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Gonzalez Byass Portfolio Tasting Vol.3

In the final part of this series, we would like to take the chance to share with you our experience with the fortified and dessert wines that Gonzalez Byass feature in their excellent portfolio. We have not covered any of the wonderful spirits that the group sells in large quantities simply because we do not retail any of them yet but we took notes and we promise we will write a blog post about them once we get a hold of them. 

We initiated that sequel of our wine journey at the stand of Disznókő which made it a reasonable transition from the vast selection of red, white,  and sparkling wines that we had tasted so far. Established in the distant 1413, the winery is renowned for creating a magnificent style of sweet Tokaji wines and some very unique dry white wines. TippleHub stocks Disznókő’s Tokaji 1413 ÉS which is an excellent example and can be very well enjoyed not only with desserts and cheeses but with seafood or duck dishes too. 

Next, we stopped at our favourite drink for the season – Vermouth La Copa, by Gonzalez Byass. The producer’s recipes have always been a well-kept secret although one could guess some of the botanicals that are blended with Fino, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximénez wines. La Copa’s whole range of vermouth is delicious and so versatile – you could enjoy it as a party drink neat over ice, or as a long drink with soda, tonic, or your favourite choice of mixer. For beginners, we recommend the Vermouth Blanco Extra Seco La Copa. You could easily find it at your hub for online shopping, TippleHub, where you can also buy craft beer online, buy wines online or simply follow the latest trends within the industry of craft drinks, party drinks, and healthier non-alcoholic or low-alcohol drinks. 

As the day was coming to an end we moved on to Quinta do Noval to taste some fine ports by a producer dating back to 1715. What a treat! So much can be written about this house and we will probably dedicate a whole article on them later on. In the meantime, you can get in touch with their Noval Black Port at TippleHub – a delicious dark ruby port with complex character and notes of ripe berries, violet, plums, cherries, oak, and vanilla. А well-balanced sweetness/acidity/tannins ratio makes this fortified wine a perfect match for dark chocolate. 

Other Gonzalez Byass masterpieces on display included quality sherries from their home in Jerez. The product range is very extensive and one can definitely find something to fall in love with. We are so looking forward to getting some of these on our online hub. 

Another sherry producer, the UK’s leading Pale Cream sherry brand, Croft Original has satisfied UK customers for generations with its Fino. Nowadays, however, they have come up with a great summer ready-mixed drink based on their sherry and the Andalusian ‘rebujito’, adding elderflower, lemon, and mint flavours plus sparkling water to produce their version of a spritz, a Fino Spritz. We are a proud stockist of this summer party drink although within the team there are some fears that we are drinking too much of it and the stock can run dry. Oops!

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Gonzalez Byass Portfolio Tasting Vol. 2

After a quick bite for lunch, we headed to our favourite South American winery – Veramonte from Casablanca and Colchagua valley in Chile. Having farmed since the late 1990s, Veramonte’s business involves organic farming, maintaining healthy soils that yield the best fruit and making some of the finest certified organic wines that the New World produces. TippleHub sells Veramonte Organic Chardonnay 2019 and Veramonte Organic Carmenere 2019, but we also tasted some other very delicious wines and we are intending to get a few more on board as soon as possible. Veramonte Organic Pinot Noir Rosé grabbed our attention with its freshness and crispiness. This dry pale pink rose wine features notes of summer fruits and berries and has a long refreshing finish. We also loved the Veramonte Organic Pinot Noir 2020 – a medium-bodied, medium-acidity wine with a good level of tannins and hints of red berries that produce a silky long finish. We also developed very strong feelings for Veramonte Organic Merlot 2019 and Veramonte Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2019. Both at 14% ABV and medium-bodied these wines just need to be present at your dining events and they are even better paired with fine food. 

The next winery to pay a visit to was Vinas del Vero. Established in 1986 in the outstanding Somontano DO region, this is the leading producer in the young and fast-developing Denominación de Origen. You can find an example of their craftwork – Viñas del Vero Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot at TippleHub. We also enjoyed their Colección Pinot Noir Rosado 2020 so expect to see it soon on the shelves of our craft drinks online shop. 

Our wine tasting was coming to an end but what could have been better to round that part of the event than taking a sip of some organic Rioja? Beronia was founded in the early 1970s by a group of friends sharing a common passion for pairing the greatest wine with fine culinary masterpieces. In addition to following the long-lasting Rioja traditions, the winery’s philosophy is very innovative and is all about sustainability. Please try their amazing certified organic Rioja Crianza 2019 at TippleHub. Beronia’s inventions include the usage of mixed oak barrels – a construction combining French oak ends with American oak staves, achieving a perfect balance and complexity of flavours and aromas. The growth of the winery incorporates entering the Rueda region where Beronia owns 65 hectares of vineyards and produces a delicious fine Verdejo wine.

We kept the chilled champagne for the end of our wine tasting and we were not disappointed at all. Champagne Deutz House is one of the founding members of Les Grandes Marques – a syndicate currently consisting of twenty-four Champagne Houses dedicated to preserving traditions, maintaining global brand awareness and high quality together with loyalty to the customers. The winery owns a big chunk of its vineyards and ages its wines in cellars underneath the village of Aÿ which is saturated with history. Deutz produces a Classic, a Vintage, and a Prestige Cuvée ranges. We enjoyed all but decided to retail the Champagne Deutz Brut Vintage 2015 ( a dry, crisp, pale, and mellow champagne wine featuring notes of citrus zest, apples, and flowers) and Champagne Deutz Rosé Vintage 2014 (a lovely fresh pale rosé champagne wine with notes of strawberries, summer fruits, and cake). 

To be continued . . .  

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Gonzalez Byass Portfolio Tasting Vol.1

TippleHub’s main wine supplier, Gonzalez Byass, had their 2022 portfolio of products showcased last week on Tuesday, 14th June at the Savoy Place in London and our team had the great chance to get acquainted with the new vintages as well as taste the old and see how they have developed. We are extremely delighted that we made it to the event and had a very pleasant time that expanded our knowledge and gave us great ideas for the future. 

Our epic journey started at the amazing Vilarnau cellar from Barcelona – our favourite cava manufacturer. They produce certified organic sparkling wines and use traditional methods along with science to achieve the best results. Vilarnau 0,0% White and 0,0% Rosé non-alcoholic cava wines, for instance, have been fermented the traditional way and then de-alcoholised using breakthrough technology to preserve the best flavours and produce a healthy drink that is nearly impossible to recognise as alcohol-free or even low-alcohol. We love them and stock both as well as their Organic Brut Reserva at TippleHub.

We then moved on to Domaine Zind Humbrecht, a 40-hectare certified organic and biodynamic, family-owned since the 17th century, winery hailing from Alsace. We were all stunned by every single wine they displayed and the wonderful stories and the knowledge Olivier Humbrecht shared with everyone. Although TippleHub stocks only their amazing Pinot Gris Turckheim 2019, we have set a new short-term goal to get more of their excellent wines in!

Our next stop was Domäne Wachau, an Austrian winery from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wachau that produces something like one-third of the wines in the entire region. Domäne Wachau’s Riesling and Grüner Veltliner wines did find a special place in TippleHub’s heart and we promised ourselves to list more of these Danube Valley specialities on our online drinks shop.

As we proceeded, we stopped at Jackson Estate, a great new winery from the well-known Marlborough region in New Zealand. Here at TippleHub, we are always thrilled to discover new products and create a hub online that will connect you with the best wine, craft beer, or any craft drinks, either alcoholic, low alcoholic, or even non-alcoholic. We got astonished by Jackson Estate’s Grey Ghost Barrique Sauvignon Blanc 2018 and we are looking into getting some of their wines as soon as we can. 

Next in line, there was Wirra Wirra, a South Australian winery that began exporting to Europe in the early 1900s. TippleHub stocks their Adelaide Shiraz 2016 but we had the chance to taste other and more recent vintages and fell head over heels for their MVCG Cabernet Sauvignon 2021, a high-profile, complex, full-bodied example of the style with a good alcohol content that goes unnoticed. Check our online hub regularly for new lovely wines from Wirra Wirra soon to be available for online shopping. 

Just before lunchtime, we stopped at Neill Ellis, a South African winery that is relatively young but well-established as a great winemaker. TippleHub already sells their Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, but the weather dictated and their Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2020 just went down so well with our team that we took an instant decision to acquire some so you can have a wider choice when buying your wine, craft beer, and craft drinks online.

To be continued . . .    

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English Bitters: Explained

English Beer Culture

Who doesn’t like going to a place that serves beer, primarily to socialise with others? Every Brit loves to get together in bars, pubs, and restaurants to talk about politics, watch sports, and catch up on gossip. Traditionally, Brits would order beers like bitters, pale ales, porters, stouts, milds, red ales, brown ales, etc. and often more non-traditional styles like lagers and pilsners or Belgian beers too. In this blog article, our focus will be on English bitters and will cover the essential information about that beer style.

What are English Bitters?

Bitter is another term used for an English pale ale or English-style bitter. English bitter is, in essence, a type of pale ale. During the 20th century, English brewers constantly adjusted their recipes to create a cost-effective ale with a great flavour. After World War 2, bitters were the most popular beer sold in British pubs and eateries. Gradually, they became a part of the British tradition for celebrations and parties.Bitters became popular because they had more round and robust flavour than light lagers and were comparatively less bitter than heavily-hopped IPAs – imagine having a perfect blend between traditional English ale and a bitter IPA. English bitters are an excellent choice for people who do not want anything too extreme, sweet or heavy. If you prefer more flavour and imperceptible bitterness in your beer, unquestionably, English bitters are your beer style. You can check some examples on Tipplehub.

Flavour profile 

The flavour profile of different types of beers results mainly from the malt-to-hop ratio. Brewers create an approachable balance between lightly toasted malt flavours with herbal, earthy hop aromas to make bitters. Please, note that despite the name, bitters are not that bitter in taste. When you taste beers in a microbrewery, you will usually get served different beer styles in distinct glassware. We recommend a nonic pint glass for bitters because its shape allows enough room for the 1-1.5 inch foam head usually found within the style.

Pairing food with bitters

If you want to have the best experience matching bitters with food – go for the following choices:

  • Roasted Chicken: A crisp, flavourful taste of chicken perfectly blends with bitters. Bitter beers have a strong enough flavour to stand up to the roasted chicken crispiness, sapid and harmonic taste.
  • Fish and Chips: Malty flavour of bitter beer compliments the batter on the fish, while the malt sweetness adds a contrast to the salt and vinegar. Fish and chips are an excellent match for bitters.
  • Cheese: The sweetness of English bitters perfectly matches the tanginess in cheese, while hops in beer add contrast to the creaminess.

Some types of English bitters you can find in our online drinks shop.

By experimenting with the malt-to-hop ratio and alcohol content, different microbreweries create unique flavoured bitters that are different from your standard list. Some examples you can find at TippleHub include:

  • Jaw Brew DriftA mellow golden ale with notes of biscotti. Subtle British hops, Challenger and Fuggles, create a perfect flavour for the beer and a distinct taste typical for the style.
  • Summit Else English IPAAlthough it is marketed as “An English Style IPA”, Summit Else can be seen as a special bitter. It is a full-bodied, complex flavoured amber beer with a rich hop aroma that is brewed by combining traditional English methods with innovative techniques. Almost sure to deliver satisfaction with every sip.
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Greetings from TippleHub, an online shop, a community, a hub for humans sharing common interests in craft beverages! We have decided to maintain a blog where we can discuss together topics related to our love for craft drinks. TippleHub is the child of Tiny Vessel Brewery, a multiple award-winning London microbrewery that was established at the end of 2016 as an experimental project. Although we brew a few core beers we are always keen to try out new innovative recipes and approaches to brewing. We also run a little craft beer pub/taproom where as well as at TippleHub we sell our produce along other craft beers, fine wines, craft gins, whiskies and other spirits, aperitifs, liqueurs, bitters, low-alcohol and non-alcohol drinks and anything else that we like ourselves. We are an independent merchant so the only driven forces behind our operations are quality and customer satisfaction. 

Tipplehub will share information about the products we sell e.g. description of craft lagers, pilsners,  IPAs, porters, stouts, ales, Belgian ales, sour beers, wines, sparkling wines, fortified wines, spirits, etc.; will get you acquainted with breweries, microbreweries, nanobreweries distilleries, microdistilleries or even individuals that produce at home for own consumption such as homebrewers or winemakers; and share their stories. In these series of informal writing we would like to take the opportunity to not only suggest the most enjoyable way to consume a certain craft beer, wine or spirit according to us, recommend the most appropriate food pairings in our opinion, but also listen to what you have to say and benefit from the information and the knowledge you can share. We would be extremely glad if you participate actively by asking questions, giving us clues, commenting on our posts or simply suggesting topics for discussion. As long as they are somehow related to our mutual interests in the industry of craft beverages we will be more than happy to research any area together with you.

In this blog TippleHub will explore the vast world of speciality craft beers, wines, aperitifs, liqueurs, and so on; introduce to you products from small independent breweries, wineries, distilleries and give you ideas for parties, celebrations, food pairings or any other social events. We would like to connect with you and make your party, life event or casual social gathering enjoyable, memorable but also educational as we believe that knowledge brings success. We will do our best to ensure that all the stories and information that we share are first-hand or otherwise specified and that TippleHub will get established as a credible source where you could learn from us rather than getting mislead.

As an online hub where you can buy craft beer online, buy wine online, etc., here at TippleHub we believe in promoting healthy lifestyle and do not advocate in any way drinking regularly over the recommended guidelines. Therefore, we have also dedicated a shop category for low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that have been carefully chosen by us according to our likings and our blog will cover regularly these too. 

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