Lately we’re finding that more people are open to trying new experiences such as tasting new world wines, different food styles and new dessert wines.
With summer approaching fast, we would like to introduce you to one of our special dessert wines – a perfect accompaniment to an appetizer, pudding or just on its own…
Muscat de Beaumes de Venise – likely to be one of the world’s earliest varieties – is a lightly fortified sweet wine made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, a grape described to be the “most noble” variety of Muscat. It is grown exclusively in the southern Rhône village of Beaumes-de-Venise. This type of grape, ‘the small grain’ as it’s called, has very high natural acidity which is an asset in making sweet wines. The grape is also known under the name of Muscat de Frontignan and Moscato d’Asti and needs to be distinguished from the inferior variety, Moscat de Alexandria, which has a larger berry and low acidity.
Most of the famous desserts wines such as Sauternes, Germany’s Beerenauslese or other late harvest Rieslings are made from fungi-affected grapes but Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is a unique sweet wine made from naturally ripened grapes and not attacked by fungus.
With only about 1,200 acres and a total annual production of just over 100,000 cases, the vineyard of Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is tiny, expensive and difficult to produce but totally worth it!
During the Papal reign of the 14th century, Beaumes-de-Venise was a duchy of the Pope. A Papal ordered that a family must be limited to an amount of sweet wine for personal use, up to 40 litres a year, because it was needed supposedly for mass. Later in the 1970s Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise rivalled the sweet wines from Germany and Bordeaux in popularity and in 2005, it was elevated to cru status, putting it on the same pedigree level of the quality pyramid as Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Extremely appreciated centuries ago but forgotten nowadays, Muscat de Beaumes De Venise is a versatile dessert wine. As well as serving it as an elegant and refreshing aperitif, it perfectly accompanies meals such as foie gras, melon, oysters, blue chesses, fruit based desserts, puff pastry desserts, savouries and many more.
Come and try a glass of this gorgeous wine (£8.50/100ml) in the gardens, or any other wines you might fancy.