Supermarket wine buyers: how are they doing?

When I started out drinking wine, supermarket wine ranges were extremely variable. There were some terrible wines: wines that made you gag. As a student, and thus a bottom-feeder, the challenge was to find something cheap and drinkable. It was hard.

Then, as I got to know a little about wine, I started buying more expensive […]

Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru

I have a soft spot for Egly-Ouriet – they used to be the favoured grower Champagne of La Vigneronne, the now defunct South Kensington wine shop that I used to visit a lot when I was starting out.

The house style is lower yields than normal, fermentation in oak, and a low-ish dosage of 5-6 g/litre. […]

The wine trade bubble

I love the wine trade. It’s fun, full of interesting people, and it’s incredibly open and friendly.

But it is a bit of a bubble. We talk to each other all the time. We assume everyone is like us. And as a business, it’s not so sharp. It’s more like a group of hobbyists.

The chief problems: […]

The Krug Institute of Happiness

Remarkable dinner last night at the Krug Institute of Happiness. It’s a pop-up restaurant idea based around Krug Champagne, with cooking by Nuno Mendes of Viajante (pictured above), and held in a stunning property in Highgate, 85 Swains Lane.

Olivier Krug


After lots of Krug Grande Cuvee and canapes, it was time to sit down. We […]

Reports of vandalism at Soldera

One of Italy’s great wine estates. Soldera, making some mindblowing Brunello di Montalcino, in the south of Tuscany. I reviewed these rare gems a few years ago, after a fantastic lunch at The Square (here).

Apparently, Soldera’s winery has been vandalized, with the loss of six vintages (these are wines that age for a long time […]

Valle Pradinhos: a lovely, precise Portuguese white

This wine hits my sweet spot for a number of reasons. First, it’s really nice: a precise, subtly aromatic, fresh white wine with some personality. Second, it’s Portuguese, and I have a soft spot for Portugal. Third, it’s priced within my range, and I can afford to enjoy it without having blown a significant slice […]

The internet, cozy cocoons, confirmation bias and the death of the generalist

I have been leafing through issue 38 of The World of Fine Wine. One article that has got me thinking is a book review by David Williams, who is one of the magazine’s best writers. He’s discussing an an anthology of wine writing from The New York Times, but in his introduction he looks at […]

A brilliant, affordable natural Salice Salentino

Come with me to the south of Italy, and to a winery who I know very little about, and about whom there is very little on the internet. This is a natural wine, made with no added sulfur dioxide, and it’s deliciously open and drinkable. It’s not expensive (I can’t find a UK stockist, but […]

A great game of rugby followed by some wine

Took older son along to Twickenham today for his first England international. It was against the mighty All Blacks (that’s the New Zealand team for the benefit of those who don’t follow sport at all, in which case this may not prove to be your favourite ever blog post of mine), so I was expecting to […]