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.

Garage Wine Company Vigno 2014

Garage Wine Company Vigno 2014

Chilean winemakers are working hard to change the image of the country as a producer of inexpensive wine. There is good Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay being made, sourced from the cooler coastal areas, but for red wines it's those made from old vines that really stand out.

Coincidentally, Carignan is a grape that produces its best wine from old vines - and this is where Chile and Carginan are a perfect fit. Valle del Maule is the historic heart of Chile's wine industry, in the past mainly for simple wines for local consumption made from the País grape. Ironically, vines planted for quantity rather than quality have now matured into old vines making quality wine.

Garage Wine Co. were one of the first producers to concentrate on quality after Chile's renaissance in the 1990s. They were founded in 2001, and produce 1,500 cases a year of old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Carignan. They're also the founding members of MOVI (Movement of Independent Vintners), an organisation determined to raise the profile of small Chilean producers.

The wine is quirky and unforgettable. The grapes, from dry-farmed vines, are foot-pressed and pumped over by hand, the fermentation is with native yeasts, and nothing is added to the wine. There's a funkiness to the nose which is often the case with "natural" wines, but there's a wonderful vibrancy to it, with flowers (violets, iris), black fruits (blackcurrants, berries, cherries, plums), and spices (pepper, liquorice, brown sugar). There are some nutty, oxidative aromas, but this maturity is lifted by a fresh, light acidity. A fantastic, very drinkable, and unique wine.

Price: $34

Vintage: 2014

Grape Variety: 8 barrels Carignan, 1 barrel Mataró

Alcohol: 13%

Region: Maule, Chile

Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪

Drink: now-2023

Food pairing: sausages

Villa Schinosa Nero di Troia 2016

Villa Schinosa Nero di Troia 2016

Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling 2016

Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling 2016