The last blog referenced our own Phil Edwards as a wine officianado and I wouldn't want to quote that without backing it up !

Right now, technology is not allowing me to present you with a drum roll or some fancy images, so you are just going to have to imagine it....closely followed by some dry ice for effect....

Through the mist, a suave, mystical and almost wizard like individual cuts through....he's wearing a slightly tilted hat and a purple smoking jacket with a pair of beige cords and brown brogues...Phil has great taste in wine but we didnt say anything about his fashion sense....He appears with a bottle under each arm (unopened) and announces he has a few recommendations for us this week and he can't wait to tell me what to write.

Phil is Drinks21's principal wine buyer, with over 20 years experience in the wine buying sphere across markets as diverse as hotels and restaurants to top name high street retailers and behind the scenes major distributors.

He's pretty well qualified with a Diploma in Wine and as a graduate of the Champagne Academy he is a King quaffer, however we think the fact that he can sniff out a hint of plum at fifty paces, pick a fine wine in the dark (when the wine is actually in another room) and figure out structures better than a buildings explosive expert, makes him the all round expert we need.  Stop thinking about what wine to get and let Phil guide you.

To get us started, Phil has put forward four recommendations - click on any title to get direct to the wine in the store;

Chateau de Jacques Moulin a Vent - 2009 - Burgundy - 100% Gamay - £13.00

As we enter the Autumn, Beaujolais springs to mind, with the release of Beaujloais Nouveau in the 3rd week of November. However it is worth remembering that the 10 Crus areas of Beaujolais produce fabulous wines that can age well, alongside being enjoyed young. This wine comes from one of the greatest estates in Beaujolais in the Moulin a Vent Cru, and has rich and succulent fruit as well as concentration, structure and elegance.

Phil says "Excellent with traditional Boeuf Bourguignon"

d'Arenberg The Cadenzia Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre - 2009 - Australia - 50% Grenache; 45% Shiraz; 5% Mourvedre - £15.00

The inspiration behind the name came from the word 'Cadenza', which is an impassioned improvisation played by a virtuoso soloist toward the end of a musical performance. Cadenzia is made in celebration of the winemakers' opportunity to blend an exceptional McLaren Vale wine based around the Grenache variety. The wine is full of vibrant fresh fruit but with spices and dried herbs providing a savoury kick.

Phil says "A great accompaniment for steak and kidney pie"

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon - 2007 - New Zealand - 53% Merlot; 33% Malbec; 14% Cabernet Sauvignon - £21.50

This rich red wine from the premium Gimblett Gravels region of Hawkes bay in New Zealand, delivers aromas of black fruit and fragrant spicy oak. The palate is full-bodied with incredible concentration of supple, rich ripe fruit, smooth ripe tannins, beautifully integrated oak and great complexity. This wine was recognised with a Silver medal at this year's Decanter World Wine awards to endorse the fabulous quality.

Phil says "perfect to go with that Autumn/Winter lamb casserole"

Jean Luc Colombo Cornas Terres Brulées - 2007 - Rhone Northern - 100% Syrah

"The 'Terres Brûlées' name is taken from the 'roasted earth' of the Rhône region. Made from 100% Syrah of low yielding vines 20 to 60 years in age,  grown on the steep granitic-based soil slopes of the right bank of the Rhône River.This wine, the first of Jean-LucÕs private collection of four top Cornas wines, is a blend of up to 20 parcels which are truly representative of the Cornas appellation, and all of which Jean-Luc considers to be of suitably high quality for this cuvée.
 A very elegant wine with notes of ripe fruits such as blackcurrant and raspberries complemented by more spicy hints of liquorice and coffee.  Very rich in the mouth, with powerful yet elegant tannins, spicy with great length. " This wine was recognised in the 2011 International Wine Challenge, with the Cornas trophy.

Phil says "This is a fantastic partner for roast beef and mature cheeses"


It's getting closer to Winter now and I'm not sure about you, but the recommendations have got me thinking about those lovely cosy dinners in a nice warm house on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Perfect Phil, thanks.

Between now and the next blog, I'm going to get back into my dinner suit once it's returned from the dry cleaners and get into character (I spilt some Pinot Noir on it and my shirt - great recommendation again from Phil but it definitely doesnt come out with a damp sponge - maybe we should add a 'spillage rating'?)

Onwards to the next.....