Video: Central Otago wine region from the air

A short film from a helicopter flight over the Central Otago wine region:

Video: gorging on paua and rock lobster in New Zealand

Here’s a film that should make you feel a little hungry. It’s of a memorable breakfast that I shared with some fellow wine writers (Oz Clarke, Tyson Stelzer and Joe Czerwiniski), consisting of paua and rock lobster, with some very nice Martinborough wines. We were on the Wairarapa coastline, and we were meant to be [...]

Tasting versus drinking: does the trade get it wrong?

The wine trade tasting calendar starts in earnest tomorrow, and we’re entering a busy period, kicking off with far more 2009 Burgundy tastings than anyone can reasonably justify.

If you are any good with google, you’ll be able to find a list of the UK tastings calendar. There are loads and loads of them, mostly London-based. [...]

Planeta's first Mount Etna wine: the Carricante

Almost two years ago I visited Sicilian producer Planeta. One thing they talked about was their new project on Mount Etna, which has some really interesting terroirs. At this stage, no wine had been made, but now they’ve released their first Etna white. It’s from the Carricante grape variety, and it’s full of interest. It’s [...]

Video: Veranda's vineyards in Chile's Bio Bio

A short film of the Veranda vineyards in Bio Bio, a cool climate region in the south of Chile. These include a couple of really remarkable new Pinot Noir vineyards. I’ve just written up my visit to Veranda (part of the Dos Andes company) on the main wineanorak site if you want to find out [...]

Portuguese wines at half price

Just a quick alert. Online retailer of Portuguese wines Castas are having a half-price sale of some rather good Portuguese wines, and unlike most ‘half-price’ sales, this is a genuine one.

Visit Castas’ website, and use the voucher code january2011 for a 50% reduction

Minimum order before reduction is £150

My top tip? Anything by Alvaro Castro, but [...]

Winewriters: making money on the internet?

Faced with loss of column inches (and sometimes even columns), many of my winewriting peers are now looking to see how they can make money on the internet.

Of course, this is how I (and a few others) started out in winewriting. But for many of the newcomers, they are used to being paid to write [...]

Some Chenin!

I’m trying hard to get my head around Chenin Blanc, but it’s a difficult grape to understand. What does Chenin taste like? Very hard to answer. Here are three good examples. But I wouldn’t say these are typical Chenin because I don’t know what typical Chenin is.

Christian Chenin Blanc 2006 Barossa
12% alcohol. Hand picked, basket [...]

Two nice supermarket Northern Rhone Syrahs

It’s not often I recommend French wines stocked by UK supermarkets, because the buying is rarely that inspired. Most decent French stuff simply doesn’t fit with the requirements of the multiple grocers. But here are two really nice expressions of Northern Rhone Syrah from Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Saint-Joseph 2009 Northern Rhone, France
From Chapoutier, 13% [...]

Video: the second mega-Champagne blind tasting!

So here it is: the second annual Champagne blind tasting. Brother-in-law William and I taste a range of top Champagnes blind, including three ringers (two of which are from England). We’re assisted by my brother Arthur who plays a cameo role somewhere in the middle. The results are interesting, and for me a little unexpected. [...]