If you take a drive through the Sussex countryside you might stumble upon the odd vineyard, in fact Sussex is the most densely planted county in the country housing 23 vineyards in total. In 2016, East and West Sussex combined produced over a quarter of the wine produced in the whole of the UK.
It’s winter, everyone and thing associated with the wine industry is taking a well earned break (apart from the farmers!). The vines look twiggy and dead, they are dormant, hibernating. There would appear to be little to do in the vineyard at this time of year, however pruning is one of the most labour intensive jobs of the year and perhaps one of the most important.
Hop on a plane to the Southern Hemisphere and it’s a different kettle of fish. All hands on deck, once those grapes are at optimum ripeness there is a small window to get them picked and in to the winery.
Enter the twitter-sphere and check out #2019Harvest for reports and photos from all over the Southern Hemisphere of harvest time.
https://personalisedwinedesign.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_1163.jpg600800Jude Kinghttps://personalisedwinedesign.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/HB-Artisan-wines-and-label-design-straight800.jpgJude King2019-01-25 15:38:002019-01-28 10:01:22Dormant winter vines - time to get picking!
Possibly the most unusual canapés I have ever invented, but it was tried and tested at our South African wine tasting in June 2018 and it went down a storm!
We called it: ‘Coppetta di Salami with infused Balsamic Strawberry, Cream Cheese’
Salami – make it a nice one
Seasonal, fresh British Strawberries
As always, if you have time and you are not responsible for anything other than cooking, pour yourself a nice glass of wine – I’m thinking my fridge door favourite Chenin Blanc from the Blockhead Estate.
Now, put your glass down and slice your strawberries – I would say thick slices (4-5mm thick) and allow one slice per canapé. Pop them in a sterilised jam jar, Kilner jar or plastic tub and pour in enough vinegar to cover. This is great if you leave it for an hour or so as the strawberries really take on the vinegar and change texture completely.
Pre-heat the oven to around 170 degrees, around 160 if you are fan assisted.
Edgebaston Pepper Pot
Blockhead Estate Chenin Blanc
This is my favourite bit. Take a mini muffin tray, the ones with 24 cups, and grease. Place your Salami piece by piece in each cup, pinching the sides and folding in as uniformly as possible. You’ll find your rhythm. Once the tray is full take small pieces of tinfoil and scrunch into a ball. Place a little ball in each Salami cup. Place in the oven for 6 minutes.
When you remove the cups they should have set in the cup shape and you can take them out and lave to cool on a rack. Repeat until you have enough cups.
Mix your cream cheese with your chopped chives. Slice up your basil and assemble once the Salami is cold. A dollop of cheese, a slice of Strawberry and a piece of basil – however you see fit
For this canapé I would highly recommend a spicy Shiraz base – we showed it with Edgebaston Pepper Pot and it worked a treat!
Perfect for warm evenings, straight out of the fridge and fresh as a daisy!
6 big, plump, ripe tomatoes
1 large white onion
3 spring onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
bunch of flat leaf parsley
bunch of basil
1 good glug of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 splosh of white wine vinegar
chilli to taste
I always like to use the BBQ, so skewer the quartered onion. Skewer the spring onion heads and stick a peeled garlic clove in between each one. Plonk them on along with the peppers and tomatoes, turning them so they get a good roasting but don’t turn to mush. Approx 20 mins. Take them off, and have a refreshing glass of Pinot Gris whilst cooling.
Once you’ve finished your glass…I mean once the vegetables have cooled, peel them as best you can – don’t get too fussy, it’s all edible!
Wizz the veg along with all other ingredients into a soupy pulp and add a little water if you end up with baby food – it needs to pour.
Celebrate with another glass of Pinot Gris and refrigerate. The soup that is.
Before serving, add some sliced of spring onion, fresh herbs, even some chunks of cucumber and serve with a chilled glass of Santiago Pinot Noir.
50g of dried mushrooms (Waitrose have a pot in the spices section)
1 vege. stock cube
A good splash of olive oil
1 medium onion
2 BIG cloves of garlic, don’t hold back
1 pack of chestnut mushrooms
300g risotto rice
1 glass of white wine – ideally a nice one but don’t waste the good stuff!
1 good sized blob of butter
Parsley leaves (which I sadly forgot but I do think would add to the dish!)
50g ish grated parmesan (fresh)
A good splash of white truffle oil
Soak the dried mushrooms with 1 litre of boiling water and leave them for 20 mins or so, then squeeze the water out of the mush but keep it for stock. Chop the newly plumped mushrooms.
Glug of oil in my biggest frying pan and get the onion and garlic softening – don’t burn the garlic – it tastes nasty. Then throw the dried and fresh mushrooms into the pan. Get your salt and pepper out – again, don’t hold back.
Put the rice in the pan once the mush mix is soft and give it a good stir. After a minute or so pour in your glass of wine (from the ingredients, not the one you are drinking at the moment!).
Get your mushroom juice on the boil with your stock cube in it.
Now, add in the stock about 1/4 at a time, don’t add more until the rice has totally absorbed the previous dose – could be 5 mins in between each addition. Keep stirring slowly, no sticking or burning allowed.
Once you’ve added all the stock the rice should be cooked. If it isn’t, mine wasn’t, add some more boiling water – I ended up adding about 200ml more last time.
All of that takes about 45 mins.
Then stir through the parmesan and parsley and save a little cheesiness to sprinkle on top.
“Empathy, ingenuity and resilience – the core of our humanity and hope. That’s what we’re going to celebrate in Hay in May.” Peter Florence, Director, Hay Festival
We are very proud to be one of the select few chosen to take a trade stand at the fabulous Hay Book Festival. Last year was fascinating and lots of fun so we are looking forward to hitting the road again and heading up to Hay-on-Wye and meeting lots of lovely people.
We will be showcasing our literary range of wines so as to demonstrate the personalised label design arm of Hannibal Brown. We welcome any new ideas for wine names which are a play on famous books.
Bring your photos to the stand – we are designing and printing labels on the spot so we can send you away with all your gifts for 2018 done and dusted!
If you are coming to Hay Festival then please stop by, taste our delicious organic, vegan, biodynamic and award-winning wines. Last year the Hannibal Brown stand was buzzing with friendly folk enjoying a glass and chatting about the fascinating topics which are raised every year at the festival.
If you have never been to the festival I urge you to go. There are comedians such as David Baddiel and Dara O Briain, music from Laura Mvula, Imelda May and many more. Illustrators, Poets, Politicians, Scientists, Broadcasters – you name it, they’ll be there.
It’s mentioned in the Bible and written in Sanskrit, it’s believed to have been used for over 6000 years – perhaps food back then wasn’t as bland as one would expect!
Coriander, as we know it, is known in North America as Cilantro, well that is used to refer to the leaves and stalk, which makes sense as the seed gives an entirely different flavour.
Corriander is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean, although we associate it with Asian and Mexican cuisine. In Chinese cooking it is referred to as ‘Chinese Parsley’.
With an aromatic sometimes soapy flavour it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I love it! Due to its pungency a wine pairing that we would suggest is a fragrant Gewürztraminer or Chenin Blanc – at our wine and spice pairing event (Pinot & Paprika) we made a Snapper Cerviche with Coriander Chutney and paired it with our Sauvignon de Touraine by Guy Alion.
For the Cerviche:
Take a fresh Red Snapper filet and cut into 2cm pieces. In a pyrex dish add finely diced red onion (1/2 an Onion), a cup of chopped, seeded tomatoes, a finely chopped red chilli, 2 teaspoons of salt. Cover with lemon and lime juice – about a cup in all, and add some ground oregano and a splash of Tobasco. Give it a jiggle every hour to be sure all the fish is exposed to the acids. After several hours the fish will turn white as it cooks in the acid – it’s amazing!
For the Coriander Chutney:
Basically blitz the lot together and eat it nice and fresh – a brilliant dip or accompaniment to Indan food too – adds a lovely breath of freshness.
1 cup chopped Coriander
1/2 inch Ginger – chopped
1 green chilli chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
Pinch os sea salt
a few mint leaves
https://personalisedwinedesign.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Corriander.jpg422600Jude Kinghttps://personalisedwinedesign.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/HB-Artisan-wines-and-label-design-straight800.jpgJude King2018-04-17 09:17:462018-04-17 09:17:46Wine and Spice Pairing - Coriander/Cilantro
Thanks to all who attended our classic ‘v’ contemporary wine tasting event on 4th October 2017.
Another great event held in the Wandsworth Oasis Amen Corner charity superstore. What a great venue, 4 wine tasting stations dotted amongst the used furniture, records, books and clothes. A great opportunity to contemplate a delicious wine whilst deliberating over a ‘new’ wardrobe.
As always we held a competition to win a Personalised bottle of Wine, which was held in the form of a business card raffle and was won by a friendly Financial Advisor – Congrats David!
Please take a look at a few photographs from the event and do book in for our next one, another charity event with Christmas on the horizon and also Hannibal’s 5th Birthday celebration!
Team Hannibal Brown packed up our travelling wine stand and headed to Hickstead, Sussex, for the Royal International Horse Show. Needless to say, it was very, very wet! We still have some great Personalised Wine orders for winners which we designed on the spot. A great gift or prize for any event.
We took a great range of wines, which varied from a classic Ribero del Duero through to a Biodynamic Gruner Veltliner from Austria. The latter being our best seller!
We do love our hardy outdoor customers. Adorned with sensible boots, good solid waterproof hats and a willingness to enjoy their day whatever the whether, the crowds came to enjoy the show and get stuck into the shopping and food offerings.
Our favourite food stand was undoubtedly The Curry Squad – fantastic Indian Street Food to go! www.currysquad.com Their Gluten Free Onion Bhajis went brilliantly with our Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé from Germany – try the combination to believe it!
We’ve included some pictures of our personalised label designs and general scenes from the event.
It’s not just at our outside events that we design fabulous labels, you can order online by clicking here, or you could visit our wine shop hannibalbrown.com to view our full range of wines – it’s free delivery on 12 bottles and no minimum order! Enjoy!
https://personalisedwinedesign.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IMG_8673.jpg30213021Jude Kinghttps://personalisedwinedesign.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/HB-Artisan-wines-and-label-design-straight800.jpgJude King2017-08-03 12:10:302017-08-03 12:10:30Hickstead - Longines Royal International Horse Show
Wednesday 19th July 2017 in sunny Raynes Park BNI Kingston and some plus 1s put their palates on the line and enjoyed a delicious wine and food pairing hosted by Hannibal Brown team Pamela Gregory and Jude King and the very talented chef, Elliot Johnson Paul of JP Dining.
Elliot produced a selection of canapés and bowl food to make your mouth water. Each accompanied and complemented a different wine. The list of the wines and canapés can be seen below along with some photos of the evening.
You can find out more about what Elliot has to offer on his website jpdining.co.uk.
If you fancy holding a wine tasting event in your own home, at work or with your sports club then please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0203 876 8008. Wine tastings are a great way of getting people together, you don’t need a fancy location or to be a connoisseur, you just need to enjoy great wine, company, food and having a bit of fun!