Making Sherry sexy: Equipo Navazos

Equipo Navazos make mindblowing Sherries. I’m drinking one at the moment, and it’s a life-enhancing experience. It’s Manzanilla No 16 – powerful, intense with nuts, herbs, minerals, citrus notes and a distinct salty tang – even a hint of cheese. Complex and really hard to capture in words, this is one of two bottles kindly [...]

A good, affordable Tasmanian Pinot Noir

I’ve struggled a bit with some Tasmanian wines in the past, which show a bit of unripeness. But this affordable example (£10 is cheap for Pinot Noir, remember) is really nice, and it’s even better after being open a couple of days, which makes me think that this would repay short-term cellaring.

Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir [...]

Video: Mount Difficulty, Central Otago, NZ

I have just written up the report of my visit to Central Otago producer Mount Difficulty, which you can find here. Below is a short film from the visit. Among other things, it shows the sluicings in Bannockburn, which are areas where the hillside was deliberately eroded using snow melt water and dams, in order to [...]

A day in Vila Nova de Gaia

I spent today in Vila Nova de Gaia with Sogevenius, a Port and wine company who own the brands Calem, Barros, Burmester and Kopke. The two winemakers, Francisco Goncalves (table wines) an Pedro Sa (Ports) took me through a tasting, of which the highlights were the old Ports.

Burmester Colheita 1937 was sensational, and the Kopke [...]

A Portuguese dinner, with tripo and knuckles

Had a great dinner last night with the crew from Vinideas, the other speakers from the conference, and Joao Brito e Cunha (winemaker with Churchill, his family property Sao Jose and his brand Azeo).

Peter Godden is pictured above drinking some pink Port with a slice of orange in it. After this we moved onto some [...]

Update from the infowine forum

I’m sitting in the infowine forum here in Vila Real, Portugal.

Steve Charters (pictured) is talking – he’s discussing marketing wine to generation Y. It’s really interesting: these are the future wine consumers, and Steve is summarizing research (so it is not just arm waving and theory) on the behaviour of Gen Y, with specific reference [...]

Brothers in Arms: big, bold and lovely

Really like this wine, despite its monstrous alcohol level (15.5% alcohol). It’s really well put together from some very decent fruit.

Brothers in Arms No 6 Shiraz Cabernet 2005 Langhorne Creek, Australia
15.5% alcohol. Deeply coloured. Sweet nose is spicy, tarry, herby and intense with a hint of mint alongside the rich plum and blackberry fruit. The [...]

In Portugal, again

A quick post from the road. I am back in Portugal, for the infowine forum, where later today I will be delivering a talk on the prospects for Portuguese wines in export markets.  I’ll also be writing a paper for them on this subject, which I’d be happy to circulate.

I arrived last night, but we [...]

Jean-Claude Mas is a genius

I’m just so impressed by the wines of Jean-Claude Mas, from France’s Languedoc. Five of his wines were in yesterday’s Asda Press tasting, and they were all brilliant – he can even make Merlot taste interesting.

The wines show lovely fruit purity, varietal typicity and great balance. They’re modern but not spoofy. And they’re affordable.

This wine [...]

Crown cap liners for beer

A question. Why is it that the beer industry is happy to use crown caps with PVC liners for bottled beers?

These PVC liners allow a high level of oxygen transmission. This reduces the shelf-life of the beer, and also means that the same beer is experienced differently by consumers depending on when it is drunk.

Beer [...]