Chile

Vina Leyda 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir

I was out to dinner the other night with some friends and the issue
Posted 08th August 2011        
     

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I was out to dinner the other night with some friends and the issue of what to drink with our meal came up.

Now, I was having a hamburger and my friend was having moules. What one wine would you choose to pair with such an eclectic range of food? I was leaning towards a full bodied white, my thinking being, at least it will go with the moules and if it’s round enough, just might squeak by with the burger.

But then I remembered, hey, this is the sommeliers job – to advise guests on what goes best with their food. So, I called over the very friendly sommelier and began my consultation. I should mention that we were dining at the new Bistro du Vin in Soho and they have a great wine list. It does seem to be a big more expensive then the other Hotel du Vins I have visited but then again, we are in the heart of Central London.

Our sommelier was very helpful, and when I told him our dinner choices he immediately opted for a Chilean red wine. Costing less then £30, I was happy with the selection; and it was from Vina Leyda: a winery that I was familiar with, having had their wines in the past.

Chile is in the process of carving out a niche for itself as a Pinot Noir producer and this was a very New World Pinot Noir. As with most New World Pinots, this one was a deep, dark, almost opaque in colour. The very first thing that hits your palate is fruit, lots and lots of very ripe strawberries. I would almost say it was strawberry jam but it was not cloying or sweet in nature, just full of fruit. There was also a bit of cherry but the predominate flavours and aromas were strawberry. The tannins were smooth as velvet and the wine finished off with a hint of tobacco.

It finished clean; I liked it with my burger and my friend said it worked well with the moules. Very well done to our sommelier at the Bistro du Vin, a good choice all round.

The Leyda Reserva 2010 Pinot Noir is available for about £11 from independent wine merchants and online. A good summer wine, especially for barbecues.

     

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Denise Medrano
I'm an American ex-pat who is fascinated by wine. Previous to my arrival in London, I had done a sommelier course in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I knew I wanted to be in the wine trade but where to start? I started where so many people in the UK wine trade start, Oddbins. I was fortunate in that Oddbins back then had a great wine education partnership with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and I was able take the WSET courses. I currently have the WSET Advanced Certificate as well as holding a UK personal alcohol license. Another advantage to working at Oddbins was that I had access to all the wine trade shows. Imagine, being able to go and try as many wines as you could in one day! Whew! I have to admit, I didn't do much spitting back then and the next day, I was wishing I had at least taken better notes. I started looking around on the web for blogs that covered the London wine scene and found there were none. Well, none that appealed to me. None that were a mix of trade and consumer views and opinions. And none that really talked about what a great centre of wine this fabulous city of London is. So I rolled up my sleeves, bought a domain name and the rest, as they say, is The Winesleuth history. The Winesleuth Website - Follow The Winesleuth on Twitter