Tag Archives: Ciu ciu

Perfect Wines for a Dinner Party

With hit shows like Come Dine With Me and Masterchef, together with a dint in some of our funds, ‘staying in’ is the new ‘going out’ .

Other than choosing a menu and selecting the guests (which in itself can be a total nightmare – are Uncle Henry and Great Aunt Maud talking again – will your bosses wife end up under the table again?) Choosing which wines to serve with your meal to compliment your food and impress your guests can be a hard decision.

I always like to start a dinner party with a glass of Prosecco. It is an excellent way to greet guests and most people will accept a glass of fizz. When all your guests have finally arrived then you can seat everyone.

I will very often serve a seafood starter or a soup for my first course and I can think of nothing better than a Verdicchio to compliment any seafood dish. With hints of honey and lemon this wine will enhance any starter. Your guests will also be thrilled with the elegance of this wine. (I love to make a crab meat and smoked salmon parcel as a starter – it never fails to satisfy.) 

For a main course I like to have something that does not need a lot of final finishing, a new favourite of mine is a Steak and Smoked Oyster pie with roasted vegetables. For this I need a big flavourful red. Something that can compete with the rich flavours but not drown out the subtle smokiness of the oysters. I have a great organic Malbec from Argentina called Ruca Malen and this will be beautiful. Tight berry fruit and a long finish. (I think I am going to have to have a dinner party soon – this is making my mouth water)

I am not really a pudding person but an old favourite which is easy to make and will not leave me stuck in the kitchen away from my guests for too long is a light and dark, Tia Maria chocolate mousse – heaven. As it is prepared earlier in the day I just need to serve it out. But what with? A Vin Santo is of course a great traditional pudding wine and with its sweet, tangy flavours would be perfect, however I also have a Spergola from Reggiano with hints of peach and a refreshing cleansing fizz that is only 6% proof and an incredible pudding wine.

Finally the Cheese and biscuits and then the washing up…. oh well. the Late Bottled Vintage Port from Niepoort will go down beautifully…. lets hope I get some invites back.

Whatever you serve – I am always ready to help with food and wine matching so please-

Talk to me

Alex the Wine Lady

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Filed under Alex the Wine Lady, Bat and Bottle, organic wine, Uncategorized, Vin Santo, Wine

Ciu Ciu (choo choo) arrive in Oakham

Two years ago I was lucky enough to be the UK representative of an Italian Trade Mission to Vin Italy. (Which basically means I went to Verona and tasted hundreds of wines in a short space of time.) There were some good and bad points to this visit.


  1. I got to visit Verona. (A glorious city with a balcony that some fictional characters once snogged on.)
  2. I got to taste hundreds of wines.
  3. I met some wonderful people from all over the world with a common interest – Good Italian Wines.
  4. I got to taste hundreds of wines. (That one is worth repeating.)
  1. Not all the wines I tasted were good. (Generally about 1 in 20 were good and about 1 in 100 were great.)
  2. My teeth, tongue and lips were black from tasting so many red wines.
  3. I was filmed spitting into a spittoon. (I would have swallowed the wine but it did not fall into the category of good or great… so I spat it out on camera!)
  4. I had to sit face to face with producers who totally believed in their product and tell them it was nice or interesting, but not quite what I am looking for… (all the time trying not to hurt their feelings or insult their wine even though it was only good enough for Tesco.)
However on this particular trip (which was so much fun) I did meet ‘Ciu Ciu’. They are organic wine producers from the Marche region of Italy and it was a breath of fresh air tasting their wines. I asked Ben to taste the wine and he loved it too. The whites stood out as being vibrant, fresh and invigorating and the reds as warm, seductive and inviting.
Ciu CiuFinally they have arrived in Oakham. The Bacchus was opened in Ben’s Wine Shop on Friday and Saturday and went down very well. It was full of forest fruit and has a rich and vibrant finish. 
You can be among the first to try these wines, just give me a call I will get a case out to you….
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Alex the Wine Lady
Facebook Page    Telephone 07544 750273
E-mail – alexthewinelady@gmail.com

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Filed under Alex the Wine Lady, Bat and Bottle, organic wine, Uncategorized