a community of wine lovers


May 2007

STOP PRESS - Slow Food Devon Vineyard Visit and Wine and Cheese Tasting

If anyone would like to join us this evening, Geoff and I will be hosting a group from Slow Food Devon, who will first visit Geoff's Ebford Vineyard - meeting there at 5.30, then returning to the Wine Cellar in Topsham at 7-7.30 for a tasting of Pebblebed and Vino wines accompanied by a selection of farmhouse cheeses presented by Mary Quicke of Quickes Dairy. It's a good opportunity to learn more about Slow Food, its activities here in our area, as well as globally. Tickets for the evening are £10 payable to Slow Food. If you can join us, please let me know or just turn up at the vineyard or the cellar.

News from Giudita Politi in Le Marche
For those who love our wonderful Loretello Verdicchio, here is some news from Giudita, the winemaker. Giudita writes:

"Spring or summer is suddenly arrived, unfortunately with no rain. Clouds are passing over and above without discharging the much needed water. This means an increasing amount of work for us, more land works are needed to retain the water in the soil to avoid evaporation. If the long term weather forecast is correct, we will face a prolonged drought period. Well, that’s the life in the country, sometimes worried about too much rain, sometimes about drought - and always dreaming for the perfect season. Nevertheless, the vines are sprouting well, promising a good harvest.

"The new red wine vineyard, too, is growing well, taking its final shape. Two hectares of Montepulciano, Sangiovese and a variety locally named Balsimina. No one knows exactly what this variety really is, though it produces a light, aromatic red wine. Searching on the web and some old agriculture books we discovered that Balsimina is possibly related to Marzemino, the well known Trentino variety. On the other hand, others consider it as possibly belonging to a bigger group of grape varieties that includes Refosco (widely grown in the Veneto and Friuli). Whether either is correct, I am not able to say, but it is an example of the fascinating world of cultural interchanges, perhaps as people have moved from one region to another, bringing their own local vines with them, which then develop a life and identity of their own in their newly transplanted soil.

"Meanwhile, here in the Castelli di Jesi wine hills, our B & B is, finally, operative and part of our activities. It's a place where we would like to develop our philosophy: where wine lovers can meet to taste our wine, discuss and enjoy, and, why not?, follow the works and perhaps participate in the life of the vineyard. Vino members are always very welcome here."

Perhaps a 2007 Club Vino trip to Le Marche?


Wine tasting at The Globe on 23rd May - "A Journey through Italy in a

The theme for this tasting will be to discover some less well known indigenous Italian grape varieties and at the same time to learn about some of the regions from which they come, history, traditions, foods and wines. The wine tasting will be followed by a delicious informal pasta buffet in the Globe Restaurant. £15 for CV members. To reserve your place, please email marc@vino.co.uk.

Matching food and wine - www.matchingfoodandwine.co.uk
Matching food and wine is a fascinating subject. A lifetime of eating and drinking has taught us that there are, in fact, no hard and fast rules. At the same time, what we have learned is that pairing the right wines with certain foods can most certainly enhance the enjoyment of both. I recently had a fascinating tasting with Steve Edwards, Director of Service for Michael Caines, tasting a selection of old and new world wines to accompany a range of imaginative dishes prepared by Ross Melling, Executive Chef at Michael Caines Exeter (who is cooking some brilliant foods in the Restaurant). What is most fascinating to discover is how different wines can actually bring out - intensify or enhance - the flavours and components of a dish. Sometimes it's important not just to match a main ingredient - fish, chicken, beef, whatever - but also to consider the way a dish is put together, and the various component elements within a more elaborately constructed dish.

My old friend Fiona Beckett has written many books on this complex subject and also has a website devoted to food and wine matching that is a terrific resource. I recently consulted her on wines to include with the Slow Food Devon wine and cheese tasting - because of Fiona, we'll be trying a sweet wine tonight!

So if you ever need advice on what drink with a specific dish, do check out www.matchingfoodandwine.co.uk

Here's a recipe for an easy and delicious lamb stew that comes from Fiona's latest cookbook "Meat and Two Veg" (published by Absolute Press)

Fiona's spring lamb stew with herbs and lemon

Serves 4
500g lean lamb steaks, cubed
3 tbsp light olive or sunflower oil
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
Grated rind of 1/2 a lemon
1 rounded tbsp plain flour
350ml (12 fl oz) chicken stock or stock made with 1/2 an organic chicken
stock cube
125g (4 1/2 oz - podded weight) small fresh or frozen broad beans
75g (3 oz) fresh or frozen peas
1 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp crème fraîche or double cream
Salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice to season

Trim any excess fat off the lamb. Heat a frying pan over a high heat for 2–3 minutes, add 1 tbsp of the oil and fry the meat quickly on all sides until lightly browned. Transfer to a casserole or saucepan. Turn the heat down, add the remaining oil and tip in the chopped onion and carrot and cook gently for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the lemon rind and flour, stir for a minute then add the stock and bring to the boil. Pour the
stock and vegetables over the meat, cover and simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes until the meat is just tender. Add the broad beans and peas, bring back to simmering point and continue to cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are ready. Turn off the heat and stir in the dill, parsley and crème fraîche or cream. Season with salt, pepper and a good squeeze of lemon. Serve with buttered new potatoes or rice.

To drink: This stew is lighter than most lamb dishes so Fiona suggests drinking a fruity young red. I would say that Geoff's Pebblebed red (if you can borrow, steal or cajole a bottle from him) or Mario Fontana's always deliously gluggable Dolcetto d'Alba would both go very well.

Great West Run
Good luck to all Club Vino members and friends taking part in this year's Great West Run on Sunday. Hope the weather is not too hot, not too wet, just right - and remember afterwards to rehydrate - first with water, then with some good Vino or Pebblebed wines!

Marc and Kim


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

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