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11 June 2018

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Ahoy Hot Bottlers!

The season of festivals and picnics and sipping in the sunshine is upon us. Time to dust off the rug, unleash the hamper and load up on tasty treats!

First up, huge thanks and a big shiny spotlight on the team at Corney & Barrow for their continued support of Chris Evans’ Dine & Disco which takes place this weekend.  Corney & Barrow are legendary in the world of wine and their bottles, if you haven’t yet tasted any, are brilliant. This year the Dine & Disco has raised a phenomenal £1,976,540 for Children in Need and over the years Corney & Barrow have provided an array of stunning wines to match the sensational dishes cooked by a star-studded cast of chefs which, along with so many generous donations make the event such a success in the name of a great cause.

For this year’s event I’ll be pouring a beautiful Riesling from the Awatere Valley, Cariñena from Spain, Chilean Chardonnay, Corney & Barrow’s own label Côtes du Rhône and a stonking Italian Pinot Nero to match the feast cooked by Tom Kerridge, José Pizarro, Atul Kochhar, Luke Matthews and Mo Gherras.  Guests who have generously donated will be disco dancing in the Teepee of Love with none other than Take That live on stage.  A pretty good Saturday night, all in all! 

To share a taste of it, here are my Hot Bottles which I’m proud to pick from Corney & Barrow and which you can order online.

RED: Il Barroccio IGT Rosso Siciliane 2016 (13%) £7.96. What a belter of a red. Stunning value on offer here for a Sicilian red blend that punches well above its price point. It’s velvet heaven, laden with flavour without being OTT. A brilliant all-rounder if you’re looking for a wine to pour on a weeknight or to wow your guests with.

WHITE: Fiano Masseria Bianca 2016 (12%) £9.95. So satisfying, a white that feels as joyful as a juicy peach on a bright summer’s day. Packed with refeshing splendour, it’s a ruddy epic apéritif but with its sexy texture it can work with a whole host of dishes from seafood and salads to anything graced with glorious garlic.

FIZZ: Corney & Barrow Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Methode Traditionelle NV (12%) £12.95. I recently tasted this wine with a bride and groom whose wedding I’m helping with and the quality blew us all away. It smashed the competition out of the park with its incredible quality to price ratio and just tastes outstanding. Complexity, richness and refreshment rarely come in a package that’s so invigorating and enticing.

In other news, P&O Cruises have just announced a brand new ship joining the fleet in 2020.  She’s called Iona and I’m thrilled to share that I will be opening my Glass House bar onboard with a list of wines by the glass to thrill and a whole host of new surprises and shore excursions to lure you on board and take a trip with me. You'll be the first to know as a Hot Bottler, but you can also peer at my website www.ollysmith.com for other events and bookings. I currently lead a tour and tasting to Blandy's Wine Lodge in Madeira so let me tempt you with a special Madiera cocktail that Chris Blandy has personally furnished me with:

Madeira Gold (makes approx 1-2 tall glasses)

50ml Blandy's Duke of Sussex Madeira
30ml Orange liqueur
10ml Fig syrup
50ml Lemonade (zero sugar)

Place a few ice cubes in a shaker, add the Madeira wine, orange liqueur and the fig syrup. Shake well, pour the contents into a glass and add the lemonade. Garnish with a slice of orange peel.

I’d also like to raise a glass and say cheers to all of you for watching Saturday Kitchen which is my privilege to be part of - remember you can find all the wines I recommend and links to the recipes from the show on ollysmith.com or better yet tune in to BBC1 and comment on social media using the hashtag #saturdaykitchen - I’ll be lurking on Instagram @ollysmith while we are on air and you can find my social media wheels turning on Facebook.com/jollyolly and also Twitter @jollyolly - huge thanks to my team at HQ for keeping those channels active when I’m roaring around the real world!

And before wishing you a week of joy, my podcast A Glass With, is back with Series 3 as we speak and guests have included Candice Brown, Clare Balding and Phil Jupitus.  The last two episodes of the series are on the brink of being released into the wild. I’m really chuffed to share that the show is now in the top 20% of podcasts worldwide and you can find it on iTunes, Spotify and via the website aglasswith.com - series four is already underway and I’ve recorded with some incredible people. Share your guest suggestions and get involved on social media by following @aglasswith - I’m longing to invite Dan "Ghostbusters” Ackroyd if anyone happens to know him!

Big thanks also to so many of you who messaged kind words about my dog Barney who died recently. Fifteen years as best friend to the world and my all time dearest mate, I miss him every day and it’s really kind of you to think of him. Here’s to pets and the joy they bring.

So hugs all round and thanks for the support, I’m so chuffed to do the job I love and aside from keeping my beautiful bees, I really can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing!

Olly x

Glassware available at ollysmith.com/shop

Twitter @jollyolly
Instagram @ollysmith

  Olly Smith