26 vintages of Vega Sicilia, one of Spain's greatest wines

Remarkable tasting, this morning, at The Square restaurant in London. 26 vintage of Vega Sicilia back to 1920.

There’s something special about Vega Sicilia. It is unique. It is long-lived. It is Spain’s undisputed star, and the wines are made today pretty much in the way they always have been (although for the last couple of [...]

Some brilliant Terras Gauda wines from Rías Baixas, Spain

Very enthusiastic about the white wines from Terras Gauda, a producer in Spain’s  Rías Baixas region, in the north west of the country, adjoining Portugal’s Minho. They’re so nicely judged. Unfortunately the reds from this producer, under the brand name Pitaccum, suffer the Spanish disease of an elevage that involves too much oak, for too long.

Terras [...]

A brilliant fino sherry from El Maestro Sierra

I’m a big sherry fan, as I think most of my wine nut friends are. Great sherry is one of the most affordable of all fine wines, which is a good thing. This little gem is from El Maestro Sierra, a small sherry house owned by the nonagenarian Pilar Pla Pechovierto, and is very traditional. [...]

Keeping wine fun

Just a brief post tonight. It’s about keeping wine fun.

I started out drinking wine in earnest back in 1993. It quickly became a hobby, a passion, a source of fun and pleasure.

I want it to stay that way, even though I make my living from communicating about it.

I think the perspective of people who drink [...]

Another brilliant Hungarian Kadarka - I'm starting to like this grape

Hot on the heels of the fabulous Szentesi, I’ve been lucky enough to bump into another brilliant Hungarian Kadarka, this time from Orsolya. This is such an interesting variety, I’ll be looking out for more.

Orsolya Kadarka 2009 Egri Borvidek, Hungary
12.5% alcohol. Pale cherry red colour. Lovely sweet cherry fruit aromatics with some fine, spicy, herby [...]

Lunch at the Glasshouse, Kew, with Brian and Marion Smith of Elgin Ridge

Kew’s Glasshouse has to be one of the best places to lunch in London. It’s the sister restaurant to the equally impressive La Trompette in Chiswick, and together this pair of gems gives those of us out west reason to feel grateful. They both possess brilliant wine lists alongside highly creative and utterly delicious cooking, and [...]

A brilliant unoaked Malbec at the Gaucho

Met up with my buddy and co-author Sam Harrop today for lunch. We were at Gaucho in Richmond, sitting outside as the swollen Thames flowed by in dappled sunlight, plotting our next moves in wine world domination, and sharing our mutual guilt at having made less progress than we really ought to have made on the book [...]

Beer for wine lovers

Neil Walker is a foodie-beer geek who writes the Eating isn’t Cheating blog. I met him on a beer press trip to Ghent last December (below – he’s at the far left, looking away), which was a blast. Recently he contacted me to suggest we do a guest blog for each other. So I wrote an article on [...]

Northern Rhone series 21, Martine Vandre Champ Morel Crozes Hermitage

I’m not giving up on my northern Rhone series, which began almost a year ago, and is now in its 21st installment. It’s a region I love, filled with great wines alongside poor ones – I guess, like most wine regions worldwide. When its on form, it’s brilliant.

This is a brilliantly focused Crozes Hermitage that [...]

Serious Spanish Garnacha from Artadi

Impressed by this. It’s made by high-end Rioja producer Artadi’s Artazu estate in Navarra. It’s expensive, yes, but not when compared with its qualitative peer group.

Artadi Santa Cruz de Artazu Garnacha 2007 Navarra, Spain
A single-vineyard wine made from 80 year old vines at an elevation of 750 metres. Bright red/purple colour. Lovely pure, sweet nose [...]