February Welsh Drink of the Month – Blaengawney Cider: Hallets Real Cider (6.0%abv)

02/02/2014

Blaengawney Cider is based on the farm of the same name and is run by husband and wife team Andy and Annie Hallet. For a while draft cider and perry was the mainstay of the business but, relatively recently, they ventured into the bottled market.

Hallets brown hero_1080b

Rather than use the Blaengawney name they developed a new brand based on the family name. Hallets Real Cider was the name for the bottled cider and a stunning brand was developed.

It’s made using 100% Welsh apples and cider from the current harvest is blended with a Dabinett cider that has been matured for a year. The conditioning is natural and they employ the keeving method more common to French cider.

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Diod Cymreig Mis Ionawr – Brains Craft Brewery: Boilermaker (6.5%afc)

06/01/2014

Boilermaker

Yn debyg i nifer o fragdai canolig eu maint mae’r enwog SA Brain o Gaerdydd wedi agor bragdy crefft bach. Mae hyn yn rhoi cyfle iddynt arbrofi drwy fragu dipyn bach o gwrw eithaf gwahanol.

Yn yr UDA cwrw a wisgi yw ‘Boilermaker’ sydd yn cael ei yfed wedi’i gymysgu neu drwy yfed y wisgi gyntaf mewn un cegiad ac wedyn yfed y cwrw yn araf.

Dyma yw’r ysbrydoliaeth ar gyfer Boilermaker Brains. Bragwyd gan ddefnyddio hopys Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade a Willamette ac mae’n cael ei aeddfedu mewn casgenni a oedd wedi dal wisgi Penderyn, hefyd mae sglodion pen sydd wedi eu socian mewn wisgi Penderyn eu rhoi yn y gasgen.

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Ymunwch yn fwy gyda’r sesiwn trydarflasu ar ddydd Iau 23 Ionawr rhwng 9-10yh gan ddefnyddio #diodyddcymru

January Welsh Drink of the Month – Brains Craft Brewery: Boilermaker (6.5%abv)

06/01/2014

Boilermaker

In common with many other medium-sized breweries the famous SA Brain of Cardiff opened a small Craft Brewery. This gives them the opportunity experiment by brewing small quantities of innovative beers.

In the US a ‘Boilermaker’ is a beer and whiskey either mixed or whiskey drunk first in one gulp followed by sipping the beer.

This is the inspiration for Brains’ Craft Brewery’s Boilermaker. It is brewed with Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade and Willamette hops and matured in casks formerly containing Penderyn and Penderyn Whisky infused oak chips are added to the casks for good measure.

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

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December Welsh Drink of the Month – Purple Moose Brewery: Merry X-Moose (5.0%abv)

03/12/2013

One of the pleasures of Christmas is seasonal beer, so what better than to try one.

Purple Moose Brewery has been brewing in Porthmadog since 2005 and recently announced an exciting expansion.

Their Christmas seasonal beer is called Merry X-Moose and is brewed with dark malts that should give it quite a rich flavour. There is also a cask version available in the pubs coming in at a slightly lower abv of 4.4%.

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

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Diod Cymreig Mis Rhagfyr – Bragdy’r Mws Piws: X-Mŵs Llawen (5.0%afc)

03/12/2013

Un o bleseroedd ‘Dolig yw’r wahanol gwrw tymhorol sydd yn cael eu bragu, felly be well na rhoi cynnig ar un ohonnynt.

Dechreuodd Mŵs Piws fragu ym Mhorthmadog nol yn 2005 ac maen’t wedi  yn ddiweddar eu bod yn ehangu.

Eu cwrw Nadoligaidd yw X-Mŵs Llawen sy’n cael ei fragu gan ddefnyddio haidd brag tywyll a dylai rhoi blas eithaf cyfoethog. Mae fersiwn casgen hefyd ar gael y nein tafarndai sydd ychydig yn is afc sef 4.4%.

Fel arfer, gadewch eich sylwadau yma ar y blog a/neu…

Ymunwch yn fwy gyda’r sesiwn trydarflasu ar ddydd Iau 12 Rhagfyr rhwng 9-10yh gan ddefnyddio #diodyddcymru

Gwobrwyon Cymdeithas Gwinllanoedd Cymru 2013

24/11/2013

Yn ddiweddar fe gynhaliwyd Gwobrwyon Cymdeithas Gwinllannoedd Cymru am y tro cyntaf erioed yng Ngwinllan Llanerch  ym Mro Morgannwg. Cofrestrwyd 35 o winoedd am y gystadleuaeth ac fe rannwyd yn dri dosbarth – Llonydd Gwyn neu Rhosliw, Coch, a Pefriog.

Mae’n wych gweld cystadleuaeth o’r fath yn digwydd, mae gwobrau credadwy yn bwysig iawn ar gyfer y diwydiant diodydd gan eu bod yn rhoi dipyn go lew o hwb marchnata i’r enillwyr

A oedd y gwobrau hyn yn rai credadwy? Oeddynt yn sicr. Does dim ond rhaid edrych ar y beirniaid. Roger Jones oedd yn cadeirio, cogydd gyda seren Michelin i’w enw ac yn uwch farnwr yng Ngwobrau World Wine Awards y cylchgrawn Decanter. Hefyd yn beirniadu oedd Bill Gunn, cyn-Reolwr Gyfarwyddwr y cynhyrchydd enwog Champagne Pol Roger a Julie Bell o’r Felin Fach Griffin ger Aberhonddu.

Y beirniaid wrth eu gwaith

Y beirniaid wrth eu gwaith

Cafodd y gwinoedd eu blasu heb weld y cynhyrchwyr a’u marcio gan ddefnyddio’r un fformat â gwobrau Decanter.

Un wobr aur a ddyfarnwyd ac fe aeth at y Diod y Mis – Ancre Hill Estates Sparkling Rosé 2009.

Yn y dosbarth Gwinoedd Llonydd gwyn neu rhosliw fe ddyfarnwyd dwy fedal arian ac fe aethant i Tintern Parva o Sir Fynwy. Un ar gyfer eu Bacchus 2011 ac un i Bwthyn Rose 2011. Rwyf wedi blasu’r olaf ac mae’n win rhosliw gwych. Hefyd, fe ddyfarnwyd pum gwobr efydd.

Roedd dwy fedal arian hefyd yn y Dosbarth Gwin Coch ac fe aethant i Ancre Hill Estates ar gyfer eu Pinot Noir yn 2009 a 2011. Dim syndod, gwinoedd gwych. Dwy fedal efydd y dyfarnwyd yn y dosbarth hwn.

Yn olaf, yn ogystal â chael y wobr aur yn y Dosbarth Gwin Pefriog, fe gaeth Ancre Hill hefyd wobr arian ar gyfer eu Sparkling White 2008. Hwn oedd y dosbarth cryfaf gyda chymaint ag wyth efydd yn cael ei ddyfarnu.

Digon o winoedd Cymreig gwych ar gael felly ac mae’n glod i’r Gymdeithas eu bod wedi cychwyn beth ddylai dyfu i fod yn ddyddiad pwysig ar gyfer gwinoedd Cymreig ac am ei ddechrau gyda phanel cryf o feirniaid.

Perchnogion gwinllanoedd Cymru yn ymgynull ar gyfer y gwobrwyon

Perchnogion gwinllanoedd Cymru yn ymgynull ar gyfer y gwobrwyon

Siaradodd y cadeirydd ar ran y panel am safon y gwin Cymru gan ddatgan eu bod ” yn hapus iawn gyda’r gwinoedd a chredaf y dylid y gwinoedd hyn cael eu barnu nid yn unig yn erbyn Lloegr ond ar lwyfan y byd”.

A dyna’r union beth fydd yn digwydd yn ôl â Richard Morris o Ancre Hill a chadeirydd y Gymdeithas – “Mae cyfle enfawr i’r diwydiant gwin yng Nghymru i ddatblygu ac ein nod yw gwneud y gystadleuaeth Gymreig hon yn ddigwyddiad rhyngwladol, drwy ei wneud yn rhyngwladol bydd gwin Cymru, drwy gysylltiad, yn cael ei gydnabod fel o safon fyd-eang”.

Mae hyn yn wych ond yr wyf yn gobeithio, fel rhan o ddigwyddiad rhyngwladol, y bydd gwinoedd Cymru yn cael eu categori ei hun fel bod rhywun, bob blwyddyn, yn gallu dweud ‘rydym yn gwneud y gwin gorau yng Nghymru’.

Crynhowyd y potensial ar gyfer gwin Cymru yn dda gan Mr Morris. “Rydym yn gyffrous iawn am ddyfodol y diwydiant gwin yng Nghymru. Rydym mewn sefyllfa debyg i’r un a oedd diwydiant Seland Newydd ynddi 50 mlynedd yn ôl ac sydd heddiw gyda marchnad allforio gwerth un biliwn o ddoleri NZ y ​​flwyddyn ac yn cefnogi 20,000 o swyddi, “meddai Mr Morris

Os byddai gwin Cymru yn cael unrhyw le yn agos at hyn fe fyddai’n wych, ond mae pethau yn sicr yn mynd i’r cyfeiriad iawn y dyddiau hyn. Pob lwc!

Welsh Vineyard Association Awards 2013

24/11/2013

The first ever Welsh Vineyard Association (WVA) Awards were held recently at Llanerch Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan. A total of 35 wines were entered and they were split into three classes – Still White or Rosé, Red, and Sparkling.

It’s great to see such a competition taking place, credible awards are very important for the drinks industry as it provides a lot of marketing collateral for the winners.

Were these awards credible? Yes, most certainly. You only have to look at the judging panel. It was chaired by Roger Jones, Michelin starred chef and senior judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards. He was joined by Bill Gunn, former Managing Director of the famous Champagne producer Pol Roger, and Julie Bell from the Felin Fach Griffin near Brecon.

Judging the awards

Judging the awards

The wines were blind tasted and marked using the same format as the Decanter awards.

One gold was awarded and that went to this month’s Drink of the Month – Ancre Hill Estates Sparkling Rosé 2009.

In the Still White or Rosé class two silvers were awarded both to Tintern Parva from Monmouthshire. One for their Bacchus 2011 and Bwthyn Rose 2011. I’ve tasted the latter and it’s a fantastic rosé. Five bronzes were also awarded.

The two silvers in the Red Wine Class both went to Ancre Hill Estates for their Pinot Noir’s of 2009 and 2011. No surprise there, great wines. Two bronzes were also awarded.

Finally, as well as picking up a gold award in the Sparkling Wine Class, Ancre Hill also got another silver for their Sparkling White 2008. As many as eight bronzes were awarded in what was the strongest class of wines.

Plenty of great Welsh wine on show and it’s a credit to the WVA for starting what should become a major date for Welsh wines and for starting big with a strong judging panel.

Welsh vineyard owners gather for the Awards

Welsh vineyard owners gather for the Awards

The chair spoke on behalf of the panel about the standard of Welsh wine stating that “We were very impressed with the entries and believe these wines should be judged not just against England but on the world scene.”

And this is exactly what will happen according to Richard Morris of Ancre Hill and chair of the WVA – “There is a massive opportunity for the Welsh industry to develop and our aim is to make this Welsh competition an international event, by making this an international competition Welsh wine by association will be recognised as world class.”

This is great but I do hope that, as part of such an international event, Welsh wines have their own category so that someone can say ‘we make the best wine in Wales’ each year.

The potential for Welsh wine was nicely encapsulated by Mr Morris “We are very excited about the future of the Welsh wine industry. We are in a similar position to that of the New Zealand industry 50 years ago which today has an export market worth one billion NZ dollars per annum and supports 20,000 jobs,” said Mr Morris.

For Welsh wine to get anywhere near this would be fantastic, but things are certainly going in the right direction these days. Pob lwc!

November Welsh Drink of the Month – Ancre Hill Estates: Sparkling Rose 2009 (11.5%abv)

05/11/2013

Bubbly is synonymous with the upcoming party season and what better than a Welsh sparkling wine and a gold medal winner at that.

Ancre Hill Sparkling Rose 2009

The inaugural Welsh Vineyard Association awards were held recently, I’ll feature them later in the month, and Ancre Hill’s Sparkling Rose 2009 came out on top.

We’ve already tasted their Chardonnay, now for their brut (dry) sparkling rose made from two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay grapes.

So, will we be serving up a Welsh sparkling wine this Christmas? As usual, you can leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

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Diod Cymreig Mis Tachwedd – Ancre Hill Estates: Sparkling Rose 2009 (11.5%afc)

05/11/2013

Mae gwinoedd pefriog yn gyfystyr â tymor y Nadolig a be well na gwin pefriog Cymreig, yn enwedig un sydd a medal aur i’w enw.

Ancre Hill Sparkling Rose 2009

Fe gynhaliwyd gwobrwyon cyntaf Cymdeithas Gwinllanoedd Cymru yn ddiweddar, fe rof sylw i hwn nes ‘mlaen yn y mis, a fe ddaeth Sparkling Rose 2009 Ancre Hill i’r brig.

Rydym eisoes wedi blasu eu Chardonnay, nawr beth am eu gwin pefriog rhosliw sych gyda Pinot Noir yn gwneud dwy ran o dair o’r cymysgedd a Chardonnay y gweddill.

Felly, a fyddem yn cynnig gwin pefriog Cymreig y Nadolig hwn? Fel arfer, gadewch eich sylwadau yma ar y blog a/neu…

Ymunwch yn fwy gyda’r sesiwn trydarflasu ar ddydd Iau 21 Tachwedd rhwng 9-10yh gan ddefnyddio #diodyddcymru

October Welsh Drink of the Month – Celtic Country Wines: Celteg Medieval Mead (12.0%abv)

03/10/2013

I haven’t featured anything from the spirits and liqueurs category as yet and that’s about to change. So, something completely different this month – mead.

There’s a long history of mead-making in Wales and there are a few contemporary meads available as well. By coincidence there was a story on a mead resurgence in the US on the BBC news page today.

The mead featured here is made by Celtic Country Wines who are based near to Newcastle Emlyn in Ceredigion. The make a range of country (fruit) wines and liqueurs as well as preserves. All their products now go under the name Celteg and they have been producing for over 25 years, growing considerably during that time.

I haven’t tried much in the way of mead so I’m looking forward to this tasting.

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the blog and/or …

Join in the live tweetasting on Thursday 10 October between 9-10pm using #drinkswales