Monday, 28 December 2015

How to Make a Bellini Cocktail

If you’re looking for the perfect drink to enjoy throughout 2016, keep reading. The Ideal Wine Company reveals how to make a Bellini Cocktail.

Really refreshing

If you celebrate New Year’s Eve like a lot of us here at the Ideal Wine Company do, we bet you have a lot of Champagne stored at home right now. This is the perfect drink for ringing in the New Year, but if you don’t consume every last drop, what should you do with your extra Champagne?

You might want to use it to craft a few sumptuous Champagne cocktails! We’d suggest you try making a Bellini Cocktail – a delicious fruity drink that packs a big punch. The Bellini was invented at the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice during the 1930s or 1940s, according to, and has gone on to become popular with wine enthusiasts across the world.

How to make

The great thing about the Bellini Cocktail is that it’s really easy to make. You won’t need much either – just Champagne, a peach, a blender and a Champagne flute. Then you should follow the five steps listed below:

·        Prepare the peach: The first thing you need to do is remove the stone from your peach, and cut it into small pieces.
·        Puree: This is the really important bit. Take the small chunks of peach, put them in the blender and blend at a high speed until pureed.
·        Spoon in: After this you need to place about four teaspoons of the peach puree into the Champagne flute.
·        Combine: Here’s where the Champagne comes in. Slowly top up the glass with Champagne until it’s about three-quarters full. You should wait for the bubbles to settle and stir vigorously with a bar spoon, after which you need to pour more Champagne into the glass until it’s full.
·        Garnish: If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could add a garnish – although it’s not traditional to do so. You might want to opt for orange, lemon, or even lime to give your finished cocktail an extra kick.

Which Champagne?

It’s really easy to whip up a Bellini Cocktail, but you need to pick the right Champagne to make sure it turns out to be a success. You should buy the Krug 1988 form the Ideal Wine Company today if you want to ensure you have the perfect Champagne on hand to craft killer Bellini Cocktails! 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Which Wine-Related Terms Most Confuse the Average Consumer?

The results of a new survey have shown the Ideal Wine Company team that consumers find certain wine-related terms extremely confusing.

Special language

To become a wine enthusiast is to enter another world. Wine has its own language and you need to understand certain terms to figure out which vintages best suit your tastes and preferences. Some of the words and phrases that are commonly used by wine industry insiders are very specific, so they can be hard to understand if you don’t have extensive knowledge of wine-making.

Consumer misunderstanding

The Drinks Business recently reported that a poll commissioned by Taste4 has indicated that there are certain wine-related terms that consumers just don’t understand. ‘Tart’ – a word used to describe a more acidic wine, led the pack. In total, 32% of respondents didn’t know its real meaning; as many as 11% thought it was used to describe a “cheap, brash wine unsuitable for respectable company.”

Meanwhile, only 23% of respondents understood what the word ‘terroir,’ which is used to describe how environment influences the taste and flavour of wine, meant. According to The Drinks Business just 20% of people questioned by Taste4 knew that when you say “a wine has legs” you’re referring the droplets of wine that form in the glass, which are used to indicate its alcohol content.

Tom Laithwaite of Taste4 commented on the results of the survey. He said: “The way we drink wine has become more casual, informal and leisurely, but the language wrapped around it hasn’t moved with the times. People want to learn more about wine and discover new tastes without being confused or awkward when buying it or talking about it with their friends.”

Wine glossary

That’s exactly why you should check out the Ideal Wine Company websites Glossary Page. It breaks down the vital wine-related terms you need to know to ensure you buy the right Ideal Wine Company product for your tastes and preferences, to ensure you have a fabulous drinking experience!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Five Gifts to Give Wine Lovers This Christmas

We’re getting close to Christmas, so you might want to start thinking about what gifts you’re going to buy. Are there any wine lovers in your family? If so, the Ideal Wine Company is on hand to help you out; here are five gifts to get wine lovers this Christmas.


It may seem really basic. The person you’re buying the gift for may already have one. But you can never have too many corkscrews. If you’re working with a tight budget, buy your wine lover a corkscrew – they’ll thank you the next time they're looking for one!

Wine book

If they're passionate about the process of wine making, why don’t you buy them a book about it? Perform a quick Google search and you’ll soon see that there are a tonne of wine-related book out there. We’d suggest you go for The Wine Bible by Karen McNeil – this 910-page tome is the best-selling wine book in the US!

Wine glasses

Wine glasses break really easily, so if the person you’re giving a gift to is a wine enthusiast, they’re always going to need new ones. Remember that the shape of a wine glass matters, as it can affect the quality of the drink. Make sure you buy the type of glasses that work best with the kind of wine the person you’re purchasing them for likes to drink!

Decanter or aerator

Is the person you’re buying for a fan of aged red wines? If so you might want to get them a decanter this Christmas. You may also want to point them towards this Ideal Wine Company blog post, so they know how to use it! If they prefer younger reds you should get them an aerator instead, because you can’t really decant them. The aerator mixes air into the wine, exposing it to oxygen and causing the aeration process the vintage needs to shine!

Bottle of wine

The most obvious thing to buy for a wine lover this Christmas is a bottle of their favourite tipple. You should base your purchasing decision on their preferences – if they like dry reds, for example, get them a dry red. The Ideal Wine Company provides a wide range of stellar wines. If you purchase the Chateau Petrus 2001 from us today, you’ll be able to give your loved one a gift they’ll really treasure this holiday season!  

Monday, 7 December 2015

US Wine Consumption to Grow Significantly by 2025

New statistics have made it clear to the Ideal Wine Company team that US wine consumption volumes are set to grow significantly by 2025.

Largest wine market

The US has become the largest wine consumption market in the world. Figures quoted by The Drinks Business show that American wine enthusiasts drank 339.6 million cases of wine in 2014. This equates to 13% of international wine sales, which hit 2,635 million cases last year.

Consumption growth

A new Wine Intelligence report, titled “Future Wine Consumers in the US Market,” has shown that the country’s wine consumption market is set to expand. Market analysis forecasts indicate that US wine consumption will grow by 11.3% from 2014 to 2018, to hit 377.9 million cases.

Furthermore, the Wine Intelligence report found that the amount of “regular wine drinkers” in the North American country will increase significantly from 2015 to 2025. At the moment this number stands at 93 million. By the end of the next decade it will climb to 109 million – 44% of all US adults.

Most valuable market on earth

The chief operating officer of Wine Intelligence, Richard Halstead, commented on the results of the report. He said: “Whether one likes it or not, the fortunes of the world wine industry are indelibly linked to the behaviour of the American wine drinker over the next decade.”

The chief operating officer went on to note: “The USA is the most valuable market for wine on earth, and our report shows that changing population and cultural norms are likely to mean that it will consolidate its top ranking over the next (few) years.”

Try Californian wine

The USA may be set to expand its wine consumption numbers significantly by 2025 because they’re so good at making our favourite tipple. The state of California is particularly known for making excellent red vintages. If you want to see why the Golden State is known for making fantastic wine, why don’t you buy the Screaming Eagle 1993 from the Ideal Wine Company today! 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Health Benefits of Mulled Wine

We’re getting closer to Christmas, so you might want to whip up some mulled wine in the next few weeks. If you’re looking for a red vintage you can use to make a fabulous mulled concoction, you can always buy the Vega Sicilla 1999 from the Ideal Wine Company!

If you purchase this bottle, you’ll be able to create a deliciously spiced mulled wine that explodes with flavour the minute it hits your taste buds. Not only does mulled wine taste amazing, but a recent article from the Evening Standard has revealed it can be pretty healthy too. Here are five health benefits of mulled wine:

Anti-inflammatory properties

A lot of people like to add a stick of cinnamon to mulled wine to provide it with that “Christmas in a glass” flavour it’s so famous for. This spice contains anti-oxidants which boast potent anti-inflammatory qualities. This means that mulled wine can reduce swelling, as well as restore normal tissue function.

Detoxify your body

Nutmeg is another popular ingredient for mulled wine. This spice has a number of properties which boost the overall physical health. Specifically, nutmeg detoxifies your liver and kidneys. This allows mulled wine to help your body recover from toxins that are commonly found in alcohol, drugs, pollution and food.

Heart disease prevention

A range of studies conducted in the year 2000 confirmed what many people have long suspected – drinking red wine (moderately) can lower the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Our favourite tipple contains anti-oxidants which raise the level of good cholesterol in your body; this can significantly reduce the risk of clogged arteries and ultimately, heart disease.

Keeping bones strong

Moderate red wine intake has been shown to increase bone mineral density, therefore mulled wine can help lower the risk of osteoporosis.  Recent research indicated that women who drank one to three glasses of alcohol per day had greater bone mineral density, measured in the hip region of their thighbones, than heavy drinkers and non-drinkers.

Slowing signs of aging

Red wine contains a high concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols, including resveratrol. These anti-oxidants have been shown to help combat the damaging free radicals that play a role in aging and age-related diseases – so drinking mulled wine can make you look younger!

Reasons to drink mulled wine

As if you needed another reason to indulge in a glass or two of deliciously spiced mulled wine this Christmas! The red wine and spices that are key ingredients of mulled wine not only taste fantastic, they can also improve your overall physical health as well!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Wine Sales Surge on Unique Chinese Holiday

Figures suggest that Chinese wines sales reached amazing new heights on 11th November 2015.

Unique holiday

Back in 1993, a group of students of Nanjing University, China, created a new holiday. They wanted to celebrate the fact that they were all single, so they deemed 11th November ‘Singles’ Day.’

The festival spread like wildfire throughout the country, and now Singles’ Day is celebrated by people throughout the People’s Republic every year. Many use the day as an excuse to buy themselves a gift; the sheer size of the Chinese population has allowed Singles’ Day to become one of the largest online shopping days in the world. 

Wine consumption

So what do you give yourself on Singles’ Day? Many people choose to buy themselves a bottle of wine. Our favourite tipple has become increasingly popular in China over the past few decades, and now the citizens of the People’s Republic drink more wine than anyone else in the world.

Statistics quoted by the Globe and the Mail indicate that Chinese wine consumption increased 36% from 2010 to 2014. Last year the Chinese drank more bottles than anyone else in the world, and double the amount of their nearest rival – the US.

Record sales

The Drinks Business recently reported that online wine retailers racked up record sales figures on Singles Day 2015. The most popular online retailer in the People’s Republic, the Shanghai-based Yesmywine, took in $4.2 million in two hours – doubling their sales from Singles Day 2014.

The surge wasn’t restricted to Yesmywine, who sold part of their portfolio at major discounts to attract Chinese buyers on Singles Day. registered 125,148 buyers – more than any other retailer, and Sichuan1919 was the top seller by value, raking in more than £15 million on Singles Day 2015.

Gift yourself

The moral of the story? When people want to treat themselves they buy a bottle of wine! If you want to see why wine sales surged on Singles’ Day, why don’t you buy the Chateau La Conseillante 2007 from the Ideal Wine Company – a fantastic vintage that’ll knock your socks off! 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Bordeaux’s ‘Guggenheim of Wine’ to Open in 2016

You might want to think about heading to Bordeaux next summer; the Ideal Wine Company recently learned that the region’s new ‘Guggenheim of wine’ museum, will open in 2016.

Bordeaux wine-making

If France is the wine-making capital of the world, Bordeaux is its crowning jewel. Boasting 60 appellations and producing over two million Euros of wine every year, according to The Wine Cellar Insider, Bordeaux is the largest wine maker in France.

Bordeaux vintages have developed a reputation for excellence. The red grapes typically grown in the region, which include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, are used to produce some of the most spectacular bottles on the planet. You can buy a stunning range of Bordeauxs from the Ideal Wine Company product list.

Guggenheim of wine

At this point the region is practically synonymous with wine, which is why it came as no surprise when we learned that Bordeaux will serve as the home of a new wine museum. The Drinks Business reported that the museum, called the Cité du Vin wine centre, will open on 2nd June, 2016.

The £58 million wine centre (80% public funded, 20% private funded) was designed by French architects Nicolas Desmazières and Anouk Legendre, from French architecture firm XTU. They created a building that has been nicknamed the ‘Guggenheim of wine,” because it resembles the famously avant-garde Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Cité du Vin 

The centre has been designed to provide an “immersive, interactive, multi-sensory experience” for roughly 450,000 visitors every year. It will feature 23 rooms that give visitors the chance to go on “a tour of the vineyards of the world.” These rooms will house 85 exhibits, each devoted to a different wine-making country, to explain the history behind the global wine trade.

The museum will also include a wine bar and a wine shop, which will give you the opportunity to sample some of the finest vintages Bordeaux has to offer. Furthermore it will feature a panoramic restaurant on its seventh floor, so you can look out on the beautiful French scenery as you sip your stunning Bordeaux red.

Buy a Bordeaux

This is why we suggested you visit France next year – the Cité du Vin Wine Centre will provide you with a holiday experience you’ll never forget. If you want to see why Bordeaux is synonymous with wine, you might want to purchase the Chateau Haut Brion 1996 from the Ideal Wine Company, today!

Monday, 9 November 2015

California Wine Region to Receive Major Honour

The Ideal Wine Company has learned that a celebrated wine-making area in California is set to be named the ‘Wine Region of the Year’ by Wine Enthusiast.

Recognising excellence

The Wine Star Awards were first launched by the editors of Wine Enthusiast in the year 2000. They include the now-coveted ‘Wine Region of the Year’ Award, which in the past has been won by such noted wine-making areas as the Rhône Valley, Paso Robles and the Colchagua Valley.

Wine Enthusiast says that the purpose of the award "is to recognize not only excellence in wine quality, but also innovation and excitement coupled with the courage to take risks and the skill to succeed." The next Wine Star Awards will be held on 26th January in New York, and will see Lodi, California named ‘Wine Region of the Year.’

Introducing Lodi

Located in Central Valley, California, Lodi has been a major wine-making region since the 1850s. Its wine-production industry has grown phenomenally in the last 10-15 years and today, Lodi features 110,000 acres of vineyards, more than 750 growers, and over 85 boutique wineries.

Back in the early 20th Century Lodi promoted itself as the “Tokay capital of the world,” due to its abundance of ‘Flame Tokay grapes.’ However Flame Tokay vines have since been replaced by other varietals, primarily Zinfandel, and Lodi now cultivates over 100 varietals, including award winning Chardonnay, Graciano and Gewürztraminer grapes.

Wine Region of the Year

Camron King, Executive Director of the Lodi Wine Grape Commission, spoke out on the news. He said: “Being named Wine Region of the Year is exciting for Lodi as it recognizes the historic and ongoing commitment by our winegrowers, winemakers and Lodi wine region fans to grow, make, promote and enjoy amazing world-class wines from our region.”

King went on to comment: “Lodi has been supplying wine grapes to wineries for generations and is emerging in its own right as a world-class wine producing region focused on heritage, innovation and our commitment to place and people through our leadership in sustainability. The future for the Lodi wine region is brighter than ever and all of our growers, winemakers and community are thrilled to be honoured with this award and recognition.”

Try California Wine

Lodi’s recognition as the ‘Wine Region of the Year’ highlights the Golden State’s reputation for producing first-class vintages. If you want to see why California wine is so highly regarded, why don’t you buy the Harlan Estate 1998 from the Ideal Wine Company today! 

Monday, 2 November 2015

UK Wine Market Predicted to Grow in 2015

New reports have shown the team here at Ideal Wine Company that the UK wine industry’s successful 2015 is set to continue through to the New Year.

More sunshine

It’s become a slight cliché to say that the UK experiences some of the most miserable weather in the world. Proof is evident that the British Isles don’t experience a lot of sunlight – at least compared to the likes of France, Spain and Italy.

Yet global warming is changing UK weather patterns. According to the Met Office, the South of England, which is developing a roaring wine trade, experienced 178.5 hours of sunlight in September 2015, 25% more than the average.

Rising profits

Meanwhile, evidence indicates that the region experienced a 15% rise in hours of sunlight from the average in October 2015. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has recently suggested that this is set to have a profound effect on the UK’s wine trade. The industry’s combined revenue will eclipse £100 million or the first time ever by the end of 2015.

Miles Beale, the Association’s chief executive, further revealed that UK’s Wine trade will only become stronger as time goes on. He noted that the country’s wine industry produced 6.3 million bottles of our favourite tipple during 2014. However, it’s projected to make more than double that number –over 12 million bottles – by the close of 2020.

Bailed out

The chief executive commented “We are delighted to hear from our members that late sunshine has given this year’s harvest a boost. English wine makers across the country have increased by 50% the area under vine in the last three years. Based on the latest growth figures, the WSTA’s projections show that English wine is set reach £100 million this year.”

These sentiments were echoed by Mark Driver, the co-owner of the iconic Rathfinny Wine Estate in East Sussex. He noted that July and August were poor conditions for his vineyard, but Rathfinny was “bailed out by this Indian summer.” Driver also suggested that “our yields were slightly higher than expected and the grapes were really clean.”

Buy a Bordeaux

Climate change has driven UK wine production to new heights, but it could damage wine industries in hotter parts of the world, such as Bordeaux. If you want to learn why this would be such a loss, why don’t you buy a Chateau Haut Brion 1996 from the Ideal Wine Company today. 

Monday, 26 October 2015

UK Consumers are Buying More Wine on the Internet

A new report has shown the Ideal Wine Company that UK consumers are buying more wine online than ever before, as millennials increasingly come to appreciate our favourite tipple.

Future of wine buying

The World Wide Web has provided people with the tools they need to buy luxury products such as fine wine more easily than ever before. For example if you’re a fan of vintages from Burgundy, you can buy the Chambertin Potel 2005 online from the Ideal Wine Company for only £314.50. The internet is the future of wine buying. A study conducted by Wine Intelligence, a consultancy firm, showed that 79% of respondents prefer to buy fine wine on the internet than at the cellar door.

According to Natasha Rastegar, the Australia and New Zealand manager for Wine Intelligence, this is because buying wine online offers convenience and more opportunities to secure better discounts.

Wine Quarterly report  

Rabobank has recently released its Global Wine Quarterly Q4 report. This document indicates that whilst the growth rates of online wine sales vary across the world, they have one thing in common. They outpace growth in traditional retail markets around the planet by a country mile.  City A.M reported that this observation made by Rabobank in its Global Wine Quarterly Q4 report applies to the UK. The report suggested that total wine sales in this country expanded 3.5% in the first quarter of 2015. However online wine sales grew by a staggering 11% within the same span of time. 

Influence of millennials 

This begs the question, why are we buying more wine online? The Rabobank report attributed this rise to millennials; consumers aged between 18 and 29. Millennials are an “increasingly wine-drinking demographic,” and this is a vital reason why online wine sales recorded such rapid growth in the first three months of this year.  The influence of the millennial market isn’t just restricted to the UK. The US is thirsty for wine, with experts predicting that American wine consumption will increase 11% from 2014-2018.

David Trone, owner of US wine chain Total Wine and More, argued that this rise in American wine consumption will be driven by the country’s 77 million millennials. He suggested that 18-29 year olds are “less risk averse, more sophisticated on food and wine, (and) well-travelled.” 

Buy wine online 

If you want to see why millennials are set to raise American wine consumption, and why UK 18-29 year olds are driving online wine sales, check out the Ideal Wine Company’s product list. You can buy the Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT 1990, a standout vintage, from us for only £331 per bottle!

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Benefits to Drinking a Glass of Red Wine a Day

The Ideal Wine Company team recently learned that new research has indicated that drinking a glass of red wine a day could be good for people with type 2 diabetes.

Health benefits

If you’re a regular reader of the Ideal Wine Company blog, you’ll know that various studies have shown that there are a number of health benefits to red wine. The anti-oxidants in your favourite tipple can be better for you than an hour in the gym, as well as help ward off age-related memory decline. New research has shown that red wine might also be good for people with type 2 diabetes as well.

The study

The Independent reported that it was research recently published in the ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’ journal that suggested this ground breaking finding. The study involved 224 participants with type 2 diabetes (which is linked to obesity), and who often abstain from alcohol. The subjects were randomly asked to drink 150 millilitres of water, white wine or red wine with their evening meal for two years.

Participants who had a glass of red wine with their evening meals had healthier blood fat profiles. In other words they had more “good” cholesterol than participants who drank mineral water or white wine. They boasted better cholesterol levels and healthier hearts, something researchers linked to the phenol antioxidants found in the dark grapes used to create red wine.

Found to be superior

Iris Shai, the professor from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev who served as the lead scientist on the study, commented on its results. Shai said: "Red wine was found to be superior in improving overall metabolic profiles.

"Initiating moderate wine intake, especially red wine, among well-controlled diabetics, as part of a healthy diet, is apparently safe, and modestly decreases cardio-metabolic risk. The differential genetic effects that were found may assist in identifying diabetic patients in whom moderate wine consumption may induce greater clinical benefit."

Try our red wine

This just goes to show that you can reap a number of health benefits when you drink a glass of red wine a day. Here at the Ideal Wine Company we feature a number of fabulous red vintages on our product list. You might want to buy the Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT 1990, a delightful vintage from Italy that’ll provide you with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Monday, 12 October 2015

What Does a Cabernet Sauvignon Taste Like?

This week we want to take some time to talk about the grape that’s featured in many of the wines sold here at the Ideal Wine Company. What does a Cabernet Sauvignon taste like?

Popular grape

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely produced grapes in the wine making world. You may be interested to learn, however, that it’s actually a crossbreed. It’s a natural crossing of the Cabernet France and Sauvignon Blanc grape, which took place way back in the 1600s.

Since then the Cabernet Sauvignon has gained a stellar reputation for its exceptional quality, and the grape is now grown in vineyards across the old and new world. According to Winefolly, the Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in France (the most prolific producer of the grape), Chile, the US, Australia, Italy, South Africa and Argentina.

Grape flavours

The grape has become so popular because it has the ability to provide first-rate wines that are full of flavour. The fruit characteristics of the Cabernet Sauvignon are blackberry, blackcurrant and black cherry. Other characteristics of the grape include violets, vanilla, liquorice, tobacco and black pepper.
This provides a final product that suits the palette of even the most discerning of wine critics. A Cabernet Sauvignon grape often produces a full-bodied red wine with dark fruity flavours and hints of black pepper. Some of these wines also tend to boast a high tannin count, making them wonderful vintages to pair with sumptuous foods that are high in fat.

Old vs. new

The truth is that the taste of a Cabernet Sauvignon largely depends on where it was made.  There are major differences between old and new world wines, and this certainly applies to Cabernet Sauvignon. A vintage produced in California, for example, will be a tad fruiter than one produced in Bordeaux.

This is because whilst 100% Cabernet Sauvignon vintages are often produced in new world wine regions, old world areas tend to blend Cabernet Sauvignon with other grapes. Vintages produced in Bordeaux, for example, often boast more herbal flavours such as violets and graphite.

Different experiences

In other words there’s no way to know what a Cabernet Sauvignon wine will taste like; you’ll encounter a different experience with every new bottle. If you buy one of the Bordeauxs sold by the Ideal Wine Company, it’ll taste different to one or our Californian wines

Monday, 5 October 2015

English Wine Production to Double In Less Than a Decade

New figures have indicated to the Ideal Wine Company that English wine production, once thought of as nothing more than a novelty, is expected to double in less than a decade.

Growing industry

When you think of great wine regions you think of Burgundy, Tuscany and Bordeaux. You can buy some great Bordeauxs here at the Ideal Wine Company. What you don’t think of is Kent, Sussex or Cornwall; the English have never been counted among the world’s best winemakers. Yet this once obvious truth is rapidly changing. Here on the Ideal Wine Company blog we’ve noted that the UK’s wine industry is growing all the time, and that our nation is even developing a robust wine tourism trade.

Wine production to double

The latest data indicates that there are now 470 vineyards and 135 wineries in England, which collectively produce 3.15 million bottles of our favourite tipple every year. A Group of MPs recently toured one of the UK’s most prominent wine producers; Rathfinny Wine Estate in Sussex, and as they did they heard some rather interesting news.

The latest statistics indicate that English vineyards have recorded an impressive growth rate of 11% over the past decade. The Drinks Business reported that this means that if English Vineyards keep charting their current trajectory, land under the vine in England and Wales, which stood at 1,884 hectares in 2013, will double in the next seven years.

Success story

Tim Loughton MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Wine and Spirits, was one of the politicians touring Rathfinny when the news broke. He commented on the growth volumes English wine production is expected to record, saying that it opened MPs’ eyes “to see at first-hand what an important British success story our domestic wine industry is becoming.”

The chief executive of the UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, explained why English wine production is set to become such a success story. He said: “It is fantastic to have MPs taking a real interest in the industry and seeing the benefits it delivers to local communities and the wider economy. The English Wine industry has the quality and technical capability to compete globally and – with capacity increasing rapidly – it represents great export potential for our economy.”

Producing stellar vintages

These figures have made it clear that English wine production is no longer the joke it’s been regarded as for centuries. Changing weather patterns are transforming various regions throughout the South of England into major players on the global wine stage, which are increasingly turning out stellar vintages. 

Monday, 28 September 2015

Writer Launches Wine School for Cooks

Answering the prayers of dinner party-throwers everywhere, the Ideal Wine Company has learned that a wine writer has decided to open a new school to teach amateur cooks about wine.

Tough choice 

We’ve all been there; you’ve decided to throw a dinner party and you want to pick the perfect wine to go with your dish. But wine is such a complex drink and there are so many varieties – white, red, rose, sparkling, sweet, etc. – that you have no idea which vintage to choose. 

Your choice could determine the success of your night. You can pair wines with practically any dish from chicken to fish to lamb, but there isn’t one wine that goes with every type of cuisine. If you make the right choice you can highlight the subtle flavours of your cuisine, but make the wrong choice and you’ll strike a particularly stark contrast that’ll leave your food tasting horribly unpleasant. 

Wine for foodies 

Don’t worry dinner party people help’s on its way, as celebrated food and wine writer Fiona Beckett has decided to open a wine school for cooks. The Drinks Business recently reported that she and Itamar Srulovich will hold a series of pop up “wine for foodies” classes at his restaurant, Honey & Co., near Regent’s Park, London.

The classes are aimed at amateur cooks, who in Beckett’s own words are “passionate about food but nervous about wine.” She went on to say, “I’ve lost count of the number of good cooks who have told me they know nothing about wine. Of course they do, it’s just they don’t feel relaxed about it.”

Course syllabus 

Starting 11th October, each class will talk students through six particular wines. Ultimately, they’re designed to leave attendees feeling more confident about how to order a wine in a restaurant, as well to how to choose a tipple to accompany a homemade meal. 

The first class will focus on white and orange wine, which Beckett believes pairs fantastically well with Middle Eastern food; we’d love to be a student in that class! Meanwhile the 1st November session will be centred on rose and red wines, as well as the aging of wine. Furthermore the class Beckett and the restaurant’s owner plan to hold on 6th December will teach students about sweet and sparkling wines. 

Put it into practice

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in and you live in the area, why not go check out the Beckett’s “wine for foodies” classes? Then, you can take everything you learn about red wine to determine what dishes to pair with stellar vintages such as the Chateau La Conseillante 2007, which you can buy from the Ideal Wine Company today.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Will Wildfires Damage California’s Wine Industry?

As the California wildfires rage on, gigantic flames have already destroyed wide swathes of the Golden State. This has forced the Ideal Wine Company to ask; will wildfires damage California’s wine industry? 

Golden state wine making  

California boasts the most prominent wine making sector in the United States, known the world over for producing quality vintages. Today famous California regions such as Napa Valley and Sonoma County produce some of the globe’s most sought after wine, made from high-quality grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot.  

California now comprises almost 90% of the US’s total wine production, and recent statistics show that there’s no sign it’ll slow down anytime soon. Data quoted by The Drinks Business indicates that the region enjoyed record grape harvests in 2012, 2013 and 2014, yet some experts believe that the wildfires that have recently hit the Golden State could damage California’s 2015 grape harvest.  

Assessing the damage  

According to CBS News, at the time of writing the fire has burned across 67,000 acres of California countryside; mostly in Lake County, but also in Sonoma and Napa Counties. It has destroyed a variety of wineries in the region, such as Shed Horn Cellars in Middletown, Lake County.  

It’s hard to assess the damage just yet, according to Jacque Lynn Johnson, district director of the California Farm Service Agency. She said "we don't know how many acres have been burned, nor do we know if there has been smoke penetration to the remaining fruit, affecting its quality.” Johnson added, "due to evacuation orders, many growers have not been able to visit their ranches to assess what damage, if any, has occurred." 

Smoke taint 

Johnson raised the issue of smoke taint, and some experts are really concerned about it. Andrea Smalling, chief marketing officer of Foley Family Wines in Middletown, which was damaged by the fire, was one. Smalling commented that "it's likely that we won't be able to harvest the remaining grapes due to smoke damage, but our winemaker is doing some lab work to confirm.” 

However the California Wine Institute has expressed confidence that the majority of wineries that lie within the fires path may yet avoid the scourge of smoke taint. They explained: “The smoke has not lingered in the vineyards because of winds and many grapes are already picked because of the abnormally early harvest. Smoke taint impacts grapes that are in a growing stage of rapid expansion, (but) the grapes are well advanced at this point.” 

Try California wine 

It’s hard to assess the impact of the California wildfires, but it appears as though they will inflict at least some damage on the region’s booming wine industry. If you want to see why people want the Golden States’ wine industry to pull through, try the Ideal Wine Company’s California wines today. 

Monday, 14 September 2015

Australian Bottle Named Best Wine of the 70s

The Ideal Wine Company was not the least bit surprised to learn recently that one of Australia’s most famous vintages was named the best wine of the 1970s.

New world wine maker

Long gone are the days where wine making was seen as the sole province of ‘old world’ countries such as France, Italy and Spain. Since their colonisation, many new world countries including the US, Chile and Australia have established roaring wine trades.
Cultivated over 200 years, the Australian wine industry has evolved to become one of the most successful on the planet. According to the Australian government, the land down under now boasts 60 wine making areas including well known regions such as Barossa Valley, Yarra Valley and Mudgee.

Best wine of the 70s

Produced in South Australia, Penfolds Grange is often regarded as the land down under’s most collectible wine. Typically made from Shiraz grapes delicately blended with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, these hearty reds will knock your socks off. The brand’s most famous bottle is the 1971, a standout vintage which was recently named the best wine produced in the 1970s at an event sponsored by European Luxury Magazine, FINE.

Good Food recently reported that the Magazine gathered together a panel of judges from nine different countries to assess various wines worth in excess of $500,000. They awarded the Penfolds Grange 1971 a near perfect score of 98.5 out of 100, whilst French wines secured eight out of the other top ten spots on the list. Chateau Y'quem 1975 from Sauternes, France was awarded second place, securing a score of 98 out of 100.

Incredibly proud moment

Penfolds’ head wine maker, Peter Gago, commented on the victory. He said that it’s an “incredibly proud moment” for the land down under’s most famous vintage, adding that he “almost fell off his chair when I heard.” Gago went on to say: "this isn't just competing with wines of one vintage or from one country.

“This is competing with the greatest wines from an entire decade, sourced from the whole world, and including some of the greatest vintages in the history of Bordeaux and Champagne. It was a blind tasting, too, with an international panel of judges, which removes any suggestion of bias.”

Try a Penfolds Grange

The 1971 is an amazing wine, but it isn’t the only standout bottle produced by Penfolds Grange. You should buy a Penfolds Grange from the Ideal Wine Company today if you want to learn how this estate has produced some of the best reds the world has ever seen. 

Monday, 7 September 2015

2015 Could be a Standout Year for Port

Producers throughout Northern Portugal have started speculating, the Ideal Wine Company recently learned, that 2015 could be a pretty amazing year for port wine.

What is port?

Port is a fortified wine that’s produced in the Douro Valley region of Northern Portugal. It’s made with a variety of grapes traditionally grown in the Iberian Peninsula including Touriga Francesa, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca. Port is a protected product under the European Union Protected Designation of Origin guidelines, meaning that only vintages that are made in a specific way are allowed to use the label ‘port.’

As with other fortified wines, port is sweeter, heavier, richer and more alcoholic than standard wines. If you learn how to prepare port, the Iberian tipple will provide you with a drinking experience like no other. However the final quality of the drink often depends on the vintage; if the grapes used to make the port were grown in a year that boasted favourable weather, it’ll taste amazing!

Great year for port

It looks like we’re in for some pretty amazing port this year. Decanter recently reported that despite the fact that not a single grape has yet been picked, port producers expect the 2015 vintage to be a good one, due to the hot dry weather that hit Douro Valley this summer. The reason for this hope was explained by the head wine maker at the Fladgate partnership, David Guimaraens.

He compared the 2015 growing season to 2011’s, which according to critics produced outstanding vintages.  Guimaraens said: “Conditions are similar to 2011. Both years experienced warm dry springs and summers, although the winter preceding 2011 was wetter. The ground water reserves this year are fine so we are hoping for a very good harvest, although it will be starting earlier than usual. We expect to receive the first grapes at the Quinta da Nogueira winery during the last week of August.”

Antonio Magalhees, the head viticulturist at Fladgate, also explained that they’ve already seen signs which suggest that 2015 will be a great year for port. Magalhees said that “a very good indicator of an early harvest in our vineyards is the development of our Touriga Nacional. It is always a late developer but it has already changed colour to a deep purple.”

Trust Taylors, Croft and Fonseca Port

Fladgate Partnership is the company which owns Taylors, Croft and Fonseca Port. They’re famed for making some of the best ports in the world, including the Fonseca vintage Port sold by Ideal Wine Company. You can trust them when they say that 2015 could be a standout year for port!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Our Latest Wine: Antinori Tignanello Toscana 1990

If you’re looking for a wine that’ll knock your socks off, you should buy the Ideal Wine Company’s latest wine; the Antoni Tignenello Toscana 1990. It’ll blow you away!

Italian wine

Throughout their long and varied history, the Italian’s have developed a robust wine making tradition. According to Life in Italy, wine making was exported to the boot-shaped peninsula from the Hellenistic world during the age of antiquity. The practice was quickly taken up by the Romans, who proceeded to plant vines across Europe.

The Romans may have fallen at the close of the 5th Century A.D., but the rise of Catholicism ensured that Italian wine making survived their demise. The importance of wine in the Catholic ‘mass,’ ensured that various regions throughout Italy, such as Tuscany, developed vine growing industries which have lasted right through to the modern day.  

Toscana IGT

The Central Italian region of Tuscany has developed one of the most famous wine making traditions on the planet. Today it cultivates a variety of popular grapes including Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.

The Italian government has created an appellation system, comparable to similar programmes in France, to protect certain Tuscan wines. In the 1970’s, the government created a new classification called Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT). The “super Tuscan” vintages that fall into this category, such as the Toscana IGT, are considered high quality wines that deserve their extremely high price tags.

Antinori Tignanello Toscana 1990

If you want to try this standout vintage for yourself you’re in luck, as we’ve recently added a stunning Toscana IGT wine to the Ideal Wine product list. This is the Antinori Tignanello Toscana 1990, which you can buy from the Ideal Wine Company for only £331 per bottle!

The Antinori Tignanello Toscana 1990 is a hypnotic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Tuscany’s flagship Sangiovese grapes. This classic red wine is a structured, well-balanced vintage, which boasts an effortlessly calibrated flavour that evokes the spirit of ripe cherries and succulent wild berries.

Buy our latest wine

Does this sound like the wine for you? If so buy the Antinori Tignanello Toscana 1990 from the Ideal Wine Company today. You’ll soon see that like the rest of our Italian wines, this ruby-red vintage is imbued with a robust flavour that’ll set your taste buds ablaze! 

Monday, 24 August 2015

UK Could Become a Centre of Global Wine Tourism

The Ideal Wine Company has learned that a British wine making association recently suggested that the UK has the potential to develop itself into a major centre of global wine tourism.

British wine making 

The British aren’t exactly known as the best wine makers in the world. People look at us British as the wine making novices of Europe; the ones who can craft a good sherry, but wouldn’t be able to produce a fine pinot noir if our lives depended on it. 

The onset of global climate change has signalled a shift in the European wine making landscape. The UK is getting warmer, and as temperatures rise we’re starting to develop a distinct, even respected, wine producing culture. New figures suggest that there are now 470 vineyards in the UK, and these burgeoning estates are primarily growing Chardonnay (21%), Pinot Noir (19%) and Bacchus (9%) grapes. 

Wine tourism  

The Drinks Business reported that recently, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) argued that wine could become a valuable source of tourism for the UK. The publication quoted figures which suggest that tourism became the UK’s third largest service export in 2014. WSTA argued that the UK could develop this rapidly expanding sector by moving into wine tourism, pointing out that the average US wine traveller spends £650 per trip, to suggest that it could generate major revenue. 

The marketing director of English Wine Producers, Julia Trustram-Eve, explained how the UK’s wine tourism market is already growing. She said: “Vineyards are using increasingly creative methods to host visitors, from guided tours and visitors’ centres to places to stay and on-site restaurants. 

“The growth in awareness and enthusiasm in locally-sourced and produced food has heightened the interest in rural tourism and the exciting work being done at vineyards across the country. As English wines become available in pubs, restaurants and retail outlets, it is great to see visitors given the chance to look behind the scenes. Wine tourism, in whatever guise, is something that is a growing area in the UK wine industry.”

Set the bar

This is an interesting idea, but here at the Ideal Wine Company we have to point out that wine tourists expect the best. UK wine producers need to ensure they cultivate superior vintages if they want to enter the rapidly growing global wine tourism market. If you want to see the kind of quality these highly discerning wine enthusiasts expect, why don’t you buy a Bordeaux from the Ideal Wine Company today!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Is a Glass of Bordeaux the Secret to a Long Life?

The world’s oldest twins have recently revealed the secret to their longevity. This startling admission has prompted the Ideal Wine Company to ask; is a glass of Bordeaux the secret to a long life?

Life expectancy in the UK  

It’s hard to deny that living conditions in the UK have improved in the last century. The Daily Mail reported that researchers from Imperial College London found that in 1981, average life expectancy was 71.4 for men and 77.4 for women. However, this rose to 79.5 for men, and 83.3 for women by 2012, and is predicted to increase to 85.7 for men, and 87.6 for women by the time we hit 2030. 

Secret to a long life 

This begs the question, how do you live a long life? The answer to this question may be found in recent comments made by Belgians Pieter and Paulus Langerock, who at 102 years old apiece are the oldest set of twins in the world. 

The Langerock twins now reside in Ter Venne nursing home in Ghent, Belgium, and they recently spoke out on why they believe they’ve lived to the grand old age of 102. Paulus was quoted by Yahoo News saying that if you want break the 100 year age mark, “don't waste your time fooling around, don't eat too much and don't run after women."

Paulus, who along with his brother was born on 8th July 1913, also revealed that wine has played a role in pro-longing his life. The Langerock brothers are known to indulge in a glass of fine Bordeaux wine each every day. Paulus is often heard asking his nurse at Ter Venne, to "get us a Bordeaux, but a good quality one," and he cites it as another reason why he’s been alive since 1913. 

Try a Bordeaux 

This doesn’t mean that drinking a glass of Bordeaux every day will help you live longer. Yet the story of the Langerock brothers does suggest that it can’t hurt to indulge in a glass of the fine French tipple every once in a while. If you want to try out the world’s oldest twins’ theory for yourself, why don’t you buy a Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1978 from the Ideal Wine Company, and get pouring!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Turning Slag Heaps into Vineyards

The Ideal Wine Company has recently learned about something extraordinary. A wine producer in the north of France has turned one of the region’s infamous ‘slag heaps’ into a vineyard.

Blight of the skyline

France has been mining the coal seam that runs along its border with Belgium for roughly 300 years. Mining is a dirty game; it leaves behind a lot of coal residue and the miners had to put it somewhere.
They dumped it in the countryside, and over time mountains of the residue, or ‘slag heaps,’ grew up to blight the Northern French skyline. These heaps were once regarded as a national embarrassment, but the BBC has recently reported that the citizens of this region have decided to turn their greatest embarrassment into their greatest asset.


They’re transforming these slap heaps, called ‘terrils’ by the French, into exciting new projects that have ignited a fondness in the hearts of our continental cousins for these environmental eyesores. Wine-grower Henri Jammet decided to do something truly revolutionary; he transformed one terril into what has become France’s most northerly vineyard.

He planted vines on the slopes of a slag heap in Haillicourt, Northern France, in 2011. Jammet created a vintage that he’s lovingly called ‘Charbonnay,’ a play on the words ‘Chardonnay,’ arguably the world’s most famous wine, and ‘bonnay,’ the French word for ‘coal.’ The novel winery produced 150 bottles in 2013, before doubling its capacity to 300 bottles last year.

“The wine is great.”

Speaking about the project, Jammet said "people here were very surprised, but the wine is great. The terril is stony - it drains well because it is on a slope; the earth is black which keeps in the warmth; and we face south - all things that help the vines."

The innovative wine producer elaborated, "obviously the soil is poor - but that is good. Vines need to struggle in order to bring out the best in the grape. Our wine is sharp because they don't have the sun up here to reduce the acidity - and it's got the proper Chardonnay citrus notes."

Buy a Bordeaux

The fact that the French can turn slag heaps into vineyards shows you just how good they are at making wine. If you want to sample a range of the country’s finest vintages, why don’t you buy a Burgundy from the Ideal Wine Company right now!