13th March 2018
Let's Get Wasted
The Gurnards Head is a fabulous place. It is indeed remote, on the North Cornish coast on Penwith the western tip of the county. The spectacular scenery is always backed up by the warmth of the welcome, the comfort of the surroundings and the inventive yet always reliable cooking. The wine list is though, to me naturally, the clincher. How can such a remote spot have a list of such real but concise interest. Challenging, but accessible with nods to tradition and vinous daring too.
As is now the way of the world social media has played a role in how More Wine got to this remarkable spot. The inimitable and somewhat superhuman Claire Thompson who somehow manages to cook, write amazing cookery books, blog, be mum to 3 young kids, perform on stage, cook some more and still find time to consult on the wine lists at Eat Drink Sleep (probably amongst many other notable achievements!!) got in touch via Instagram. Could we meet up in Bristol with Edmund Inkin and the team from the three sites to try out a range of BIB (bag in box) wines.
Elated, delighted and so very pleased. The Gurnards Head had hosted us as newly-weds way back when there were no kids and seemingly we had not a care in the world. It was our first time and Claire’s influence probably still very much in evidence the kitchen!
More Wine is chuffed to be asked to help host the latest of their wine suppers: ‘Wasted’ on Friday 23rd March. More Wine will be pairing a selection of our wines sourced with an environmental conscience with the so-called scraps and throw-aways of a professional kitchen, creatively brought to life by Max, currently at the helm.
In simple terms young, fresh aromatic wine; wines which are made to be drunk within 18 months of vintage and those wines which do not need extended maturation simply do not need to be encased by glass bottles. It is however the accepted norm in the UK and for whatever reason More Wine has taken on the task of swimming against this glass bottle tide.
Consider Quello, our naturally sparkling wine in a can. A perfect aperitif, naturally fermented semi-sparkling Trebbiano and Pagadebit from Emilia-Romagna with no added CO2 or glycerin. Great as a single serve, just add a biodegradable straw or use as the perfect cocktail base. The weight of an empty Quello can is just 15g (or 7% of the end good), the weight of an empty sparkling wine bottle normally in excess of 500g! or 40% Consider further that with aluminium readily recyclable in this country, it can be back up and running within as little as 60 days and without losing any of its properties during the process.
There has been a lot of press recently about the use of single use plastic and rightly so. More Wine is thus proud to introduce from April 2018 the ‘SAVE OUR (INNER) SOUL’ campaign. We are delighted to team up with the fabulous ‘Terracycle’ who are committed to recycling the apparently non-recyclable. The complex composition of the inner plastic of our BIB wines (and our pouches) no longer needs to be a source of frustration on the sustainable More Wine journey, nor does it ever need to end up in landfill! Return your fully drained (and rinsed please!) inner plastics and we can ‘SAVE OUR SOUL’ together by preventing any part of the More Wine packaging going to landfill. To us the environmental efficiencies of importing wine in lightweight formats is reason enough, the carbon savings are vast. The empty weight of a pouch is a mere 55g, compared to a minimum of 800g of glass waste created by the equivalent volume of wine housed in two glass bottles. It remains the case that about 40% of glass bottles and jars in the UK do not even get to recycling (WRAP 2012), whilst the process to reform glass is not especially efficient. We hope that closing the circle on our packaging recycling will help convince even more people to drink in a sustainable fashion.
Roughly 38% of wine consumed in France comes from bag in box (compared to a paltry 3% in the UK, well for now anyway and thanks to When in Rome for the stats) whilst a recent study in Norway shows that the most carbon efficient method of importing wine is via BIB 5 litre. If you can consider all the various movements of packaging during the life cycle of the product then you can realise it’s importance. For BIBs unfilled packs can be delivered flat, while filled packs are easy to palletise and can be packed very efficiently. Smurfitt Kappa the industry benchmark provider of packaging states ‘For instance, one truck of 3 litre bags is the equivalent of six trucks carrying 75cl bottles. It is possible to transport an additional 40% at a time with Bag-in-Box®.’ Space and weight saving efficiencies, drink More Wine and help save the planet!
More Wine understands there are some limitations of pouch and BIB wine. Sparkling wine isn’t going to happen, nor is there any capacity to age wine in pouch or BIB, not generally a problem as most wine purchased in the UK is for immediate consumption. The various styles of fortified wine, think Port, Sherry and dessert wines are also not commercially viable in BIB, though I did spot a 5 litre BIB of Genepi in the Alps last spring. More Wine is always happy to give an opinion on your carefully cellared mature Burgundy and Claret, no problem! In such instances and when only a bottle of wine will do we will not resist!!
NATURAL FIZZ IN A CAN
QUELLO (#JustBubbles) CAN
A naturally fermented sparkling white wine in a slim 200ml aluminum can. Lighter and more portable than glass, chills faster, easy to crush and dispose when empty. The wine is naturally fermented from Trebbiano and the rare Pagadebit grapes grown in Emilia-Romagna. The second fermentation to give the wine it’s sparkle occurs in tank in the same way as some Prosecco, though the sugar content is lower than most Prosecco at 8mg/litre compared to a standard 12mg/litre. It is as natural as can be, a purist’s delight with no added CO2 or glycerin. Light, refreshing, zesty, quaffable and a mere 11% ABV. Perfect as an aperitif, straight from the can or use it as a cocktail base, the choice is yours. Semi-sparkling.
11% ABV - Vegan
Les Tetes Blanc
Tank #7, Bourgueil, Les Tetes, Loire, VinNaturo, France £25 per 1.5 litre POUCH (= £12.5 / per normal bottle size 75cl)
Round, rich with great minerality and a hint of smokiness, predominantly Chenin Blanc. Organic grapes grown just outside the AOCs, Bourgueil and Touraine. Crisp edged, energised, beautifully balance and very drinkable. Nothing added, nothing taken away, very low sulphites added
12% ABV - Organic, Biodynamic, Low Sulphites, Vegan
Merlot, Azienda Agricola Passerina, IGT Veneto, When in Rome, Italy
£27 per 2.25 litre BAG IN BOX (= £9 / per normal bottle size 75cl)
Light bodied, delicate and slightly herbaceous; this Merlot is a really easy drinker and especially versatile at only 11.5% ABV. From a 100 year old vineyard, founded by Guido Passarini and now managed by his grandson, Luigi and Gianfranco.
Dolcetto, Valli Unite, Piedmont, Italy
Not for the faint hearted. This is 100% Dolcetto from non-invasive viticulture with a real desire to increase the bio-diversity of the land. Biodynamically farmed, the wine is intense, dry with a lip smacking moreishness.
14.5% - Organic, Biodynamic, Low Sulphite, Vegan
2015 Coteax du Layon, Saint Lambert, Dme Vincent Ogereau, Anjou Loire
£20 per 75cl bottle (YES GLASS)
Vincent Ogereau is currently considered one of the outstanding producers from this dynamic region of the Loire Valley. This appellation, in the region around the medieval city of Angers, produces its high-quality white sweet wines from grapes grown along the Layon River. The climate, soils and grape type are ideal for producing some of the world’s finest sweet wines. The early morning fog rising off the Layon River creates the high humidity necessary for developing Botrytis Cinerea, the famous “Noble-Rot” which makes great sweet white wines such as Sauternes. The warm afternoon sun and long harvest season allows full ripening of the grapes, which shrivel and concentrate the sugars. At a top domaine like Ogereau, the harvest is conducted in a series of tries, or passes through the vineyard to select only the ripest grapes. Ogereau is considered one of the masters in this premier sweet-wine producing region. Chenin Blanc is king here, matching perfectly with the clay-schist soils of the region. The village indication “Saint Lambert” on the label indicates a higher level of quality. The viticulture is completely organic chez Ogereau and only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation. The harvest, from October through the end of November, is performed manually in selected pickings called tri, to ensure gathering the grapes at their maximum maturity. The grapes for the wines go directly from harvest to press, where they undergo a long but gentle extraction for 12 hours. Fermentation takes place very slowly in 500-litre oak demi-muids for at least 6 months, up to a year for the top cuvées, which helps stabilize these sweet wines. Like all great winemakers, Ogereau works by taste, not analysis. The cornerstone elements of his sweet white wines are acidity, sugar and alcohol. When all three are in balance, he stops the fermentation by racking, lightly sulphuring and filtering at bottling. In this way Ogereau gets the most out of those shrivelled berries without any of the bitter elements.
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