This month’s selection for the BBC’s Bill Buckley
If you’re tuning in for this Sunday’s selection of wines for Bill Buckley’s show on BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford, here are the full details of what we’re tasting, with prices and stockists.
We’re talking about the boom in British craft gins, which shows no sign of slowing down. Manchester Gin is a relative newcomer, but it already has a significant range. Their ‘Signature’ gin is a particular favourite of mine, with its classic citrus character, but it’s well worth trying this variation. Manchester Gin ‘Wild Spirit’ (£32 at MasterofMalt.com ) is a creamy, savoury variant, with herbaceous notes apparently inspired by walks through the woodlands of Manchester. The tonic I chose for this was Fever Tree Naturally Light.
I love Champagne. Or rather, I love sparkling wine that’s made the Champagne way. We used to say ‘Methode Champenoise’, but we now call it ‘Traditional Method’, because the Champenoise are very protective of the former name. In short, it means the secondary fermentation happens in bottle, before being disgorged, which gives it that lovely ‘autolytic’, yeasty, toasty character. There are some great ‘Trad Method’ sparklers being made around the world these days, giving the Champenoise a run for their money, and this is a brilliant example, at a great price, from one of Chile’s most innovative producers Montes. Sparkling Angel Brut NV by Montes (£15.99 but currently on promotion at £13.99) is available at Simply Wines Direct at Pangbourne in Berkshire, either online or in store.
We’re talking Fair Trade, and what that means in reality. If you’re buying wine from a country that has evident social inequality, then it’s a really nice idea to look out for the Fair Trade logo on the bottle, which means the producer has signed up to a set of standards that should hopefully benefit their workers and local community. It’s great to see the major retailers stocking these wines, especially the discounters. So well done Aldi, for stocking this Cape Original Fair Trade Chenin Chardonnay (£5.49). It’s nice to know that a cheap wine like this can also have the Fair Trade credentials.
Finally, a treat from Tuscany. Montalcino is one of the region’s famous hilltop towns, it’s slopes surrounded by historic vineyards. The town offers food that’s amongst Italy’s finest, with wines to Match. Banfi is one of its biggest names, despite only being established in 1978. Banfi Rosso di Montalcino 2016 (£20 from good independent wine stockists) is the perfect pairing for a rustic Italian supper.
Thank you for listening. Enjoy!