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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

2013 - A Year In Review: Merchants, Dinners And Other Observations‏

The final part in my review of 2013's drinking - focusing on merchants and dinners

This year I've continued to review and recommend the wines of our local Cambridge merchants with my Wine of the Month column which also broadcasts on Cambridge105's Flavour programme.

The national retailer who has most impressed me this year has been The Co-op with their range of Champagnes - these have been not only good quality, but also good value; Les Pionniers 2004 was the best own-label fizz of the year, possibly ever, and the NV version was not too shabby either.

My top large independent remains The Wine Society - the John Lewis of wine retailing, their quality and consistency are second to none.

I've had a number of excellent meals this year and an increasing number have been blogger dinners - the level of interest in bloggers seems to have really taken off this year.

The best of these were Change and Innovation In Bordeaux and a vertical tasting dinner with Kleine Zalze - I needed no convincing as to the merits of Bordeaux, but an evening of Chenin Blanc finally turned me on to this great grape variety.

An aged wines and game dinner organised for fellow wine enthusiasts in Cambridge was superb and saw perhaps the best and most diverse range of wines I have ever tasted in a single sitting - definitely a format to repeat.

I have also reviewed three new entrants to the online wine retailing space - WineHound, WineTrust 100 and Rude Wines; all the wines have been good and each has their own schtick, so it really comes down to personal preferences.

Other related articles
2013 - Personal Favourites
2013 - Regions

Image credit: http://www.food-passion.co.uk/wine-merchants/images/FoodPassionImage3.jpg

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