Friday, 4 October 2013

Drinking Bordeaux: Learning to Appreciate the “Vineyard in Our Backyard"

At 10:30 pm it was quite peculiar listening to the person on the bus speaker describe the wine region we were driving through yet only being able to see as far as the break lights from the cars overtaking us. Having explained that this was his 50th summer returning to Bordeaux the speaker hoped that from this trip we too would feel the allure and romance that this established wine region possessed. Our tour of the wineries would hopefully give us a pin on which we could hook whatever we read in our textbooks thereafter.  Veering down the lamp-lit roads, we were told ultimately that the mission of this trip was to gain an appreciation for what the person over the loudspeaker referred to as the “vineyard in our backyard.”

We woke up the next day amongst the vineyards and properties that sit on the right hand side of the Bordeaux Rivers that scissor into the French coastline from the Atlantic. The region is a series of undulating hills and slopes of soft limestone soil. Our bus weaved from property to property along these narrows strips of pavement throughout the day, acquainting ourselves with winemakers and their wines. The day concluded at what is called a “Chai”, a warehouse-like facility along the rivers that has allowed barrels of a properties’ wine to be rolled onto awaiting boats for centuries.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Averys on TV!? Well, just one of us anyway...

My sister, Jo, will be on the BBC tonight! Her show, The Great British Year, is a four-part natural history series which follows our seasons, landscapes and wildlife through a typical year...although 2012 was far from typical with all that rain (hence summer now has the odd wet sequence in it!)

The series will be on BBC1 on Wednesday nights at 9pm - starting tonight!

Click here for a sneak preview.

Good luck Jo, I'll be cheering on from my sofa!

A brief word on another Avery, my brother Richard

Son of the noted Bristol wine merchant John Avery, Richard Avery has wine in his blood. He represents the fifth generation of a family business founded in 1793. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, Richard completed a Wine Tasting diploma at the University of Bordeaux in 1995. While in France, he helped to set up and manage Cousin et Cie, a Denmark-based wine company that challenged even the more established Bordeaux specialists. To this day, one of his proudest achievements is having sold Burgundy and Australian Shiraz to the Bordelais. 

Richard’s French excursions allowed him to further his family’s relations with the region that began in the 1920’s with his grandfather Ronald, and have since been a solid connection of the Bristol business. On his return to the UK, Richard joined the tasting panel for Decanter magazine, for which he remains a consultant. He is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Vintners.

Richard has also found the time to pursue a successful acting career, training at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, performing in leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as on the West End stage under the guise of Alex Avery. He has featured in a number of films alongside acting legends such as Michael Caine, Emma Thompson, Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman.

If you're looking for any texts on wine, Richard's 'Quick Look at Wine' is definitely a great place to start!

He is currently in War Horse at the New London Theatre in Drury Lane until March - check him out!