Olivin Wines - Sharing our latest news

Olivin Uncorked…

A delightful journey through the world of wine! Our blog is a haven for wine enthusiasts and novices alike, where we uncork the stories, flavours, and mysteries behind the finest wines. Join us as we explore the vineyards, share expert tasting notes, and provide tips on wine pairings to elevate your dining experience. Whether you’re a seasoned sommelier or just starting your wine adventure, Olivin Uncorked is your go-to source for all things wine-related!

Friday 10th November, 2023

Venice has a ‘pizza’ my heart!…

Who am I?…. Where have I come from?…..

My name is Mark Higgs, managing director and founder of the Freespirit pub company. I have been in the pub trade for a long while (since my late teens – I am now 40!) and it was when I first started out that I had the pleasure of meeting Craig, founder of Olivin. Craig and I have had a long standing business relationship as well as a close friendship and it was only in the last couple of years that we decided to come together and work in unison on Olivin. In the last couple of months, my role in the business has become more pivotal as such, it is likely that you will be hearing from me a lot more in the future!

Last month, Craig and I were fortunate enough to be invited (through Olivin) on a fantastic trip to the beautiful Italian region of Veneto, home to the Italian city of Venice. The trip included eating, drinking and…well, more eating and drinking! Italy is a country of which I had very little experience and I must say, this trip has left me very hungry to explore the country more. The food, the drink, the scenery, the people, the weather – what’s not to like! This week, I would like to take you through my journey, trying some of the best wines the region has to offer.

One of our first stops was Miglio Rosso, a stunning historical property surrounded by about 100 hectares of vineyards and nestled in nature. Here, we were lucky enough to partake in an indulgent wine tasting and pairing, trying their delicious array of wines including prosecco, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The building itself was breath taking, a beautiful red brick property, fitted with contemporary furnishings. The passion they put into their wines was certainly very clear!

Image preview

Next, we explored Cantina Viticoltori Ponte di Piave, which is just one of the wineries owned by the Cavit family. Cavit (which stands for Cantina Viticoltori del Trentino) is a cooperate group that incorporates 11 cooperative wineries in Trentino and their 5.250 associated winegrowers. I personally loved the Altemasi – a prestigious TRENTDOC, Trentino’s Metodo classico sparkling wines. These bubbles from the mountains, produced with chardonnay and Pinot Nero grapes, make the slow passing of time the hallmark of its style.

Image preview

Our last stop before flying home again (the trip was only 2 days, so fleeting to the say the least!) Was the beautiful city of Venice itself. Now, I visited Venice 5 years ago with my now wife and it was honestly just as beautiful and breath-taking as I remember it – the architecture, the canals, the gondolas, it’s like something out of a story. 

Image preview

These trips are certainly few and far between, but they are the best way to find out about where our wines come from, how they are made and of course, the passion that goes into that process. I only wish it had been longer! Please, let me know of your experiences with Italy – whatever they may be. And if you have made it this far, thank you so much for sticking with me. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting to know some of you!

Big Love


Thursday 9th November, 2023

Friday Food Pairings..

When it comes to wine and food pairings, the possibilities are endless….

…One classic combination that never fails to impress is a crisp Chardonnay with a flavourful seafood dish. In this blog post, we’ll explore the delightful marriage of the Tall Horse Chardonnay and a mouthwatering Pan-Fried Hake Fillet, Chorizo, Saffron, and Butter Bean Stew.

Why Tall Horse Chardonnay?

Tall Horse Chardonnay is known for its fresh and vibrant character, making it a fantastic choice to complement the delicate flavours of hake and the rich, spicy notes of chorizo. Its notes of green apple, citrus, and a hint of oak provide the perfect backdrop to elevate this dish.


For the Pan-Fried Hake Fillet:
– 4 Hake fillets
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– Fresh parsley for garnish

For the Chorizo, Saffron, and Butter Bean Stew:
– 1 cup diced chorizo
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 1 teaspoon saffron threads
– 2 cups chicken or fish broth
– 1 can (15 oz) butter beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
– Salt and pepper to taste


For the Hake Fillet:

1. Start by seasoning the hake fillets with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. This will help the fish develop a lovely crispy crust when pan-fried.

2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

3. Place the hake fillets in the skillet, skin side down, and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the skin becomes crispy. Flip the fillets and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

4. While cooking, squeeze lemon juice over the fillets and add minced garlic for extra flavor.

5. Remove the pan-fried hake fillets from the skillet and set them aside.

For the Chorizo, Saffron, and Butter Bean Stew:

1. In the same skillet used for the hake, add diced chorizo and sauté until it releases its flavorful oils and turns slightly crispy.

2. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and diced red bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender and fragrant.

3. Sprinkle saffron threads over the mixture and stir to release their wonderful aroma.

4. Pour in the chicken or fish broth and bring the stew to a gentle simmer.

5. Add butter beans and cherry tomatoes to the stew, and let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Place a pan-fried hake fillet on each plate and generously ladle the Chorizo, Saffron, and Butter Bean Stew over it. Garnish with crispy leeks and kale – crunched off in the pan, and you’re ready to enjoy a delicious and visually stunning dish.

The Pairing:

The bright acidity of Tall Horse Chardonnay perfectly complements the buttery hake fillet, while its subtle oak notes harmonize with the smokiness of the chorizo. The saffron and fresh flavors of the stew further enhance the wine’s citrus and apple notes. This pairing is a delightful blend of textures, flavors, and aromas.

In conclusion, this Chardonnay and Hake Fillet pairing is a delightful experience for your taste buds. Whether you’re looking to impress guests or indulge in a special meal, this combination is a winner. Don’t forget to raise a glass of Tall Horse Chardonnay to complete the experience. Cheers!

Thursday 21st December, 2023

Pink French 77 Cocktail


It’s almost time… what better way to celebrate the festivities than with the perfect Pink French 77 cocktail, a delightful twist on the classic French 75. This sparkling concoction combines champagne with the zesty kick of gin, making it an ideal choice for toasting Christmas. Follow this simple guide to create a drink that will undoubtedly add a touch of sophistication to your celebrations.

– 1 1/2 oz pink gin
– 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
– 1/2 oz simple raspberry syrup
– 2 oz chilled champagne
– Raspberries (for garnish)

1. Start by gathering your ingredients and chilling your champagne glass.
2. In a cocktail shaker, combine pink gin, fresh lemon juice, and syrup.
3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake the ingredients vigorously for about 10-15 seconds, ensuring they are well combined and chilled.
4. Strain the mixture into your chilled champagne glass, allowing it to settle.
5. Top off the cocktail with the crisp effervescence of chilled champagne.
6. Gently stir the contents to marry the flavors, being mindful not to lose the bubbly spirit.
7. Garnish your Pink French 77 with glorious Raspberries

We wish you all the best Christmas this weekend!