Friday, July 15, 2011

The last post!....... on Blogger

After more than 5 years as loyal Bloggers we have finally closed up shop and defected to WordPress.

For those of you who don't know, WordPress is actually quite similar to Blogger, except that we are now able to fully integrate our blog with our main website.

The real beauty of this is that not only are we able to regularly update the blog, but we can also easily update our main website too - adding new information, updating and adding new photos etc. Indeed our new website now includes a page of downloads, where you can find pdf files of Vintage Reports, Tech Sheets, Bottle Shots, Labels etc, etc.

The new site will eventually carry a selection local recipes on our food and wine page, but for now it simply includes some great food shots (actually taken using a small pocket digital camera).

We can now be found at - simply click Blog on the main menu.

Many thanks to our loyal followers, we hope that we will enjoy your continued support in our new home!

So, it's goodnight from me, and goodnight from her indoors....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rain at last!

It's probably quite fitting that one of my last few posts on Blogger (we will hopefully launch our completely new, all singing, all dancing website later this week), should be about the weather.

So far, the month of July has been cool and cloudy. Lots of overcast days, odd spots of sunshine, but also quite a lot of mist and drizzle - just in time for the Galician tourist season that starts to gather momentum at the beginning of the month. The significant point is that, despite the drizzle that we have had, it's hardly been enough to penetrate the canopy in our vineyards, and the soil has remained mostly dry.

Thursday and Friday of this last week, has however, provided us with the first real rain since February/March. Not torrential rain, but steady rain that persisted throughout the two day period. Of course now that the sun has returned, the damp will be trapped at ground level and the humidity will provide an excellent breeding ground for disease. My guess is that we will probably be spraying at some point in the next few days.

Bearing in mind that we are obliged to occasionally treat our vines, prolonged periods of dry weather obviously mean that we spray less, saving time, money and the environment. Every cloud has a silver lining, if you'll pardon the pun.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The correct temperature?

I very rarely eat grapes, probably because we making a living out of growing them. (I guess it's like the people who work in chocolate factories that eventually give up eating chocolate).

The other day, for some unknown reason, I bought a few grapes and popped them in the bottom of my fridge. When I tasted them later I remember thinking to myself that they were a bit acid - I left the remainder of the bunch on my kitchen counter. A little later I picked at a few more, but this time they tasted somewhat sweeter and generally more flavourful. One simple but important difference - they were warmer!

Of course this one of the fundamentals of wine tasting too - how your perception of wine is altered by the temperature at which you drink it.

Obviously I'm not suggesting that you should drink your albariƱo warm (albeit that this is the best way to expose many potential faults), but conversely, if you drink it too cold, not only will it exaggerate the acidity, but will also help to mask the true character of your wine.

If you find yourself being offered a tooth-shatteringly cold white wine in a restaurant, then cup the bowl of the glass in your two hands, and gently swirl it around until the temperature recovers a little - then, and only then, should you taste and pass your judgement.

Most red wine is served at 'room temperature', which to be honest is a little vague. So if your room is a little too warm, your red wine might also be adversely affected. An over heated bottle will throw all the alcohol to the forefront, perhaps giving your glass a bit of alcoholic 'burn' - not literally, but just a sensation of heat in the back of your throat. This, quite naturally, is more exaggerated in heavy, alcoholic red wines, and is quite easily remedied by chilling the bottle just a little - but not too much!
If you chill a red wine too much, this will simply exaggerate the tannins and could make your wine taste hard, harsh and maybe even a bit metallic.

As you will gather, temperature can make a bit difference to your enjoyment of any wine.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Sneak preview

You may have noticed that our blog has been a little abandoned recently, and as always, there is a perfectly good excuse.....

The screen capture above is a sneak preview of the homepage of our new website, which has been under construction for the last couple of months.

The framework is done, the pages are set up, and now I am just going through the painfully slow part of adding the text and selecting the photographs that we are going to use. Any spare moment that I have had in front of my computer over the last couple of weeks has been occupied by this task - hence the fact that our blog has been a bit overlooked. Sorry about that.

We hope to have the full new site up and running in the next week or so. As they say, watch this space!