The IMW Australian Shiraz masterclass

Just on my way back from the Institute of Masters of Wine Australian Shiraz Masterclass. It was led by a distinguished group of Aussie winegrowers: Tim Kirk (Clonakilla), Julian Castagna, Prue Henschke, John Duval and Ron Laughton (Jasper Hill).

Julian Castagna flanked by Prue Henschke and Ron Laughton

The line up of wines, was – on [...]

Some tasty wines from First Drop

Really impressed by this latest batch of wines from First Drop, who I reviewed a while back. These wines seem to manage to combine ripe fruit with freshness to great effect. And I love the packaging. Great label designs.

First Drop Half and Half 2009 Barossa, Australia
A blend of Shiraz and Monastrell. 14.5% alcohol. Sweet, ripe [...]

A wonderful Italian tasting

Alberto Graci, ex-banker, who is making seriously authentic wine in Mount Etna, Sicily

Yesterday’s tasting at One George Street, hosted by the wonderful Berry Bros & Rudd, is worth a mention. For the last few years

David Berry Green has been resident in Italy. In that time he has built up a superb portfolio of Italian [...]

An incredible tasting with the Dirty Dozen

This was one of the best tastings I’ve attended this year.

It reminded me why I love wine, and why I’ve chosen to make it my profession.

I’m not naive: I know that we need the commercial, commodity end of the wine market, and that most people just want something cheap and drinkable that they can get [...]

A fascinating Languedoc white from Virgile Joly

Had a really fabulous white from Domaine Virgile Joly today, one of many interesting wines being imported into the UK by Dudley and de Fleury. It’s one of those wines that I love, but which I can understand might not be to everyone’s taste. It seems quite oxidative on the nose, but it is so [...]

Summer draws to a close

Summer is drawing to a close. It’s a significant time of year for me.

Living here in the UK, our summers are relatively short. I love being outdoors, and autumn heralds a retreat indoors. It’s the time of year when, instead of looking forward, you begin to look back on the year so far, and forwards [...]

Northern Rhone series 14, Cote Rotie, Cornas and Hermitage at Twickenham

Worry ye not. This wine blog is not turning into a sports blog, although you’d be forgiven for thinking so. It has been a sport-filled summer.

On Saturday I was invited to the Twickenham double-header by Inter Rhone, one of the sponsors. The double-header is a smart idea. Two premiership rugby games are played back to [...]

Spirits and food at Le Gavroche

A most unusual dinner on Thursday night, at one of London’s top restaurants, Le Gavroche.

It was a spirits dinner with Mangrove (who are the spirits arm of Coe Vintners) www.mangroveuk.com)? They supplied Michel Roux and his team, and encouraged them to find food and spirit pairings. Some of the dishes were made using spirits; others [...]

Northern Rhone series 13, Jaboulet Thalabert 1985 and cricket

Great day today. It was Wine Trade vs Further Friars, down at Keevil in Wiltshire, on a perfect late summer’s day.

The game was great – more on that later – and ended perfectly with Jasper Morris MW, one of the Friars, bringing out a magnum of Jaboulet’s Thalabert Croze Hermitage, in the 1985. We drank [...]

Authentic wine is published today

So, it’s the official publication date of Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking.

Sam and I were very pleased with the first proper review, which appeared today on Palate Press.

You send out a book into the world, and wait for some response. You are too close to the book to view it objectively, and so [...]