Seven tips I wish I'd been given when I started out as a wine communicator

It seems a while since I started out communicating about wine. I was lucky: when I began writing on the Internet there wasn’t a lot of competition. Now there’s so much, it’s daunting. Here are seven tips I wish I’d been given when I started out, and which I reckon would be of some use [...]

A great lunch with Clos des Goisses, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou and others

Occasionally it is good to have a treat. So on Sunday, brother-in-law Beavington and I hatched a plan. He was sans famille, with my father staying. So why not invite me over for lunch? My father isn’t drinking at the moment, and without the usual hordes it was safe to bring some good stuff out [...]

The remarkable Tenerife wines of Suertes del Marques

So excited to have discovered these wonderful wines from Suertes del Marqués, Tenerife. (Website here.)

Based in Valle de la Oratova, Tenerife, Suertes del Marqués was founded as recently in 2006. The work here is as natural as possible. They farm 9 hectares of vineyards, split into 21 plots, with altitude ranging from 350–700 metres, on [...]

Another good Vinho Verde

After recommending a Vinho Verde a couple of days ago, here’s another good-un. This time it is of the spritzy variety, but there’s really nice balance here and some sweetness of fruit to counter the high acidity. It’s very drinkable, especially in the heat.

Tapada de Villar 2012 Vinho Verde, Portugal
Made by Quinta das Arcas, a [...]

Is wine expertise illusory?

There’s been a lot of chat, of late, on whether or not wine expertise is illusory.

The media loves the idea that the wine trade is an elaborate fraud, perpetuated by people who are more-or-less making it up when they taste wine. People outside the wine trade find the idea that experts can’t tell the difference [...]

Clip, a really good new Vinho Verde

Super-impressed by this new Vinho Verde, made by Pedro Barbosa, viticulturist at Douro superstar property Vale Meao. Vinho Verde is often a bit spritzy, overcropped and over-acidic, but this is a good one, made from the Loureiro grape variety.

Clip  Loureiro 2012 DO Monte de Vaia, Vinho Verde, Portugal
11% alcohol. Bright, fresh citrus nose with a [...]

Canada, the final day

Hidden Bench

While it is still fresh in my mind, I must finish my series of Canadian-themed blog posts by summing up the final day. Actually, this post encompasses Saturday and Sunday morning, which more or less merged into one, in an exhausting but fun fashion.

Let me begin with the lunch at Hidden Bench winery, on the Beamsville [...]

Me, on video, talking about Canadian wines

On Sunday morning, after a few hours’ sleep on a couch, I was interviewed by the charming Konrad Ebjich, about my impressions on Canadian wine. I thought Konrad asked some good questions. You can watch the video here:

There’s also another video of me, caught on Monday evening at the fabulous Enoteca Ascari in Toronto, by [...]

Govino wine glasses, making plastic cool

Really impressed by these govino wine glasses. They are made from plastic, in the same shape as the Riedel ‘O’ series glasses, but with a thumb notch, which makes them really comfortable to hold.

My previous experience of plastic wine glasses hasn’t been great: they have been made to replicate normal glasses, with a stem. This [...]

Friday night at the i4c, Canada, hit by storms

Friday night saw the official start of the i4c (international cool climate chardonnay conference). This was titled ‘8 chefs, 8 grills’ and was held at Hillebrand winery in Niagara.

The walk around tasting began well, in the early evening sunshine. But soon some epic thunderclouds rolled in, and before long we had to evacuate indoors. There [...]