Exams, Autumn and red wine.

So, the big news in my winey world (excuse the pun) is that I passed the Level Three Award in Wine and Spirits from the WSET. Qualifications in wine do actually exist and no you don’t get one for simply drinking lots of wine, although this does help. In a nutshell, I had to learn pretty much everything about wine, grape varieties, soil types (yes, really), climates, production and everything in between. Half of the marks come from a blind tasting of a red and white, I had to analyse the wines and say what they were. It sounds easier than it was. But, I did it, so if you doubted the basis of my knowledge then doubt no more.

After our mini Indian Summer of late, the nights are drawing in and before long we’ll all be running down Oxford Street scrambling for last minute Christmas presents. This is good news though, because in my mind it means winter cooking. Beef stews, hearty soups, (namely minestrone) roasts on a Sunday and proper English puddings. Red wine is definitely better in the cooler months, kind of like a warm tartan blanket. It also means wooly tights and bobble hats. Fantastic.

How did we get on with the last recommendation? Did anyone buy a bottle? Like it? Staying with my wintery theme I’m recommending a red wine to slurp (slowly) in the evening with a film on the sofa. Chile produce some amazing wines, really fruity and such great value for money. Try a Chilean Carmenere, if you look carefully in your supermarket or off license you’ll see it. It’s a rich red wine that has a smoky vanilla flavour, chocolate, sweet spice and packed with juicy berry fruits, although it is fairly full bodied it it so smooth that you won’t notice.

Put your knits on and get yourself down to the shop.


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