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This blog site includes news on latest wines, food, events, offers and happenings at artisan & vine. It also includes stories of my wine adventures in and outside the bar, wine facts and wine profiles.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

An Australian girl in Paris & sulphites in wine

Artisan&vine has a 2am licence on Friday and Saturday nights, so after a huge Saturday, I crawled into bed at 3:30am. Two hours later I was up and on the way for our Eurostar journey to Paris. Months ago I had booked the getaway. It was the first time I would be away from artisan&vine since it opened; I would miss my 'baby' but I was excited for a holiday! I would be back in London less than 48hours later and I planned on savouring every moment I had!

My main excitement was about visiting some of Paris’ pre-eminent natural wine bars!
It’s almost heartbreaking, how much more abundantly available natural wines are in Paris than London. All three of the bars we visited had over 100 wines with zero added sulphites and maintained very diverse wine lists even with a ‘zero tolerance’ policy. I considered trying to do this back when I was first planning artisan&vine but I just couldn’t find enough variation in the ‘extreme natural wine’ category to rule out anything with any dose of sulphite in it.
Sulphites occur naturally in all living things and are present in small quantities even in unsulphured wines. Many of the natural winemakers we represent at artisan&vine add small doses of sulphites to stabilise a wine at the end of the wine making process. These small doses do little or no damage to the flavour of the wine and can help to protect it from being mishandled. The important principles of creating a wine that is a genuine reflection of the grape variety and terroir from which it comes are maintained. The abundance of natural wines available in Paris - with or without that dose of sulphite - was impressive and mouth watering. It was great to be able to taste some amazing wines that currently aren't available here; I look forward to their hopefully iminent arrival!

In artisan&vine last night: Alex, Marinna and Richard kept things ticking over beautifully!

Popular buys last night: our rotating Happy Hour list came to the fore. On Sunday and Monday the beautiful 2004 Cotes du Rhone “Cuvee des Galets” from Domaine Les Aphillanthes featured. During Happy Hour (5pm-7pm every day) you can buy selected wines to enjoy in the bar at our shop prices. That means customers were enjoying the meaty, gamey flavours of this classic Cotes du Rhone for only £16.50/bottle.

Picture: a holiday was nice but I loved pulling up to that familiar sign again

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