I know that I am not alone in being reminded of the celebrated English author, Laurie Lee, whose birthday centenary was just a fortnight ago on 26th June. Many would have had their first taste of English literature through ‘Cider with Rosie’, the first title in his autobiographical trilogy. I quote the words that give the book its title “Never to be forgotten, that first long secret drink of golden fire, juice of those valleys and of that time, wine of wild orchards, of russet summer, of plump red apples, and Rosie's burning cheeks”. How do you think that cider tasted – underneath the hay-wagon, in the bucolic Cotswold setting?
Well I do think we have discovered a cider that is as close to Laurie Lee’s 1920’s original as we are going to find. Made less than 40 miles to the west of Laurie Lee’s village of Slad, just into Welsh territory near Monmouth, Ty Gwyn (‘White House’) Cider is a strong apple brew with just the most beautiful orchard flavours. Made by two brothers Ben and Alex Culpin, who only started to make their own cider in 2007, having previously sold all their apples to larger cider farms. Already it is being served in two Michelin star restaurants. All our shops stock this fine apple brew at £2.50/bottle – or just include a tray of 12 bottles in with your wine order for delivery. You have to try it!
Back to our normal business of wine, I have captivated by the new vintage of Thörle Riesling Dry 2013 also made by the two young brothers Christoph and Johannes Thörle from their biodynamic vineyards in the Rheinhessen, only 30 minutes drive west of Frankfurt. We have served this at two of our recent summer wine tastings, and last week a few of our customers enjoyed a glass while casting for some Test Valley trout. Gosh it is good, combining elegance and minerality with a rich concentration in the mouth – green apples, lime and a satisfying brioche texture. £14.95 a bottle gives you a very fine summer wine, with or without your English asparagus.
Director, Private Sales