a community of wine lovers


June 2010


Mario’s new wines
For the past few weeks, we’ve been tasting, drinking, selling and enjoying the new vintages from Cascina Fontana: Dolcetto d’Alba 2008 (very vivid, fresh, punchy); Barbera d’Alba (intensely concentrated, massive fruit, gorgeous); Nebbiolo delle Langhe 2007 (finely perfumed, elegant); Barolo 2005 (classic, still somewhat austere, drinking well now but will continue to evolve and improve). These are all simply stunning examples of the best of Le Langhe. For those who know and love Mario’s wines already, and for those who don’t, we urge you to try them – in the Pebblebed Tasting Cellar – or purchase a mixed case from me (if you would like to arrange a tasting or order wine, please email marc@vino.co.uk).

Mario, I hope will me coming over for the Topsham Food Festival, and we’ll be tasting the full range of Cascina Fontana wines in the cellar on the Festival Saturday.


Next Vino Kitchen dates
The next Vino Kitchen will be a “Topsham Table” on Wednesday June 16th as part of the Topsham Food Festival. This will be a meal of seasonal local and locally sourced foods with food miles kept to as low as we can manage – the Vino Kitchen already follows this philosophy, but for this special meal we’ll also aim to offer a true ‘taste of Topsham’.

There will be no Vino Kitchen in July.

August Vino Kitchen will take place on Wednesday August 25th.

September Vino Kitchen will take place on Wednesday September 15th.

To find out more, visit www.vino.co.uk/vinokitchen.html

To reserve your places please email marc@vino.co.uk


The Topsham Food Festival June 18, 19, 20
I hope that everybody has by now booked your tables for Nello’s Longest Table, taking place on Sunday June 20th.

Throughout the weekend, starting on the Friday, there are some great things taking place. The weekend programme starts off on Friday June 18th with an evening of food films screened in association with the Topsham Film Society in Matthews Hall. The films are ‘Ratatouille’ at 4.30pm (a hilarious animated adventure about a rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a great chef -  ‘one of the most witty, clever, gently moral, dramatically convincing and visually stimulating family entertainments of the year. – Time Out) and ‘Julie and Julia’ at 7.45pm (the story of a young New York blogger parallels the life of Julia Child as the former attempts to cook a recipe a day from the latter’s iconic ‘Mastering the Art of French Cuisine’ - “...the result is bound to make a viewer hungry.– Time Out). During the interval, there will be an opportunity to ‘eat the film’ as the Apple Café will be offering a two-course meal based on recipes from Julia Child’s book. Alternatively cinema-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic. There will be wine and soft drinks on sale and the bar opens at 6.30pm. Entrance (for one or both films) is £6 (adults) and £3 (children) with tickets available on the door. To book your Julia Child meal with the Apple Café please email Greg Parsons.

On Saturday June 19th, there will be a fantastic array of food and drink workshops, demonstrations and happenings taking place throughout the day in various venues in Topsham, including ‘The Global Village’ in the courtyard of The Globe Hotel, at Darts Farm, and in the Pebblebed Tasting Cellar. Highlights include Gerald David parading his prize cow (there will be a ‘Plot the Pat!’ competition) and James Chubb, East Devon Ranger, providing food activities for children at Darts Farm; a ‘Seed to Loaf’ roadshow demonstrating the transformation of Topsham-grown wheat into bread rolls with organic farmer Ian Shears; an International Cheese Challenge with Greg Parsons of Ford Farm; a tasting of Topsham brewed ales with local brewer Greg Towning as well as tastings of Pebblebed and other local wines and, as already mentioned above, a Cascina Fontana tasting with Mario Fontana in the Pebblebed Tasting Cellar. These events are all open to the public, many of them free of charge.

On Saturday evening, Topsham Quay becomes the venue for an outdoor festival of music and food. There will be a food marquee with some fantastic local foods on sale to eat outdoors. Music is by local groups, and ranges from a wind quintet to jazz and rock with possible impromptu guest appearances from well known local musicians.

Sunday June 20th will see the preparations for Nello’s Longest Table communal feast.  At 2pm, Topsham’s Fore Street will be officially closed to traffic, with all vehicles requested to be moved off the street. Some 300 tables are being delivered, and teams are in place to set the tables up the full length of Fore Street, as well as around Ferry Road and the Underway, and on Topsham Quay. The tables will numbered in readiness for Nello’s Longest Table feast. Those who have purchased tables will bring along their own meals prepared from local and locally sourced foods, their friends and family, and their own chairs! We’d really welcome your help on the day – and evening – so if you can lend a hand, can you please email me.

For the full programme, visit www.topshamfoodfestival.org.uk


Oxford Gastronomica – ‘The Language of Wine’ September 19-22 a 3-day residential course with lectures and tastings, based at Hertford College, Oxford
Oxford Gastronomica, linked to Oxford Brookes University, is an important new centre for food, drink and culture studies. I am delighted to be running one of their first short courses, a 3-day residential course based in Hertford College, Oxford that will place wine in the context of culture and society. There will be talks from prestigious guest lecturers, tastings, a gala dinner, and more. If you are interested in taking part, I am pleased to say that Club Vino members will be entitled to a 10% discount. For further information, please visit the Oxford Gastronomica web site.

Club Vino renewals
Just a reminder that in order to take advantage of Club Vino special prices and events, please make sure your club membership is up to date.

Download the Vino/Pebblebed membership application/renewal form here.

We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at our coming events.


Best to all,

Marc and Kim




Copyright Marc Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved
Images copyright Kim Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved

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