Shooting and drinking a fortified Tannat

Spent a great day at a stag do for my buddy Richard today. He’s getting married in a few weeks, and so he gathered a bunch of chums to see him off in style.

We started off taking part in one of his favourite pursuits: shooting. Of late he has taken to going off for the [...]

Coto de Gomariz The Flower and The Bee Souson

This is such a beautiful, utterly drinkable wine. It’s from Ribeiro, a region in northwest Spain in Galicia, and it is made from the Sousón grape variety, which is the same as Portugal’s Sousao/Vinhao. Available in the UK from Indigo Wine, and not too expensive (around £12.50 in independent wine merchants). Just the sort of [...]

Shaw & Smith Shiraz 2010

Met with Michael Hill-Smith today at the shiny new Liberty Wine offices in Clapham, to taste the latest releases of Shaw & Smith.

For me, this is one of Australia’s leading wineries. They make just four wines, all of which are excellent, from the cool-ish climate Adelaide Hills region in South Australia.

The Sauvignon Blanc 2012 is [...]

Diam Rendezvous, Bordeaux: the influencers in the world of wine

On Friday, I took part in an interesting conference in Bordeaux, organized by closure manufacturer Diam. The audience was a group of Bordeaux wine growers, and the panel consisted of some well known wine communicators from across Europe. We were discussing the influencers – past, present and future – in the world of wine.

The panel [...]

Two cracking Marlborough Sauvignons

These are two lovely Kiwi Sauvignons from the 2012 vintage. Both are from the Wine Society, and while they are priced above the entry level, the fact that the entry level for domaine bottled Marlborough Sauvignon is creeping up to £10 makes them both excellent value. The Dog Point is pretty much my perfect Sauvignon [...]

Riesling focus, 2: Ostertag Vignoble d'E

Over the last year, I have fallen in love with Alsace. Along with the Mosel and Austria, it is one of the world’s top destinations for Riesling. Here’s a cracking example. This is one of Andre Ostertag’s vins de fruit, where the objective is the primary expression of the variety above that of the terroir. [...]

Two superb beers from Thornbridge

Good wine is, unfortunately, rarely cheap. Great beer is more often than not quite affordable.

Of course, most beer is boring. Increasingly, though, exciting beers are becoming easier to find. If you want an interesting drink, you can rock up to most supermarkets with a couple of quid and score a good bottle.

Tonight I have been [...]

Dinner at Comptoir Cuisine, Bordeaux, with 1953 La Mission

I had a free evening in Bordeaux last night, and Matthieu and Anne-Laurence Chadronnier (pictured above) kindly offered to take me to dinner. I am so glad I accepted their invitation.

Matthieu is GM of negociant CVBG, and Anne-Laurence is a winemaker (and also blogs, at http://rougeblancbulles.blogspot.fr/). They are tremendously bright and represent the future of [...]

Three New Zealand Syrahs from the Gimblett Gravels

There isn’t a lot of Syrah in New Zealand. But it’s a grape that does very well here, when it is grown. I’ve had great examples from Waiheke Island, Martinborough, Marlborough and even Central Otago.

The Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay is probably the most famous locale in Kiwiland for Syrah. Here are three good examples: [...]

Burgundy 2011 - some impressions

This week is Burgundy en primeurs, in London. Unlike the Bordelais, the Burgundians wait a bit longer before showing cask samples (15 months after vintage, versus 6), and travel to do so. It has developed into quite a circus, with 30 or so tastings (I haven’t counted) over a week and a bit, many with [...]