Monday, 13 August 2012

halfwine.com unveils wines for chilli & spice lovers

The British love affair with hot & spicy food is well documented and recent findings show no sign of it abating. On the contrary, it seems Brits are becoming ever more adventurous, developing a taste for increasingly spicy dishes.

Demand for Mexican chillies is up 20% in the last year*; Tesco has launched the UK’s hottest ever cheese, the fiery Scotch Bonnet Chilli – 50 times hotter than a Jalapeno, and according to a poll by the British Curry Club, The Jalfrezi – a hot dish cooked using green chillies – is now the most popular choice in Britain's 10,000 Indian restaurants.

But, until now, white wine has not been seen as particularly well suited to hot & spicy food.

Consequently, spice loving Brits have had limited choice when it comes to suitable wines to complement their fiery foods.

Thankfully, that is changing.

{halfwine.com, the quality half bottle wine merchant, is growing its portfolio to include the Alsace Collection, which features several wines that go well with chilli-based dishes and curries.

Here are some popular food pairing suggestions, featuring wines from the collection, courtesy of halfwine.com’s founder, Kevin Dilton-Hill:

“Riesling, which is characterised by lemons and acidity, complements chilli-based dishes, such as Chilli prawn noodles, Laksa or a Thai green chicken curry.”

“Gewurztraminer, a highly aromatic and spicy wine, is a great complement to certain curries, particularly the cream-based ones such as a Goan fish curry, or Tandoori chicken.”

But, if you don’t like spicy food or are looking for something different as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to fish and chicken dishes, then try the third wine from halfwine.com, the Pinot Gris.

In addition to the great tastes in the new collection, there are many other benefits to half bottles of wine:

* Reduced wastage – even if wine saving methods are used, opened bottles of wine de-generate quickly, which negatively alters the taste of the wine if the full bottle is not re-quired.

* Healthier options – With government initiatives such as drinkaware highlighting the dangers of long term excessive drinking, the need to limit intake is more pertinent than ever before. Half bottles of wine allow consumers to enjoy wine without the guilt of opening a whole bottle.

* Increased variety – Half bottles allow consumers to broaden their palate and try new varieties in a more cost effective way.

* Cost effective – Half bottles of fine wines are better value than regular sized bottles for those who do not wish to finish the whole bottle. The halfwine.com range also includes everyday wines, which are low cost, true to type and do not compromise on quality.

* Drink better quality wines – Half bottles encourage consumers to choose quality over quantity.

The New halfwine.com Wines

• Bott Frères (375ml), 2010, Riesling ~ White, Old World, Riesling from Alsace France. Fruity and characteristic nose, lively citrus fruit reaction in the mouth and quite dry. It’s what’s expected of an Alsatian Riesling. 2010 was rated as one of the best vintages in Alsace for some time. £7.30 from halfwine.com

• Bott Frères (375ml), 2011, Gewurztraminer ~ White, Old World, Gewurztraminer from Alsace France. This is a classic Gewurztraminer. Youthful, fresh and floral, combined with exotic fruit flavours and the subtle hints of oriental spices. £8.30 from halfwine.com

• Bott Frères (375ml), 2011, Pinot Gris ~ White, Old World, Pinot Gris from Alsace France. This is a classic Pinot Gris. On the eye, clear with tints of straw yellow. The wine recalls forest vegetation and has a delicate smoky aroma, with notes of linden-tree blossoms. £8.10 from halfwine.com

• Domaine Weinbach (375ml), 2009, Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg ~ White, Old World, Riesling from Alsace France. This wine is full of fruit, apples and lemons and has great minerality. There is a hint of bottle age adding further depth and complexity. £15.20 from halfwine.com

• Domaine Weinbach (375ml), 2009, Gewurztraminer Altenbourg ~ White, Old World, Gewurztraminer from Alsace France. This Gewurztraminer has a great nose, rose and lychee, a full mouth feel and a long finish. £18.50 from halfwine.com

• Domaine Weinbach (375ml), 2009, Pinot Gris Altenbourg ~ White, Old World, Pinot Gris from Alsace France. This Pinot Gris has great aromatic complexity, with a lot of deepness and power, it is wonderfully balanced. £18.50 from halfwine.com

In addition to being available individually, halfwine.com also offer a six-bottle collection to compare and contrast the main Alsace varietals and two very different quality vigneron, £75.90 + delivery (for orders under 12 bottles) from halfwine.com

The new Alsace Collection is a range that champions celebrated grape varietals Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, from the vineyards of Bott Frères and Domaine Weinbach.

The new Alsace Collection has been sourced from two different suppliers in the Grand Cru vineyard packed region of Haut-Rhin. The first, Bott Frères produces great quality everyday wines from the vineyard in Ribeauvillé. The second, Domaine Weinbach wines, come from the town of Kayserberg, about 12 km away. The wines of the latter have been likened by some experts to Chateau Margaux or Chateau d'Yquem in Bordeaux, and as such these wines sit amongst the premium wines on halfwine.com.

“halfwine.com buyers have been looking to grow the white wines in the portfolio; whilst it is fair to say that the Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs are always popular choices, we think that these wines from Alsace will provide the necessary variety for those that want it. Not to mention lovers of chilli or spiced foods, with which Gewurztraminer and Riesling make worthy adversaries!" commented Kevin Dilton-Hill, founder and buyer for halfwine.com.

“Alsace is a heavenly area for wine-lovers; most cellar-doors will offer an extraordinary 20+ wines to taste. This is because there are three major varietals - Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer – and several minor ones – Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir. Each major varietal comes in different guises; a basic wine, a reserve, a Grand Cru. And then there are the sweet wines – Vedage Tardive (late harvest) and Grains Nobles (grapes affected by ‘noble rot’, Botrytis Cinerea). Finally, there are likely to be several vintages. We focused on Riesling and Pinot Gris in the Basic, Reserve and Grand Cru forms. We have selected wines for everyday from Bott Frères and our premium collection from Domaine Weinbach.

For more on the wine tasting trips, visit halfwine.com/blog.


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