The blue plaque of the Marques de Pombal

Spotted today while walking through London: a blue plaque commemorating the location of the Portuguese embassy back in the 18th century, and the residence of the Marquês de Pombal while he was ambassador to the UK.

Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquess of Pombal, has an important role in the history of wine. It […]

Touronio, an impressive Douro red

I love the Douro, and I’m delighted to be going out there again in a couple of weeks. So much is happening, in the relatively new region for table wines. Here’s a new wine from Quinta de Tourais in the Baixo Corgo – the first bit you come to arriving from Porto, which is also […]

Video: tasting three Gewurztraminers

So, here’s a short film. I taste three different Gewurztraminers – from Alsace, Chile and Hungary – and talk about them.

Wine communication: the elephant in the room

With all the discussions about communicating wine that are taking place of late, there’s one factor I don’t see mentioned very often. The elephant in the room is this:

As more wine media is created, there isn’t a concurrent growth in the consumption of this media.

That is, there are more and more voices, but not many […]

Goodbye: Gary V leaves the world of wine

So, Gary Vaynerchuk has left the world of wine. After 1000 episodes of (which he retired from earlier this year), and then 89 episodes of the daily grape, the wine world loses one of its most colourful, entrepreneurial and charismatic figures.

He’s announced that he will no longer be doing what he is best known […]

The 50th vintage of Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz

Early in my wine drinking journey, I was heavily influenced by the Penfolds bin series reds – 28, 128 and 389. Grange, although cheap by today’s standards at £35, was a bit out of my league.

Bin 28 is named Kalimna after the famed vineyard in the Barossa bought by Penfolds in 1945, although today it’s […]

Cricket with Marcillac and Kiwi Pinot Noir

So, today was another day of cricket. I’m well aware that I’ve spent a fair bit of time this summer playing and watching cricket. Too much? It’s a close call. But I enjoy it.

Today’s game was in Suffolk, at Woolpit Cricket Club. It was the second instalment of the memorial game in honour of Slim Williamson, who […]

Do wine books have a future?

With all the attention on the internet and social media, it would be easy to assume that there is no future for wine books.

But I love books. I love reading. I won’t make the mistake of assuming that everyone out there is like me, but I feel (and hope) that there are many others out […]

Northern Rhone series 12, Saint Peray time

Saint-Péray is a tiny appellation in the south of the northern Rhône, consisting of some 62 hectares of vines planted on granite overlaid by limestone, silt and loess soils. It’s a white wine appellation, with the majority of the vines being Marsanne, with a bit of Roussanne and a tiny bit of Roussette. Many of […]

Northern Rhone Series 11, Tardieu Laurent Cornas Coteaux

My second visit to Tardieu Laurent in this northern Rhone series (previously here). This is a really impressive interpretation of Cornas, an excellent appellation that sometimes gets a bad press (it’s often described as ‘rustic’, which is perjorative, I feel).

Tardieu Laurent Cornas ‘Coteaux’ 2008
13% alcohol. Vibrant fresh black cherry and blackberry fruit here with […]