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One of the lovely things about living in England, is how easy it is to have a mini break to take in some of the best of European life. The food, the scenery, the climate, the wine – what’s not to like? And it’s all on our doorstep.

Cellar Maison have once again been tempted by a great wine and travel opportunity listed on the phenomenally popular site, Local Wine Events.

The Ultimate Food & Wine Lover’s Tour, brought to you by Bliss Travels has a drool-worthy itinerary taking in the best of food and wine in the Basque Country and Bordeaux. Taking place from April 18th – 24th, it’s one to lock in and look forward to.

http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/538507/food-wine-trip-to-bordeaux-basque-france-san-sebastian-spain-april-18-24

Travels in the world’s best wine growing regions are often reported to be sources of inspiration for Cellar Maison clients who have gone on to have their own wine display installed.

Creating a bespoke wine cellar in your home is, for a growing number of households, is an ideal way to bring a bit of the pleasure of wine collecting into your own space.  The home cellars designed and installed by Cellar Maison are tailored to the space available within your home and can be above or below ground, in a space already existing. Climate control ensures the cellaring conditions are perfect. The gallery gives a good idea of how all sorts of spaces can be utilised.

Cellar Maison Wine Display

Here’s one for the diary Cellar Maison readers!

Why not escape the bleak days of late winter in the UK and enjoy the sunny weather in Australia whilst taking in the best of wine and food showcased in this exciting event?

Dates: 27 February- 15 March 2015.

Melbourne has a truly remarkable wine and food scene with stunning restaurants, bars and cafes and a very well established wine culture that spans the prime growing regions of Australia including Victoria’s Yarra Valley, The Barossa and McLaren Vale in South Australia, The Margaret River in Western Australia and the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. Many more biodynamic and organic growers and wine makers are emerging now with their lovingly crafted wines.

UK wine collectors are increasingly building up Australian components to their cellars. There are the big name premium labels such as the famous Penfolds Grange, and exciting new wines coming through that are extremely collectable. Spending a few days at the Melbourne festival is a pretty tempting place for exploring the new world wines of today.

One of Australia’s premier food and wine magazines, Gourmet Traveller, has a great overview of the Melbourne Wine and Food Festival in the link below which also includes details on how to book. All you need to do now is get your flight organised!

http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/gt-wine/wine-news/2014/12/melbourne-food-and-wine-festival-2015/

Welcome to Cellar Maison’s Events Calendar – Showcasing Wine and Food Events

We tap into what’s happening in London, the UK and internationally to bring you a taste of the most exciting wine events on our radar. There will be fairs, tastings, wine dinners and shows as well as hot tips for those of you who like a bit of luxury and adventure in the wine world.

Wine collectors often make their best contacts with vineyards and wineries through personal connection at events. They are a great chance to get a feel for the heart and soul behind the label.

Speaking to the wine makers is an incredible insight into the passion and integrity that goes into the wine and also allows for some added knowledge regarding the cellaring and recommendations for time frames for best drinking.

Today we have a link below to the BBC Good Food Show, on this weekend in London.

The Word of Wine Experience is hosted by the International Wine & Spirits Competition and looks like a great addition to the fabulous food you can see and taste at the show. Check the link below for full ticketing details.

BOOK NOW for this weekend 14th, 15th and 16th of November 2014 – Make sure you add this event on to your ticket as an addition.

By the International Wine & Spirit Competition

...

Experience an exclusive behind the scenes look at the world’s most prestigious awarding body in the drinks industry, the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC). The IWSC will offer visitors the chance to swirl, sniff and sip an exclusive selection of award winning wines, chosen from around the world by wine judges as well as informative talks and tasting tips from industry experts.

– See more at: http://www.bbcgoodfoodshowlondon.com/Content/The-World-of-Wines-Experience#sthash.xm8xgzxi.dpuf

http://www.bbcgoodfoodshowlondon.com/Content/The-World-of-Wines-Experience

International Wine & Spirit Competition

Experience an exclusive behind the scenes look at the world’s most prestigious awarding body in the drinks industry, the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC). The IWSC will offer visitors the chance to swirl, sniff and sip an exclusive selection of award winning wines, chosen from around the world by wine judges as well as informative talks and tasting tips from industry experts.

 

:: If you have an event you would like to promote, or for inquiries about a new home or commercial wine cellar for yourself or a client, please contact us via the Cellar Maison website:

http://www.cellarmaison.com/contact/

Now that it’s almost safe to say that spring is here, we can embrace the joy of new life, trees in leaf, flowers in bloom and fresh, light food to compliment this most beautiful of seasons.


It’s also the perfect time for renovations, additions and improvements to the home. The beauty of having a cellar in your own home is threefold; practical, aesthetic and economic for the care of your collection. Cellar Maison climate controlled wine walls make it easy to store wine in your home when there is limited space. Have a look at our range of stunning solutions for large or small spaces:

http://www.cellarmaison.com/styles/

Foodwise, keeping it simple is the key and here we’ve made a beautiful piece of char-grilled lamb, accompanied by fresh mint and zucchini salad with zesty garlic paste, as a perfect lunch or dinner. So easy, so delicious.

Spring mint and garlic

Spring mint and garlic

CHAR-GRILLED LAMB WITH ZUCCHINI AND MINT SALAD, GARLIC AND LEMON PASTE

For 2 people:

LAMB

500g of boned lamb leg, in the whole piece

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh cracked pepper

Sprig of young rosemary to serve

SALAD

4 zucchini – sliced into lengthwise strips

Salad greens – rocket, baby spinach, radicchio – a handful

1 big bunch of fresh mint

Extra virgin olive oil

Lemon juice

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

GARLIC PASTE
This is a wonderful condiment, a simple version of the wonderful garlic sauce common in Lebanese cooking.

5 cloves of garlic – crushed

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Lemon juice

TO PREPARE

Rub the lamb with extra virgin olive oil and plenty of sea salt.

Place on the char-grill and cook for about 7-10 minutes depending on the thickness. Turn and cook the other side. Rest the lamb in a warm place, covered.
(If you don’t have a char-grill, just use a grill pan).

While the lamb is cooking, char-grill the strips of zucchini until there are attractive lines each side.

Toss the greens with the mint leaves – roughly chopped if they’re large. Add the zucchini and a drizzle of olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon, salt and plenty of freshly ground, black pepper.

Puree or crush the garlic further in a mortar and pestle. Mix in the olive oil and salt, add lemon juice to taste. This is a very strong condiment but fantastic on the meat. If you don’t like garlic though – just leave the paste out and maybe serve with a tasty artisan relish or chutney.

Sprinkle the lamb with young rosemary leaves. Slice the meat thickly, on the diagonal and serve.

Char-grilled zucchini

Char-grilled zucchini

Lamb on the char-grill

Lamb on the char-grill

The herb of spring

The herb of spring

Bon appetit!

The thought of tipping a half bottle of wine down the sink a few days after opening seems such a shame and a waste.  Why even contemplate it when there are so many dishes demanding a drop or more of wine?


Here are some ideas and recipes using wine you may have left over, including Champagne (does that really ever happen?) and on through white, red and sweet dessert wine. The recipes progress from entrée through to dessert, so that you can create a whole dinner party should you wish to – drinking wine matches included … oh life is tough!

Champagne – Scallops and Pancetta with Champagne Sauce

Serves 4 as an entrée

20 scallops

75g of pancetta in a whole piece

20g of butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup of leftover champagne

¼ cup of pure cream – organic if possible

A few sprigs of chervil to serve – cut or tear roughly

Handful of rocket or baby spinach leaves

Squeeze of lemon

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

TO PREPARE

Prepare the serving greens first: In a bowl, place the rocket or spinach. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss until lightly coated. Divide onto the 4 serving plates – just a small amount in the centre of each to make a bed for the scallops.

Cut the pancetta into thick matchsticks or chunks. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Melt butter gently in a frying pan. Add the pancetta and fry until crispy and golden.  Add the scallops and cook just briefly and gently until they only just lose their translucency but don’t become overcooked and shrunken.

Remove scallops and pancetta from the pan and keep warm while the sauce is finished.

Heat the same pan with the fat still in it up higher and add the champagne. Bubble and boil it to reduce down and scrape all the cooking scraps from the bottom of the pan to combine and create succulent flavour. When it has reduced down by half, remove from the heat. Stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 5 scallops on each plate and divide up the pancetta between them.  Carefully spoon some sauce over each plate, sprinkle over some chervil and serve immediately.

Wine Match – More Champagne!

Lemons_Mum_Basket - Version 2

White Wine – Lemon and Asparagus Risotto Bianco

Serves 4 as a first course or as a lunch when served with a salad

This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver’s fantastic basic risotto recipe, which really lends itself to many adaptations that you can make according to taste and season.

Here at Cellar Maison, we’ve voted for asparagus this time but you could use sliced zucchini, peas or green beans too.

1 litre of organic chicken stock

Walnut sized lump of butter

1 large brown onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 sticks of celery, finely chopped

Rind of 1 large lemon – use a zesting knife to remove and then chop roughly (or peel with a potato peeler)

400 g risotto rice of your choice – vialone nano, carnaroli or aborio all work

1½ cups of leftover white wine

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

70 g butter extra

100 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 bunch of green asparagus, tough ends removed, then sliced diagonally

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs – choose what you prefer – perhaps flat leaf parsley, mint or oregano

TO PREPARE

Heat the stock until just under a simmer and keep warm.

In a heavy based pan, gently melt the butter and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook very slowly and gently for about 15 minutes without colouring.

Add the rice and turn up the heat so that the rice begins to lightly fry – keep stirring it for about a minute.   Add ½ the lemon zest and stir in. Add the white wine and keep stirring.

As soon as the wine has been absorbed, add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladles of stock, stirring and massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. Taste the rice after around 15 minutes of adding ladles of stock. Make sure that it still has a slight bit too it and isn’t soggy.  Add more salt and some pepper to taste.

Remove from the heat and add the butter, the other half of the lemon rind and the sliced asparagus and the Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes to allow it to settle and let the creaminess come through.

Serve on pre-warmed serving plates with a little more Parmesan grated overtop and a sprinkle of chopped flat leaf parsley, mint or oregano.

Wine Match – NZ Sauvignon Blanc

IMG_2746

Red Wine – Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

Serves 4

25g butter

4 lamb shanks, trimmed

5 tablespoons flour

2 medium onions finely chopped

1 leek sliced

2 stalks celery finely chopped

2 carrots finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic – crushed and sliced

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

1 sprig of rosemary

350ml red wine

600ml chicken stock or water

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mashed potatoes and steamed, buttered greens to serve

TO PREPARE

Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees.

Gently melt the butter in a heavy metal casserole dish.  Dust the shanks with flour to coat well. Place them in the pan and brown well on all sides – don’t let the butter burn.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Put the onion, celery, carrot, leek and garlic, salt and pepper into the casserole dish with all the meat fat and ‘brownings’. Cook very gently until soft but not browned.

Put the herbs into the casserole dish. Arrange the shanks in again and pour over the red wine and stock until the shanks are covered. Bring gently up to a simmer. Remove from heat and put into the oven.

Cook for 2½-3 hours or even longer and slower! The meat should be very tender. When cooked beautifully, remove the shanks carefully from the casserole. Set aside and keep warm. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce down until the sauce is thickened for serving.

Serve on warmed plates with creamy mashed potatoes and a dish of steamed, buttered greens beside.

Wine match – To your taste – we’ve enjoyed it with a number of matches including an Australian shiraz, or a Bordeaux

The shanks ready to begin the long, slow cooking

The shanks ready to begin the long, slow cooking

IMG_2936

Dessert Wine – Peaches and Raspberries Poached in Sweet Wine

Serves 4-6

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

3/4 cup of sweet wine – can be any sticky, port, marsala etc.

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla bean

Zest of one lemon – peel with a peeler or zesting knife

6 peaches

200g of raspberries

Good quality vanilla bean ice cream to serve

Biscotti or other sweet biscuits to serve (optional)

TO PREPARE

Halve the peaches and remove the stones, set aside. Put all of the ingredients except the peaches and raspberries into a large pot and bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and place the peach halves cut side down in the liquid. The liquid should just cover the tops.

Let the peaches cool down in the poaching liquid. Remove with a slotted spoon. They should be tender but not falling apart. Place into a large, white serving dish, cut side up.

Bring the liquid back to the boil and reduce until syrupy but not too thick. Let it cool to room temperature.

Scatter the raspberries over the peaches, make sure they fill the stone holes in particular and scatter more around the dish. Gently pour over the poaching syrup.

Serve either at room temperature with vanilla ice cream (or thick organic cream).

You may wish to offer some biscotti or other sweet biscuits to have alongside and to dip into the syrup.

Note – The left overs, if there are any, are delicious at breakfast with some thick yoghurt.

Wine match – Moscato d’Asti or a Sauternes

Bon appetit!