De Bortoli Shiraz Viognier 2004, the benefits of cellaring

There’s something to be said for buying a few bottles of the same wine, then cellaring them, and revisiting them at intervals. It’s tremendously rewarding if the wine ages well.

This wine is an example of where I have done this. I can find notes on the same wine back in 2007, when it was three years [...]

Thornbridge Jaipur, a wonderful beer

Love this beer. It’s Thornbridge’s Jaipur, an IPA that has a LOT of hops, but avoids just being showy, with lovely citrussy freshness and precise acidity. It’s quite bitter, but the bitterness works in the context of the super-fresh fruity flavours. A lovely post-football (playing not watching) beer.

In the UK, this is stocked by Waitrose [...]

A brilliant South African Sauvignon, The Infidel

When I bumped into Pieter de Waal in the Loire last month, he gave me a bottle of one of his wines to bring home. I am glad he did: it’s brilliant.

Hermit on the Hill The Infidel Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Complex and engaging, this naturally fermented Sauvignon Blanc has a lovely nose of [...]

Yeasts and volatile sulfur compounds, a graphic

I’ve attempted to produce a simplified graphic showing the role of yeasts in producing volatile sulfur compounds, which are responsible for ‘reduction’ problems in wine. The big oval here is the yeast cell, and – grossly simplified – this is how reduction issues are caused by yeasts.

The main way in which yeasts produce volatile sulfur [...]

Video: epic blind rose tasting

The sun was shining yesterday on our family gathering, so it was a great chance to do a blind rose tasting, looking at Provence rose ranging in price from £8 to £80 a bottle. How did we get on? Watch the video.

Graphic: wine flavour chemistry and the perception of wine

Just working on this graphic, showing the relationship between wine flavour chemistry and the perception of wine.

Flavour chemicals come directly from grape must, from bacteria and yeasts directly, and also from bacteria and yeasts modifying precursors in the must. There’s also the possibility that some elements of flavour could come from the soils, although this [...]

Video: a geeky review of wine glasses

So, here I review some of my tools of the trade: my favourite wine glasses.

 

An ale festival at the White Horse

The country pub. It’s uniquely English.

Popped down to the White Horse at Hedgerley today where an ale festival was underway. Together with brothers in law William and Dominic, I supped several different ales in the warm spring sunshine.

This is a pub that cares about cask ale, and knows how to keep it in good condition. We [...]

Video: the rare varieties tasting with Dr Jose Vouillamoz

Here’s the video from the rare grape varieties tasting conducted by Dr Jose Vouillamoz at the London Wine Trade Fair this week, organized by the Circle of Wine Writers. I’d agreed to film it for them (I am on the committee), even though I was a little concerned that filming a tasting would actually be [...]

Five eclectic wines at the DIAM Rioja conference

Today I gave a talk on social media and the wine industry at a conference in Logrono (Rioja) organized by DIAM, the closure company. Also speaking was José Penin, author of the respected wine guide, chosen to represent the existing media. I was chosen because I have made a reputation with more modern media.

As well [...]