Two lovely Rieslings, Alsace and Austria

Two happy hunting grounds for Riesling: Alsace and Austria.

These bottles satisfied, the Trimbach for its purity and freshness, and the Stadt Krems for its depth of flavour and richness of texture. Both are affordable (I bought the Austrian for £10 a few years back, and the Trimbach is similarly priced), but deliver the sort of quality [...]

Celebrating the Wine Blog Awards with Taittinger Comtes 2000

I was thrilled to find out today that I won an award. I was shortlisted in the ‘Best Overall Wine Blog’ category in the Wine Blog Awards, and the results were announced at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland yesterday evening: amazingly, I won.

So to celebrate, I cracked open a bottle of Champagne. Taittinger Comtes [...]

The joys of camping

Got back from our camping holiday in Somerset, which involved five teenagers (two of ours plus friends) and lots of rain, as well as a bit of sunshine.

Because we were responsible for five teens, little wine was consumed. Just a sneaky glass each night, and perhaps a little refill. Even out of camping glasses, declassified [...]

Quinta de Sant'Ana Pinot Noir 2010

I’ve written before about this Pinot Noir. Its debut vintage, 2009, impressed me, and can be found online at a bargain price of £12. This follow-up is equally convincing. A really nice wine. I likened the 2009 to a Marlborough Pinot Noir; I notice that this time I’ve likened it to a Martinborough Pinot Noir.

Quinta [...]

A sticky end, a noble Sauvignon Blanc

I’m not really sure I like the branding of Brent Marris’ Marisco Vineyards, but I do like the wines. This is a remarkable botrytised Sauvignon Blanc with real personality.

Marisco Vineyards A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
12% alcohol. Concentrated, richly textured, sweet and well balanced, showing notes of grape, tangerine, melon and [...]

Tio Pepe Fino En Rama, the new release

It’s the third release (I think) of this wonderful sherry. Taken straight from the cask without filtering or fining, and when the flor (the layer of yeast cells growing on the surface of the liquid in the cask) is nice and thick. I also tried this from a half-bottle last week while I was doing [...]

Kadarka and Kekfrankos, two very nice Hungarian reds from Grof Buttler

Ever since I judged at the Pannon Wine Awards in May, I’ve had an appetite for Hungarian wines. Two varieties, in particular, have caught my attention. The elegant, Pinot Noir like Kadarka is my favourite, but following close behind is Kekfrankos, aka Blaufrankisch. This handsome pair of wines comes from Eger producer Grof Buttler, whose [...]

Another lovely Kiwi Syrah, at an affordable price

Following on from yesterday’s plug for Trinity Hill’s rather tasty Syrah, here’s another lovely Kiwi Syrah, this time at a nicely affordable price.

Villa Maria Private Bin Syrah 2009 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
13% alcohol. Amazingly fresh, peppery, spicy black cherry nose. The palate is fresh and supple with light, juicy berry, plum and cherry fruit, as well [...]

A superb New Zealand Syrah

New Zealand reds are exciting. They’re getting better all the time. I caught this Trinity Hill Syrah – a wine I actually bought with my own money (shock!) – in a good place. It held up well over two days, although it’s a miracle that any was left for day 2.

Trinity Hill Syrah Gimblett Gravels [...]

Cost, quality and conspicuous consumption

There’s a rather confusing aspect to fine wine.

It has to do with the relationship of price to perception. Let me explain.

Now top quality wine costs a reasonable amount to produce. It can also only be made from certain vineyard sites, and so its supply is limited. This pushes up the price.

Once something becomes expensive, it [...]