How potatoes have become Rosé Wine? - Whatever next?
The continuing saga of William Chase; William Chase calls himself a 'Herefordshire potato farmer'. OK like Lord Alan Sugar is just 'a salesman'?
After farming potatoes and harvesting cider apples for some years he was declared bankrupt at 29, but here he is in his early 50's with a world beating English Vodka and a wine estate in Aix-en-Provence. Like many successful men he has gambled, lost it, recovered and now is on a roll.
William it seems is a born entrepreneur. Having what he called 'his eureka moment' around 2002 he decided to use his potatoes to manufacture 'top end' crisps, perhaps you have heard of them? Tyrrells. Yes 'those' crisps and he sold out for a small fortune in 2008. With this he managed to clear his debts and spend £300K on building a new distillery as he was looking to diversify. The crisp business had stopped being fun he is reported to have said but I reckon it was getting too big to handle as a family affair and along with his divorce settlement to deal with I would say is “Well done”, don't you agree?
His new venture, Chase Vodka was voted 'Best in The World' in the October 2010 vodka competition. If you think vodka is simply a spirit for mixing and for 'tanking up' before you go out think again. Chase can be - ought to be I reckon - drunk on its own. See the next page for my favourite way to serve it.
Meanwhile William, never a man to stand still, has bought an established wine estate in the Luberon region of southern France, close to Aix-en-Provence. The original name was Chevalier-Constantin but he has renamed it simply Château Constantin and is now marketing his rosé wine simply as Chase Rosé. Along with this they have totally repackaged the wine for the 2013 Vintage which has a distinct link with the vodka bottle but is still individual with its Vino-Lok wine 'closure' which was developed in South Africa but I first saw in Germany some years ago. It is very classy and clever.
The estate does make 3 wines, including a red and a white, but for me this classical region is best for Rosé. Chase Rosé, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Rousanne, is an excellent example of what southern France can deliver. A delightful pale salmon colour with a gentle aroma of white peaches and light tropical fruits. The taste does not disappoint being crisp and filled with fresh fruits, touches of minerals, hints of citrus and a stylish long finish.
Everything about it from presentqation to wine has the chic elegance of the well-to-do on The Riviera. At £13.90 per bottle** it is not the cheapest wine but is typical of the Provence region and I reckon is good value.
This wine is fantastic with a Salad Nicoise, grilled fish or simply as an 'aperitif on the terrace'. So, go on, live a little and spoil yourself, you know you're worth it!
Learn more about William, his family and his team by logging on to www.chasedistillery.co.uk
Here is a tasty tip to add zip to your dinner party
When it comes to entertaining I like a simple dessert. Try serving Chase Vodka with really good vanilla cheesecake and fresh fruit. Take the Chase straight from the freezer, pour into shot glasses and serve at once. It is, quite simply, superb! It becomes so rich and creamy you will not believe it until you try so you can put away that calorie filled double cream. As an added bonus it serves as a 'digestif' too - ha ha what fun!
[** discounts can apply so please call us]
Do remember you can contact me on any wine or spirit related subject, simply e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org