Welcome to Gettinghotforwine!

Tasting Portuguese Wines

November 7, 2022 by Melman Communications

Portugal is a country that may not be a surprising wine country, however apart from fortified wines such as Madeira and Port, very little is known about Portuguese wines. The cause of this may be found in marketing or barriers in language, but that is all irrelevant. Portugal has the perfect climate to grow grapes and has a high amount of indigenous grape varieties that makes wines from all over the country worth exploring! On November 7th, 15 Dutch importers had the chance to present their finest selection of this beautiful country. Come with us on this journey in all that Portugal has to offer.

Of course, as tastings like this go, you do not always get the chance to fully taste every wine at every stand. So, a small selection of highlights needs to be made. The importers present at the tasting were the following: - De Geluksdruif - Evers Wijn – Halfes - Het Portugees Wijnhuis – Krimpenfort Wijnen – Port & Wine Company – Horizon Wines Ovino – Portugal Wijn Import – Tire Bouchon – Casco Wijn – Viguurs in Wijn – Well of Wine – Wines Unlimited – Verbunt Verlinden

The first stand I visited was the one of Port & Wine Company, the importer that is very involved with wines and other products from Churchill. A company founded by the Grahams family. Such as the name suspects, the same Grahams family responsible for the well-known port, but is now focussing on other products and has sold the Grahams label and company to the Symington Family. The first wine that was presented to me was the Churchill’s Estate Branco (white) Vintage 2019 from the Douro valley. Sometimes even called the ‘Chablis’ of Douro. I was very curious to see if the wine lived up to its name. Starting in the nose the tones of minerality does make you think of Chablis, but it is still very different as many fruity aromas arise in the taste like white peach and citrus. The little time it spent aging on wood does reflect in the creamy texture, yet it finishes with a beautiful lively acidity. Apart from this white, the company is most known for its Tawny Reserve and Late Bottle Vintage Port and is on its way on creating their very own Port label! Apart from that, their Madeiras from Henriques & Henriques are recommended to taste.

Halfes lets you experience the most authentic Vinho Verdes and shows people that there is more to the area than only pale straw whites with high acidity! Although their whites do have more mouthfeel than your usual Verdes, complementing the typical nose with aromas in the taste of some citrus blossom and a touch of saline, along with some tangerine, it is mostly the reds that strike the mark. Once upon a time the area was actually more known for its red wines, rather than its white. The red blend from Casa da Tojeira provided a bomb of red fruits and soft tannins. Of course, the Grande Reserva Tinto gets more depth from the aging on oak barrels. Both blends consist of indigenous grape varieties like Vinhao, Amaral and Borracal.

Evers Wijn introduced me to some sparkling wines coming from the area of Bairrada. This region is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and has a high amount of clay and limestone in the soil. The sparkling from Kompassus follows the Methode Traditionelle with a second fermentation taking place in the bottle. The Espumante Blanc Brut, consists of the Chardonnay grape with local Fernao Pires and tinta Cao, gives us a beautiful palate of yellow apple, pear, yeast notes and a lively acidity. The Espumante Blanc de Noirs consists of Baga, Touriga Nacional and Pinot Noir and has spent almost three years aging in the bottle. Resulting in a very fine and elegant mousse with creamy yeast tones. This Espumante will be the perfect companion with a range of foods going from fresh fish to lighter meats.

Thinking about sustainable wine with as less added sulphites, Wines Unlimited – Salburg Wijnimport will be your go-to. Carefully only considering wineries that will work in an organic matter and after careful lab analysis, introducing clean and pure wines from Portugal to the Netherlands. The Vinho Verde and Tejo whites will have a closed of nose, but a clean crisp flavour. The one that really got my attention was the Clavis Aurea Reserva from Quinta do Casal Monteiro. Coming from the region of Tejo, which is located just above the capital Lisbon. A high influence of the river and the pine three forests give a perfect macroclimate to ripen the grapes. The Clavis has the perfect blend between Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon with the aromas of ripe red plums, blackberry, and a hint of chocolate. Perfect with red meats and mature cheeses.

Portugal Wijn Import gave me a taste of what Quinta do Piloto has to offer, a winery coming from the Penninsula de Setubal. A well-known region for its Moscatel, but also wonderful reds! The Palmela Tinto 2017 and the Palmela Tinto Reserva 2017 are a beautiful reflection of the Castelao grape with dark plums, spices, and well-integrated oak character.

Other wines that are worth exploring are:

  • Caves Soa Joao, Quinta do Poco Loco baga Reserva. From De Geluksdruif
  • Convento de Pasaiso Rose. From Sandor Wine Import
  • Niepoort Range from Horizon Wines & Ovino
  • Grahams Port Range from Verbunt Verlinden

Thank you for the organisation Melman Communications!

Interview with Tomas Munoz

October 25, 2022

Tomas Munoz is like a fresh wind blowing through Vina Errazuriz, much like the ocean winds blowing through the Aconcagua Valley, providing the wines with an elegant well balanced and yet innovating touch.
Today we had the chance to have a private one-on-one chat with the newest winemaker from one of Chili’s most prominent wineries. An inside look on what thrives him, what his vision is on Chilean wines in general, the Errazuriz’s wines in particular, and how the wine industry handles topics like sustainability and the increasing popularity of the use of local products. I was able to meet up with him at the bistro of hotel Karel V in Utrecht, where I was able to taste some of his excellent wines and got to pair them immediately with beautifully created dishes from the restaurant.

The Estate of Errazuriz was founded by Don Maximiano Errazuriz in 1870 and he was actually the first person to plant French grape varieties in the entire region of the Aconcagua Valley. It is no surprise that the winery grew to become one of the most famous high-quality wineries of Chili and enjoys worldwide fame. The new winemaker follows in the footsteps of winemaker Francisco Baettig Hidalgo, who remains involved overseeing the premium wine range and to act as an internal consultant. Tomas graduated as an oenologist in 2014 and has since gained experience working in vineyards with various soils and climates in different parts of the world. From internships at Crawford Wines in New Zealand and Delicato Family vineyards in California, to assistant winemaker at Grupo Santa Rita and Vina Carmen in Buin, Chili. This has led hem to become a winemaker at Errazuriz for little longer than a year before he became chief winemaker in June 2022.

Not being a stranger to the company, Tomas understands the vision and sees it aligned with its own, which is working in an innovating matter, but maintain certain traditions throughout the process. Grape varieties such as Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have already proven to be quite successful in Chile and now Tomas aspires to do the same with other varieties such as the Syrah and even Malbec. The key element is to produce wines that remain elegant and well- balanced. With that in mind what you need to expect from the Syrah is more of a Rhone-style, rather than an Australian one. A big factor in achieving this is making use of the natural elements in a correct way. The Aconcagua Valley lies between two mountain ranges, the Andes, and the Coast Ranges. The vineyards start somehow at the beginning of the valley, approximately 100 km south of the capital Santiago. Along the Coast Range there are certain gaps that allow breezes to blow in from the Pacific Ocean, the valley then functions as a funnel, having the wind travelling throughout the valley. This wind will have a cooling effect during the evening on the vines, which will preserve the natural acidity in the grapes. This will then define its colour, intensity of the nose and the aging potential, by making it deeper, more complex, and longer to age. This will also improve the health of the vines because the wind will blow the vines dry and reduces the risks of diseases and the use of pesticides. This leads to older vines with better fruit and more concentrated flavours.
Rocks in the vineyards can create coves to shield certain grape varieties from the breeze, instead of exposing them. The philosophy is to keep exploring different options that can lead to innovating results. Due to the natural benefits that the valley provides, Errazuriz will continue to produce wines from vines coming from this valley alone. Hence there is no desire to experiment in different regions. The climate is very mild and does not contain extreme temperatures like a very harsh winter or overly hot summer. There is rain falling mostly in winter, but usually stops when September comes around. Even though too much rain tends to be an issue it does not pose a huge threat, like it would in other regions of the wine world. In years that does not have enough rain, water coming down from the Andes mountains will be used to irrigate the grapes.
With that in mind, Tomas foresees the 2022 vintage to be a rather year providing wines with lively colour and well- balanced acidity. Also, the 2023 vintage is looking good, as there has been the right amount of rain this previous winter.
Subtle, elegant wines with an expression of the terroir remain the strive of the winery. Not only the breeze or the morning fog will help retain acidity or add complexity, but also the soil will play a big part in it. The most common rock is a volcanic cyst that breaks down in layers, vertically in the ground, that way the roots of the vines need to enter through the layers in order to get to the water. This however does not stress the vine, but it makes it work just a little harder so the balance of nutrients will be found. This again shows in the subtle, elegant character of the wines. The more selected blocks of the vineyards will add more complexity to the wines and are reserved for the more premium range such as La Pizarras for producing a highly complex Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. The range ‘Max’ has a certain type of Chardonnay coming from selected vineyards rather close to the ocean, so it can retain the acidity even better. It creates a creamy texture during the time it spends on the lees and aging notes from the 10-month period in wooden barrels. Leading to an interaction of refreshing citrus fruit, green pineapple, and a touch of vanilla on the palate. Perfect for dishes with scallops, salmon or even chicken and veal.

The flagship wines are named after its founder Don Maximiano and just go by the name of ‘Villa Don Maximiano’. I was able to taste the vintage 2017, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Grenache and Mourvedre. It has spent 22 moths in oak barrels, 50% new. Sublte hints of red fruits, along with blackcurrent, dried tea leaves, subtle oak, and elegant yet present tannins. A wine like this went beautiful with the slow cooked beef cheek I ordered at Karel V.

As discussed above the climate conditions work in favour of striving towards a sustainable approach, however Tomas believes that it goes much further than this. Sustainability is more than keeping the vines healthy, not using any pesticide, or reducing the use of heavier glass bottles. For him it also goes to the mental and physical health of the employees. Employees remain the most valuable asset in a business, keeping then healthy and happy is a major part in whether your business will succeed. This is also being sustainable. A statement that we can only applaud.
The tendence around the world is to work with more and more local products. We see it happening in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and around Europe, but also in Chili. The aim of being CO2 neutral is becoming more and more the norm everywhere. Errazuriz works on that by getting local products supplied to them when hosting various events or receptions. The consumptions of local wines will also be promoted. Of course, a big part of the business is international export, and being CO2 neutral is the answer to this in terms of transport through vehicles and airplanes. Also vats of local wood will be used to age certain wines. The year 2013 is a tipping point in this topic, where due to climate chance the use wood was reduced. Therefore, Chili has always had the reputation of having basic, bulk and fruit driven wines. Being fruit driven does not mean that it would be less in quality, but it does add to the image that many people have of Chilean wines. The county as a whole however is now trying to change that image by enforcing stricter regulations and bringing higher quality to the market. This all of course with Vina Errazuriz and Tomas Munoz playing a leading role in this change.

The whole team at The Story of My wine wants to wish Tomas the best of luck on his new career path and excitingly look forward to his new wines and what he does next!

For more information I happily refer to the winery’s website on www.errazuriz.com

Tastin' France

October 24, 2022

A unique opportunity presented itself for importers and journalists from the Netherlands to discover hidden gems from famous French wine regions. Business France put together a group of enthusiastic wineries that work both traditional and innovating to present their finest bottles at hotel Casa in Amsterdam. Over 30 producers from 10 different wine regions were presented to the public and even though each one of them has the same amount of passion and drive towards the world of wine, there were some highlights that are worth to explore a little deeper.

Before I really went off and explored, I was keen to start with a champagne tasting at Cad ‘Export with the Delahaie Champagne. A family company that has been operating in Epernay since the late 1950’s. The way the champagnes are produced, does seem to follow the tendence of the market, especially in terms of residual sugar. However, by obtaining a minimum of 24-month aging on the lees starting with the Brut Premier, they do create the red thread to be found in all of their champagnes. The creaminess stays nice and subtle and does not overrule the freshness of the fruit characters. This all has the result that, starting with the Brut Premier, the aftertaste is already quite long. From there on the complexity gets higher due to the longer aging on the lees and use of different ratios of the grapes Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay. The Cuvee Sublime for instance has the blend of only Pinot Noir and Meunier, a Blanc de Noirs with up to 36 months of aging, coming from the best hills of the Champagne area. Of course, the best one of the selection was the vintage 2015. The Vintage Champagne will only be made in the best years, and in terms of the 2015 a careful selection of 50 % Pinot Noir grapes and 50 % Chardonnay grapes were picked from the best champagne plots. The minimum aging in this case is 48 months and sometimes even more. The complexity was beautiful and endless with an even more creamy texture, aged fruit, burned nuts, but still a lively acidity and a very long aftertaste.

After my champagne experience, the first stand that got my attention was the one from Maison Francois Ducrot, a winemaker from the Languedoc area. Ducrot is a key figure in the biological growth and health of the vines for a numerous of vineyards in the areas of the Gard and the Herault, located around the city of Montpellier. The whole range of wines are certified on being biological, having little sulphites for the rose and white, and even none at all for the red wines. The mascot for their philosophy is a sheep that is imaged on most of their labels. This sheep represents the natural cycle of nature giving back to nature. The sheep not only fertilize the soil, with their pawprints the soil gets tamped in such a way that it does not kill good bacteria and the soil therefore stays healthy. Most of the wines were tasted, but there were a few that really stood out.

Flamin’ Pink

This Rose wine is an ode to the regional bird that you can find on the coast of the Gulf of Lion, the flamingo. When seeing the label, a warm summer night with a cooling Mediterranean breeze springs to mind. Pale pink in colour, due to the direct pressing of the grapes and a creamier texture due to the three-month aging on the lees.

Grape variety: 50% Grenache Noir, 50% Mourvedre

Colour: Pale pink

Nose: white peach, juicy pear, and delicate white flowers

Palate: ripe tropical fruit of peaches and apricots, along with a creamy texture and a touch of saline.

Very long pleasant acidity in the aftertaste.

MIB (Mouton in Black)

Mouton being the French word for sheep, refers to the natural way of keeping the vines healthy. Also, the use of the word black is mainly meant as a pun because a red grape variety is used to produce this white wine. This Blanc de Noirs has gone through a malolactic conversion and was aged in stainless steel tanks for about 9 months.

Grape Variety: Grenache Noir

Colour: Pale gold

Nose: Ripe apricots with yellow apple, overripe peach, bread brioche notes and roasted almonds

Palate: harmonious palate with ripe fruit, brioche, creaminess, and acidity

La Vie en Orange

Orange wines are type that you do not see a lot in a wine country like France. This particular one does bring out the character of the grape varieties and the soil of limestones in an elegant way.

Grape variety: Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc

Colour: deep golden

Nose: orange peel, tangerine, overripe apple, and pear

Palate: Peach, apple, lychee. A tannin structure that reminds you of tea

An orange wine like this is great wine to match up with certain types of hard cheeses like old Gouda, due to the soft tannin structure, yet firm body of overripe fruits. Also, vegetable dishes will do the trick.

Another winery that stood out was Domaine La Louviere. Vineyards on the foothills on the north side of the mountain range of the Pyrenees, remind of a folklore of the gathering wolfs of the area, that would start their hunt from there. The name La Louviere refers to waking the wolf, which also reflects on the winery’s labels. Wolfs, all dressed up as characteristic roles from a Baroque like area in time. Names like ‘Le Libertin’, ‘Le Galant’, ‘La Muse’ and ‘La Souveraine’ represent white wines made of varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin, and Viognier.
‘Le Marquis’, ‘Le Coquin’, ‘La Maitresse’ and ‘La Seductrice’ stand for the red wines made of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.
However, there is one king or emperor that rules over them all and that is of course ‘ L’empereur’. The flagship of La Louviere with the AOP Malepere has the same blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. Even though the 2019 vintage was still a little bit young to drink, it did already display aging notes from the 18-month in barrique like clove, dried black fruits, and red fruit compote. This is a wine to be excited about when it starts aging!

Wandering to the representatives of the Loire Valley, which is one of my personal favourite regions. I noticed the booth of Les Canons and got talking with Hugues Bourdon, a young and enthusiastic sales manager for the winery. He showed me through their wines that there is another take on the Anjou area and that it has more to offer than only the semi-sweet rose wines. The vineyards itself has been used for over 11 generations, yet the winery Les Canons only started business from 2018 and has already surprising results! The vines grow on the hills of Coteaux de Layon and give the wines a real reflection of the terroir, consisting of clay and limestone. A shoutout goes to both their Cremants, one made of 100% Chenin and the other made of 100%, that would do surprising in a blind tasting among champagnes. Of course, the Anjou Rouge and Blanc are made of the flagship grapes of the region, which are Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. In particular the Chenin coming from 50–60-year-old vines and partially aged in barrels, giving the wine a very earthy and smoky touch. Their Sauvignon Blanc does have the French elegance and flair, but the fruitiness of Marlborough.
Throughout all their wines, the winery strives to work as organic and biological as possible. This not only in the vineyards but also with the production of the bottles where they are using less ink on the labels and less weight of the bottle itself.

Looking at the Bordeaux region, the producer I really want to highlight here is Famille Ducourt. The family has chateaus going from the left bank, all the way to the right, with a concentration in Entre-deux- Mers. It was mainly the Metissage Rouge, Metissage Blanc and Le Chant des Sirenes that got my attention. These wines made from the so called ‘new’ grape varieties like Souvignier Gris, Sauvignac and Cabernet Jura, are the first that I have encountered in a traditional winemaking country like France. Apart from showing the innovating side of the company, the wines are excellent in quality, each with a gold medal price of 90 points Decanter. Not much surprise, as each of their wines, also the ones made according to the Bordeaux standard, score very good to excellent in both the Decanter and James Suckling ratings. The classic wines tasted are already very good and will only continue to develop their quality over the years of aging.

Chateau des Ravatys shows that the area of Beaujolais is not standing still as well. With careful consideration the Gamay grape ferments according to the Maceration Carbonique in order to preserve the fruitiness of the grape. However, after the fermentation, the wine continues to age in oak barriques or foudres so perfect balance can be obtained. The vines are handpicked coming from the Cotes de Brouilly and Brouilly itself, in the townships of Saint-Lager and Odenas, within the crus of Beaujolais.
The Gamay grape is not only used to make these fine reds, but also gets harvested for the rose, which is fruity, yet powerful. Next to the Gamay, Chardonnay is harvested on a smaller scale for the production of Beaujolais Blanc.

Other producers worth exploring:

  • Les Vignerons des Coteaux de l’Isle, Bordeaux
  • Joseph Verdier, Loire Valley
  • Domaine Vincent Fleith, Alsace
  • Domaine Dambrun, Rhone
  • Chateau Saint-Aubin, Sud-Ouest
  • Kaasfort Amsterdam

More information about this tasting can be found on

TASTIN’ FRANCE | Maandag 24 oktober 2022 – Businessfrance-Events

Nablab 0.0 at Gastvrij Rotterdam

September 20, 2022

Is zero or low alcohol a thing that everyone is going to striving for in the future? Or will this continue to develop towards a rightful place in our beloved hospitality industry? These are questions about a topic that has been on everyone’s mind the last few years. As a modern society we have been starting to become more aware and conscious about what we eat, drink, and do. We want to keep the earth as healthy as possible. In that process we notice that people want to keep themselves as healthy as possible too, to enjoy this beautiful earth and life as long as possible and in order to develop the best version of ourselves. This initiative called Nab Lab 0.0 provides us an answer to part of these questions. An initiative brought forward by Servicecenter 4 Hospitality.

There can be numerous reasons why a person chooses not do drink. What those reasons are is irrelevant. As a hospitality business we must embrace the diversity of our guests and we are already putting in efforts to make this happen. Think of the options we have on menus now for vegan, gluten free or dishes suited for certain religious groups. When we try so hard to create a menu suited for everyone’s needs, this must reflect in our beverage assortment as the next step. As humans we have always been taught that alcohol is very much linked to different social events and traditions, think of Champagne at New Years eve, a bottle of wine with the business lunch or having beers with colleagues on Friday night. People who choose not to drink, should not be excluded from enjoying the full experience just because they do not drink alcohol. More and more bars and restaurants are getting onboard and provide their guests with alcohol free beer, wine, or spirits. The idea behind this initiative is that venue owners and hospitality managers become aware of these alternatives and see them as a way to expand the assortment they already have and enhance the guest experience.

The Nab Lab 0.0 Trade show is a trade event featuring zero and low alcoholic beverages and is the first of its kind to be held in the EU! During April 3rd and 4th 2023 this event will be held in Amsterdam and will connect retailers with producers and several hospitality entrepreneurs. The trade show will take place at the Taets Art & Event Park in Amsterdam, and the choice of the location is a conscious move to put Amsterdam on the map as a 0.0 city at heart. The event will function as live platform where experts will be speaking about the global mindful drinking movement, masterclasses will be organized, and international competitions will take place. In terms of experts, you can think of big names in the field, like Laura Willoughby from Club Soda and Susie Goldspink from IWRS Drinks Market Analysis. Visitors will get inspired and interact with various key figures and be informed about the alternatives and the importance of them. This event will be a must for all the entrepreneurs out there that are thinking of selling no and low alcohol in their venues or people who want to be more informed about what is happening in the market right now!

Registration and more information about this upcoming, exciting event can be found on nablab.eu

A wonderful chance to discover new and more conscious ways of enjoying life!

Food and Wine festival Gastrovino

September 4, 2022

Gastrovino is the place where fine food and fine wine intertwines. Since 1932 different entrepreneurs have set up a collaboration in of terms of European delicacies and wines worldwide. Their stores are widely loved across The Netherlands. To celebrate their 90th anniversary, a food and wine festival was organized at the historical site of Landgoederij Bunnik, an estate in The Netherlands. Over 40 booths with wines from across the world, along with finger licking good pastas, olive oil and the most amazing cheeses and cold cut meats, coming from Spain, Italy, Belgium, and The Netherlands of course. The afternoon was completed with the most engaging and inspiring masterclasses Get a sense of this amazing festival throughout my highlights below:

Upon arrival I noticed just how popular Gastrovino is, because over half an hour before opening doors, there was already a long cue outside. Once inside it was hard not to get overwhelmed by the choice of the booths, luckily a tasting booklet with all the participants and their products was provided. I immediately joined the first masterclass hosted by Francesca Dal Cero, from the Dal Cero family estate in Italy. They produce wines from different parts of the north of Italy as well as Tuscany. The wine that they are mostly known for is their Soave, made from the Garganega grape. Even though I have been to the town of Soave, it keeps on amazing me how much potential this grape has. Something that Francesca proved for me once again. Their Runcata Soave Superiore DOCG is top shelf and I got to taste the vintage 2020, 2017 and 2016. This line shows the aging potential very well with aromas going from fresh citrus and oak in the young one, going to aromas of minerals, lemon peel and a round creamy mouthfeel in the older vintages. This wine was truly made for aging, with a potential going up to 20 years.

After this class the tone was set for the afternoon, and I was excited to explore the festival. I decided to stay in Italy for a bit and I went to the Italian section hosted in the room called ‘De Deel’ which is the largest room decorated with a farm-like vibe with wooden beams and a fireplace. I tasted wines from Simone Capecci, from Le Marche, with their amazing Pecorino. This grape was almost extinct but after being revived in the area now made it to a DOGC certification. The fermentation in concrete tanks creates a creamy texture in the wine, making this more suitable than just for aperitive, but can also be matched with poultry or fish. A few stands further you could find the booth of Cantina Mesa, a winemaker from Sardinia who was very exuberant about his Carignano, Carignan in France. The Carignano does not have a DOCG label anywhere else in the country, except in this southern part of the Island of Sardinia. I can understand why, because his Carignano has beautiful notes of dried red fruits, cinnamon, cured meat and dried tobacco. The wine is not very high in tannins, which makes it a perfect match with rich poultry served with fruit-based sauces, but also game meat and veal. From this room, you can wander outside where the wines of Spain, Portugal and the new world were represented, along with several food stands.

The Afeltra pasta, cooked with the Olio Roi olive oil and green pesto was complex, rich, and simply delicious! It would go very well with some of the above-described wines, my mind tends to turn to Saove instantly. Also, the stand of Serra de Rodes with its Spanish specialties was worth a visit. Even though it was mostly very busy, and you had to squeeze your way in through the crowd, the complex and tasteful Chorizo and Fuet, along with the spicy Gazpacho Traditionele makes you want to come back for more. From there I made my way into the new world and stopped at the stand of Susana Balbo, who is just such an inspiration! She is not only the first female oenologist in Argentina, but she was also very involved in putting the grape Torrontes back on the wine map. In fact, it is her very own Crios Torrontes that has helped create the reputation of which the grape has today. A beautiful expression of rose pedals, white peaches, pear, and lemons. A soft acidity makes this a subtle yet complex wine. Apart from that she produces some amazing Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec late harvest.
The booth of Niel Joubert from Paarl, South- Africa provided beautiful Chenin Blancs, with a clear difference between the unoaked Chenin and the reserve. Going from fresh white peaches, yellow apple, jasmine, and citrus blossom to aged notes of lemon jam, cream, hazelnut, and bruised apple.

Walking back in, passing through Italy again and going to the room of ‘De Tapperij’ where the wines and cheeses from France were presented. Just coming back from a big wine trip throughout France, I was very excited to tasted some of my favourite wine regions again. However, a lot of people had that idea, so it was very crowded in the room and hard to make your way to the different booths. Especially the stand of Champagne Veuve Fourny & Fils was very busy, which I understand completely, because they do produce very complex, yet elegant Champagnes. The beautiful chalk expression makes for a very clean cut and fresh mouthfeel. Escaping the crowd, I found the booth of Chateau Adaugusta, run by the engineer Gerard Canual. He and his wife opened a winery in Saint- Emilion, Bordeaux after their retirement. The best thing they ever did if you ask me, because their Grand Cru in particular sends such a powerful message! Ripe tones of black berries, spiced plums, smoky oak, coffee, sandalwood, dark chocolate. I literally could not stop smelling its beautiful fragrance! Gerard gave me the tip to save some of the 2018 vintage and have it with some cheese from the booth next door. I had it with the Morbier AOP Bichonne, a blue cheese strong flavours that was so well balanced with the Saint-Emilion from Adaugusta! You can never go wrong with a blue cheese and a semi-aged Saint-Emilion in my book!

Of course, the festival had so much more to discover in terms of food and wines. Also, some very fine non- alcoholic booths were featured as well, thinking about sparkling wines from Spain and spiced ginger beers. Sadly, there was just not enough time for me to explore and discover all the amazing products that were presented there. So, there is only one thing for me to do, and for all you to do actually and that is to visit one of the shops of Gastrovino and to be advised by the experienced staff regarding their wonderful products. You can find the location of all their shops via their website gastrovino.nl

I wish you all a wonderful discovery journey!