High-end Chianti a hit with teenagers?

So it’s 1 am in the morning, and I’m stone cold sober. We’ve just had a teenage party for younger son’s friends.

At one stage there were around 100 kids here. The party was confined to the garden, with access to the downstairs toilet, kitchen and hallway for the kids. We cleared the kitchen of everything [...]

Two lovely, affordable French reds from the Sampler

Two lovely southern French red wines from The Sampler. They’re some of the exclusive imports that they bring in.

First, Domaine Rimbert Cousin Oscar 2011 Vin de France. 11.5% alcohol, from St Chinian, and made from Cinsault. This is a remarkable wine, mainly for the fact that it’s so honestly just what it is – lively, [...]

The South Africa Wine and Spirits Board reject Craig Hawkins Cortez Chenin Blanc 2011 for a second time!

I have written before about how export approval systems in New World wine-producing countries can hinder producers who operate outside the commercial norms (here: http://www.wineanorak.com/exportapproval.htm)

It’s a big problem for natural winemakers. You make a really good wine, have customers abroad clamouring to buy it, and you can’t sell it because a group of conventionally minded winemakers [...]

A lovely Brouilly from Romain Jambon

Romain Jambon is a new discovery for me. He’s a fourth generation, 23 year old winegrower in Beaujolais, with 7 hectares in Brouilly to play with. This wine is really fine, and blind I don’t think I’d go to Gamay at all – probably more in the direction of a lighter cool-climate Syrah. It’s one [...]

Objects, types and tasting wine

Our perception of reality is actually our model of reality, based on information from our senses.

This is because the processing power needed to take in sensory information in real time and make sense of it is beyond our brain’s capacity, and would result in unacceptable delays in our response. To function properly we need fast [...]

Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2005

Not much chat, just a quick note on an utterly brilliant sweet wine. Sold in a handy 25 cl bottle which makes this world class wine relatively affordable at around £11.

Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2005 Hungary
10.5% alcohol. Lively, intense aromas of marmalade, apricot, spice and citrus. The palate is concentrated with lots of sweetness but [...]

First Drop Mere et Fils Chardonnay, great wine, fabulous label

Aussie wine producer First Drop are fast becoming one of the cleverest at marketing their wines – even outdoing D’Arenberg. The good news is that the content of the bottle matches up to the ambitions of the packaging. This is a lovely Chardonnay, and the front and back labels are just brilliant.

First Drop Mere et [...]

So should I post more negative reviews?

I taste a lot of wines and only a few of these end up on this blog. This filtering process means that you will tend only to see positive reviews here. Some people have commented on this.

Would you like to see more negative reviews of wines I didn’t like? This might make for more balanced [...]

Three lovely Palo Cortado sherries

Sherry gives me a lot of pleasure. Here are three Palo Cortados that I’ve had open for a while. I did a contemplative comparative tasting of them. All quite different, but all thoroughly lovely.

Paolo Cortado starts life as a fino, but then the flor dies. It’s fortified up to a higher strength (18%, typically) and [...]

Two nice ciders, and comments on the cider market

Enjoying these two ciders tonight, both from Herefordshire producer Westons. They’re quite widely available.

Westons Old Rosie Cloudy Scrumpy
7.3% alcohol. Cloudy pale yellow in colour, this is dry but has some fruit sweetness. Nice tangy, textured appley fruit with a hint of cheesy savouriness. Very tasty. 8/10

Westons Wyld Wood Organic Classic Cider
6.5% alcohol. Aged in wooden [...]