Sunday, 6 November 2011


'Plumduff', a ruby ale from the Wychwood brewery in Oxfordshire is described on the bottle as a 'hearty Christmas ale, a seasonal brew with plum and spice'. It's colour is deep, like a strong, un-milked tea, with an almost whisky like translucency. It makes you feel warm inside just looking at it.

Flavourwise it's very malty, with a tangy Christmas pudding aftertaste. It's as if they've taken a moist Christmas pudding, or maybe the centre of a large mince pie, and wrung it out over the vat of ale to drip the essence of the festive season into every bottle. To top it off, it's finished with a mistletoe kiss to the back of the tongue.

If you're looking for a winter warmer to enjoy over the holiday season then I would heartily recommend this fine ale.

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Saturday, 5 November 2011

Gallo, White Grenache (California) 2010

It's been a long time since I tasted anything that wasn't a white, so I thought I'd treat myself to something that had a little colour to it. As it's fast approaching the holiday season the gorgeous red pinkish hues of this tipple immediately caught my eye on the shelf.

 This wine has such a vibrant colour that it looks luminescent in the glass and just begs to be imbibed. The nose is light with the merest hint of summer fruits, which makes a change from the usual pungent heavy whites that I normally enjoy. The nasal journey that the nose invited me to take reminds one of a summers day spent picking strawberries to fill my hand woven punnet.

 At first taste this wine is sweet on the tongue with a gentle bite and a lingering aftertaste of fruits. As I have already said, this wine is VERY fruity and so would be equally perfect drunk on a Mediterranean beach lounger or at a festive gathering. It gives one such a positive feeling as the sweetness, colour and bite combine to lift the spirits through more that just the taste.

I thoroughly enjoyed drinking something so different and fresh and would heartily recommend this to anyone looking for a wine that will bring a smile to their lips.

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