latest videos
May 21, 2012 0

Tips and trends for how to enjoy and learn about wine (selection)

By in The Butler Wine-Show

When we can we ask people in the know for their tips on what to buy or try in the world of wine and spirits. It also makes a change from listening to Henry drone on.

Here are all those videos – the most recent of which come from our trip to the Big Fortified Tasting in May 2012

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May 21, 2012 0

Madeira wine with food, plus Australian sweet wines

By in Tasting, The Butler Wine-Show, Wine reading

At the Big Fortified tasting we saw Madeira guru Trevor Elliot run a seminar on matching the fortified wine with food.

Sounds bananas doesn’t it. But it can really work.

First on economic grounds: if you’re someone who comes home and necks a bottle a night, my hats off to you. But you might want to rein that in. A fortified wine is a smart way to do that: it can last for weeks in the fridge and one small glass, instead of half a bottle, will give you the alcohol punch you need after a stressful day at the office.

Madeira is clever because it has a four-step range from dry to sweet. Start on labels stating Verdelho or Bual – these are the mid ranges, and will compliment savoury to sweet (or cheese).

Give it a go and let us know how you get on.

At The Big Fortified Tasting this year there were some seminars – one of which was presented by Chris Pfeiffer of Rutherglen.

They’ve been making wines for 20-odd years in Australia and run the full gambit of honeyed dessert wines to sticky, Pedro Ximenez-style wines.

Although its a more risky way to make sweet wine, where the fruit is more liable to infection, Rutherglen let the grapes mature on the vine, rather than sun-drying. This means the acid in the fruit matures alongside the sugar. As a result, these are sweet, but not cloying.

They’re a terrific range of wines and affordable – the Topaque was a particular hit with Cameraman.

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April 20, 2012 0

Portugal Tour Pt 1: Hungover in Porto

By in The Butler Wine-Show, Wine travel

Our tour of Northern Portugal started already worse for booze on a flight to Porto.

Then we ventured out of our hotel (the great and inexpensive 6Only) to the streets of the great city. Porto can be described as “a town helping police with its enquiries” and our first beer, in the world’s worst brothel, was a testament to that…

Also worth mentioning was the restaurant ODE Winehouse. Intense!

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February 28, 2012 0

Wine with Pork for National Pig Day (seriously) + the Ginger Chef

By in Occasions, The Butler Wine-Show

March 1st is National Pig Day. So we invited ourselves down to The Ginger Pig – one of the Bib Gourmand winning Ginger Group.

We’ve picked three wines to go with Pork:

Italian Gavi tastes of apples so is a natural fit.
Spanish Rioja is made with Iberico ham in mind, so a red with that works well.
And Portugal’s Baga grape leads the Luis Paton Rebel – another great red.

Now get piggin’!

To help us mark National Pig Day, the very talented Ben McKellar – the talent behind the chain of “Ginger” restaurants in the South East – takes us through a dish using a trio of pork.

Tenderloin, crispy pig’s head, and amazing balls of deep fried black pudding come together with carrots and pea shoots in a dish from The Ginger Pig.

Seek out his restaurants – they collectively were awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand – and use local seasonal produce to great effect.

And follow Ben’s work and recipes on his blog:

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February 8, 2012 0

Valtentine Wine 2012

By in Occasions, The Butler Wine-Show

It’s that time again…

After last year’s pink shorts, Henry takes to his bed to read out your (sometimes wine related) Valentine messages and recommends three wines to try on the dismal day:

Prove your love with a £75 bottle from Molly Dooker in Australia, Carnival of Love.

Stay in Oz for Double Love Trouble from the Some Young Punks – winners of our favourite label prize.

And if you want pink and frothy, an excellent, grown up sparkling from Ferrari in Italy.

But let’s be honest, the wine pales next to your messages of er…romance. Hey, we just read out what we’re given – and even these have been through an editing process – some of you are lucky to be in relationships at all!

Approach with caution. Contains strong language. But hell, that’s love for you!

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February 1, 2012 0

Sherry with your food

By in Questions, The Butler Wine-Show

When we caught up with Richard Hemming who writes for he suggested that food and sherry could be the next big thing.

Then a book comes through the post of top chefs marrying recipes with food; then Pelham House Hotel asks us to host a sherry and food night.

For those that can’t make that, here’s a brief overview of the three main sherry types and how to serve them with starter, main and pudding.

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January 27, 2012 0

Dave Broom on buying whisky: How much? As a present? Like wine, like whisky?

By in Tasting, The Butler Wine-Show

A final word from Booze Admiral Dave Brown while we had him. Something we find in the shops is people balking at the price of some lesser known or rare spirits: but some of them, as Cameraman has found out every night since we made our Rum special, are worth throwing in the extra penny for.

The worry is obviously paying a large sum – say £40 + for a bottle – only to find its not to your taste. Ask your friendly local independent retailer for advice. We can find out what your palate does like and steer you in the right direction.

But Dave makes a good point: a bottle of whisky should last a hell of a lot longer than a bottle of wine…should I said…

If our videos with drinks legend Dave Broom have whetted your appetite to try whisky, then the next question will be: where do I start?

Dave helped develop the Malt Whisky Flavour Map, and you’ll find it in most supermarkets, or easily online. It divides the basic flavours of whisky into four categories: smoky, delicate, fresh and rich – and plots whiskies onto a graph for these four.

But those four flavours are applicable to wine as well, so as Dave explains, if you like a zing fresh Riesling you’ll like a Cardu or Linkwood for example – all detailed on the maps.

Over to Dave to make more sense of it all…

“I’ll get him a bottle of Scotch.”

We’ve all heard that. Cameraman wanted a bottle for a work mate who did him a favour and pinched a bottle of Hanky Bannister out of the cellar, poisoning the workmate and his family.

So if you want to truly say “thank you” to someone, will a bottle of Teachers cut the mustard?

Whisky maestro Dave Broom answers the question with options including membership to Whisky Clubs, Japanese Whisky, Independent Distillers, and the new wave of top notch Irish Whiskies – all of which would be very much appreciated by anyone with palate.

Its a fine line between wine and whisky so our hope is Dave encourages some of you to try a new breed of tipple alongside the old.

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January 24, 2012 0

Burns Night Whisky with Dave Broom

By in Occasions, The Butler Wine-Show

It’s Burn’s Night: which means a sheep’s stomach filled with oats carried in by a man saying unintelligible sentences. Its also apparently means me wearing Cameraman’s kilt which he claims to have never worn with underpants, nor to have washed it for 14 years.

We went to the laboratory/home of Whisky Dave Broom, one of the world’s leading writers and thinkers on all things distilled.

We asked him a few questions to get us into the wonderful world of whisky, and started with: what’s the best, easily obtainable, scotch to have with your neaps and haggis on January 25th?

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January 3, 2012 0

National Toss-A-Fruitcake Day

By in The Butler Wine-Show

Out with the old and in with the new – that’s the idea of National Toss a Fruitcake Day. It sort of works: shouting “piss off” to all the stodge and spice of the festive season by hurling the greatest symbol of it across a park accompanied by a primal scream.

It being Pantomime season we found a giant and made him stand on a box while we hurled mince pies, stollen, fruitcake and pudding at him. But what to drink as you do it?

Pedro Ximenez is sometimes dressed up as Sticky Toffee Pudding wine to peddle to those who have fallen out of love with sherry. More fool them: this is a fantastic and versatile drink. And our example from Lustau is a safe choice.

You can get Hungarian Tokaji (sounds like Popeye) that is so sweet it makes your teeth itch, but look for bottles that say 5 Puttonyos for one that strikes a safe balance between sweet and zesty.

Finally, I found a Prune Eau De Vie that I was going to take round Cameraman’s for New Year but his seasonal bowel is already responsible for much of road works on the Hove borders, so felt this would tempt fate.

The first one will strip the skin from your throat, but thereafter its a joy – just remember that Eau De Vie is a 40% spirit, not a wine, so sip don’t gulp or you’ll have a hangover until Easter.

As for Giant Will and the fruitcake tossing: we will post the the results of the industrial tribunal soon.

Happy new year!

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October 28, 2011 0

The Halloween Electric Wine Quiz

By in The Butler Wine-Show

Christmas has come early for Cameraman this Halloween as boss Henry agrees to enter novelist Peter James’ torture chamber and be strapped to the remarkably painful electrocution device.

Henry has to answer as many questions as it takes to reach a total of 8. There are two points for a correctly answered Halloween based question, and one point for a question answered on wine.

Quizmaster is played by Britain’s Favourite Crime Writer, Peter James, for whom murder, shock and punishment are daily bread and butter.

Play along at home, or just revel in Henry watching his chances of reproduction diminish before our very eyes.

This might be the best format we have ever created…

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