go) I am very near the completion of my Diploma which looks into the global market, vitification and vinification, alongside every wine and spirits style you can think of…in the world. Yes, it is intense and a huge amount of reading, tasting and understanding but the level of information and fascination I now have is both exciting and thoroughly interesting. Ultimately, this leads me back to being able to spread the word from the wine gospel to all you keen enthusiasts out there!

So yes, it turns out it is all science and geography, but it’s also a huge amount of fun! Hopefully I might see you in one of our courses – we’re very welcoming and try to keep them as fun as we can! They also make great gifts for budding wine enthusiasts so please do get in touch for more information and I’ll look forward to seeing you in our classroom soon!

X
View all products