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The Glass House reveals a new wine menu

07/11/2014

Wine expert, Olly Smith, shares his tasting notes

Olly Smith with a glass of wine

Saturday Kitchen’s wine guru runs through his favourite tipples at The Glass House, Britannia’s suave bar.

 

Koslović Vina Malvasia, Istria, Croatia

From £4.95 a glass

The Malvasia grape from the sunny Croatian shores is so beloved that every December a festival is held in its honour. Revellers descend on the picturesque town of Brtonigla as the local vintners offer up their personal reserves of this citrusy drop.

Olly says: 'It's an oddball, actually. Somewhere between a grapefruit and a melon. And sexy. Imagine Sauvignon Blanc with real curves to it.'

 

Garzón Tannat, Maldonado, Uruguay

From £4.95 a glass

It's the sun-parched vineyards and rich soil of Uruguay that gives this polyphenol-rich red a silky aroma of plum, rhubarb, dark chocolate and white pepper.

Olly says: 'It's a unique wine; it's got a coffee-like edge to it. That sounds a bit peculiar, but it's because of the toastiness of the oak barrels it's been sloshing around in.'

 

Little Eden Moscato, Murray Darling, Australia

From £4.50 a glass

The first recorded existence of Moscato was in the 1300s – which essentially makes it one of the oldest wine-producing grapes. The lightly sparkling style makes it an easy and refreshing drink.

Olly says: 'A sweet fizz that's brilliant with a pudding. It's lower in alcohol at around 5.5%, so you can enjoy it without getting too fuzzy.'

 

Viña Falernia Elki Sangiovese, Elqui Valley, Chile

From £4.50 a glass

With grapes grown in the Andes by a man named Aldo Olivier, this intensely fruity Sangiovese is made all the more potent by the dramatic temperature changes of its high-altitude environment.

Olly says: 'This wine is really vivid – like a cherry the size of the sun being squeezed into your face.'

 

Lockwood Vineyards Liquid Velvet, Monterey, USA

From £6.50 a glass

Franciscan Friars kick-started the wine-growing traditions in Monterey some 200 years ago. Today, it's still considered a premium viticultural region – comparable only to Napa, Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Olly says: 'At first, I was put off by the name but then I tasted it and it was insanely mellow and delicious, just like velvet.'

 

Sunset Point Zinfandel Blush, Puglia, Italy (produced in California)

From £4.25 a glass

Year-round sunshine makes the grapes of Puglia sweeter than most. As a result, the majority are exported outside of the country to candy up luxury labels that would otherwise be unpalatably bitter.

Olly says: 'People kept asking for a sweeter rosé, so I found one. It's that perfect balance of freshness and fruitiness.'

 

Woollaston Riesling, Nelson, New Zealand

From £5.75 a glass

With an average of 2,405 hours of sunshine and 970mm of rain per year, Nelson enjoys the prime conditions to produce extraordinarily pure grapes.

Olly says: 'This wine is the equivalent of a sherbet lemon. It starts off quite sweet but as soon as you swallow, it transforms into a really sherbet-y, bright, palate-cleansing flavour.'

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