An ale festival at the White Horse

Popped down to the White Horse at Hedgerley with two of my brothers-in-law today, to sample some of the guest ales.

British ales are among the world’s best beers, but to enjoy them you usually need to drink them at a pub from a well managed cask. Bottled versions tend to be dull and a shadow [...]

On dog ownership...

Going back a few years, I used to include a lot more non-wine-related material in my blog. Truly unprofessional, I admit. But I think it’s important.

As a reader, I want to know where a writer is coming from. What is their context?

If I am going to follow their recommendations, it is almost like developing a [...]

Two fantastic Chardonnays from Yabby Lake

Just tried these two brilliant Chardonnays from Tom Carson at Yabby Lake. Two more examples of the amazing revolution in Aussie Chardonnay that has taken place over the last few years.

Yabby Lake Vineyard Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Strongly mineral nose with mtachstick, citrus and pear. The palate is taut and lean with citrus, pear, [...]

Are ultra expensive wines worth it?

I was asked a question by a journalist today:

Our readers want to live vicariously: What does a $30,000 bottle of wine taste like? Do wine experts appreciate them significantly more than, say, a $10,000 bottle of wine? If not, what exactly is one paying for at that level? Do ultra-expensive bottles of wine generally delight [...]

Tunquen: impressive boutique winery from Chile

At last! I have found something high-end and exciting from Chile, after a string of near misses and disappointments.

It’s a new-ish boutique winery, Tunquen. You can find their website here. These wines had something different to most Chilean wines, and I really liked them. The winegrowers here are clearly aiming at elegance, avoiding over-extraction, and [...]

Lunch at Arbutus with Marimar Torres

Had lunch today with Marimar Torres and her daughter Cristina at Arbutus, in Soho. It was my first visit to Arbutus, and I loved the food, although the dining room is noisy and quite basic. The food is serious, and much better than the environment. I had warm, crisp pig’s head with potato puree and [...]

Video: Hemel en Aarde, one of South Africa's most dynamic wine regions

Here’s a film I made last week in Hemel en Aarde, which is one of South Africa’s most dynamic wine regions. It has come a long way in the last decade, and is now making some superb wines. Here I interview some of the leading players.

Where does the world's best cheap wine come from?

Where does the world’s best cheap red wine come from?

Spain. It’s official.

I’m on a plane at the moment, sitting in the back, and expecting bad wine. But the Spanish red on offer, Finca Vallero Tempranillo Garnacha 2011 Carineña, supplied by Bibendum, is really tasty. It’s ripe and sweetly fruited, with lush berry fruits, but it [...]

Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 1997

This MCC (Methode Cap Classique, a term used for traditional method sparkling wines from South Africa) deserves a post of its own. It’s 15 years old (almost 16) and it’s drinking beautifully, with no sign of tiredness.

Graham Beck Brut Blanc de Blancs 1997 Robertson, South Africa
50% of this was fermented in barrels, and it spent [...]

Video: an interview with Chris and Suzaan Alheit of Alheit Vineyards

One of my visits last week was with Chris and Suzaan Alheit of Alheit Vineyards, who were propelled to fame with the critical success of their first wine, the 2011 Cartology. They are now just about to release the 2012 Cartology, and also the first of their single vineyard wines, Radio Lazarus 2012. Here’s an [...]