Côte Rôtie, one of my great passions

I often get asked the impossible question. What is your favourite wine?

For a wine professional, you can’t really afford to have a favourite. Let’s face it, the world of wine is full of amazing discoveries at every turn. To single out one region, or one style, seems absurd.

But you have to answer this question when [...]

Pineau d'Aunis rocks!

Drinking a lovely, bright, elegant, fresh red from the Loire. It’s a varietal Pineau d’Aunis, and it’s one of those wines that is both non-serious and drinkable, and yet also serious at the same time.

Pineau d’Aunis is a brilliant grape variety. It’s a bit like Pinot Noir, in that it produces lighter red wines with [...]

Weekend in the country, and three rich whites: Chile, South Africa and France

The long bank holiday weekend provided an ideal opportunity for a family get together. Remarkably, we managed to find a house big enough to take 15 on budget in the quaint village of Erdisland, Herefordshire.

My job on these occasions is to provide the wine. There’s a strong demand for crisp, dry, unoaked white wine, and [...]

A really good New Zealand Syrah, tasted on video

One of those funny clip things where I taste a wine on video. In this case it is the rather good Legacy Series Syrah 2009 from Vidal in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay.

At the Whalley Wine Shop

On Friday I drove up to Whalley, in Lancashire, to take part in a tasting hosted by the Whalley Wine Shop, titled ‘The Night of 100 Wines’. It was my first time in Whalley, which is a charming village (or small town?) in the Ribble Valley.

Whalley Wine Sop used to be a Thresher’s property, but [...]

Memory and wine

I have done a lot of driving over the last two days. It has meant a lot of Radio 4 listening, interspersed with CDs. Today I heard a program on memory (here). It got me thinking about memory for wine.

When I think of my memories, and try to recall them, I can recall faces, voices, [...]

Two very nice affordable wines, from Portugal and Italy

It’s always good to stumble across wines that over-deliver for their price point. Here are two that I tried today and was impressed by.

Tenuta Roveglia Lugana 2011 Italy
From the shores of Lake Garda, this is a really fresh white, made from the Trebbiano (aka Ugni Blanc) grape variety. Crisp, tight and steely with lovely citrus/grapefruit [...]

A pointer to some of my longer blog posts

Little and often is how I like to do my blog. It’s because that’s what I like when I visit a blog: I don’t want to read through a 1000 word article. Indeed, I’m not sure I’m capable of reading a long article on screen like this. I just tend to skim. Attention span of [...]

Exciting times in the world of beer

OK, this is a wine blog, but I am obsessed by flavour, and I’m enjoying beer quite a bit at the moment, and I suspect that many readers will also have an interest in interesting beer.

The beer world is going through a very exciting phase at the moment. It used to exist in a very [...]

A lovely Bordeaux, for just £8

The other day I was in a convenience store over the road, under instructions to buy some Chewits Extreme for younger son, when a couple of bottles of wine caught my eye. Along with the usual brands, there were two bottles of Caronne Ste Gemme 2004, unpriced.

I asked, and after about 5 minutes, they figured [...]