Matthew's World of Wine and Drink

About Matthew's World of Wine and Drink.

This blog began as a record of taking the WSET Diploma, during which I studied and explored wines and spirits made all around the world. Having passed the Diploma and become a WSET Certified Educator, the blog has become much more: a continual outlet for my passion for the culture of wine, spirits, and beer.

I aim to educate in an informal, enlightening, and engaging manner. As well as maintaining this blog to track my latest enthusiasms, I provide educational tastings for restaurants and for private groups. Details can be found on the website, and collaborations are welcome.

Wine is my primary interest and area of expertise and this blog aims to immerse the reader in the history of wine, to understand why wine tastes like it does, and to explore all the latest news. At the same time, beer and spirits will never be ignored. 

For the drinker, whether casual or professional, today is a good time to be alive.

Alexander Jules Amontillado 3/10

Alexander Jules Amontillado 3/10

Alexander Jules are an import company based here in California. Although they import Spanish wine and cider, the speciality is select sherries. Founder Alex Russan travels to Jerez and tastes through different solera systems, selecting and blending barrels for quality and style. The result is a range of sherries that are individual in character but consistent in quality.

This amontillado is particularly select. For a start, it all comes from one vineyard, highlighting the relevance of terroir to sherry - something, given the influence production methods have over the style of sherry, which is too often overlooked. It's called 3/10, because the wine comes from just three barrels taken from a small ten-barrel solera, located in La Playa de la Red Bodega in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

Coming from Sanlúcar means that the wine began life as a manzanilla, a particularly fresh style of fino that can only be made in that seaside town. This amontillado, which gains a deeper colour once oxidative ageing begins, certainly retains that refreshing lift and it's not as heavy as some amontillados can be. There are lively aromas of orange peel and spices, with some toffee and richness coming from the oxidative ageing. This is a sensational, serious, but engaging amontillado.

Price: $40.

Vintage: NV. The average age is 18 years old.

Grape Variety: Palomino Fino

Region: Jerez

Alcohol: 18.5%

Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪✪

Drink: now

Food pairing: anything spicy; fish; chicken; cured meat; hard cheese; nuts. Endless possibilities which is what makes this wine so good!

Aster Ribera del Duero 2008

Aster Ribera del Duero 2008

Casale del Giglio Bellone 2016

Casale del Giglio Bellone 2016