Video: time to taste some Riesling

So, here I taste, on camera, two different Rieslings. One from Australia’s Eden Valley; one from Alsace. I like them both.

Are flavoured wines a good thing, or completely evil?

Are flavoured wines the solution at the bottom end of the market?

Victoria Moore’s wine column focused this week on the phenomenon of flavoured wines. Apparently, they are on the rise. The French are falling for grapefruit-flavoured rosés and passionfruit-flavoured whites, and someone has just launched a red wine flavoured with cola. It has sparked quite [...]

Time for some statistics

I like statistics. I found some on the OIV website today, so I popped them into a spreadsheet and produced some graphs. First of all, the top 10 wine producing countries. France, Italy and Spain are massive. No surprises there I guess.

Next, the top 10 consuming countries. This shows how important the US is. Of [...]

Noval Nacional 2011

So, in my initial round-up of 2011 Vintage Ports, I missed Quinta do Noval, and Noval’s Nacional, as well as Romaneira, which shares a connection (Christian Seely). My notes for all three are here. I’ve also included a video of me  tasting the wonderful 2011 Nacional.

Quinta do Noval Nacional 2011
Concentrated, sweet and dense with blackberry, black [...]

Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir 2011

I’ve just published the first of two reports on New Zealand Pinot Noir, based on my visit there earlier this year, when I tried a lot of different Pinots. You can read it here – this first report lists just the wines that scored 94 points and above. Remarkably, there were 94 of them, and [...]

Lunch at the Glasshouse

Brian Smith of Elgin Ridge

Had a great lunch at the Glasshouse, Kew on Monday, with Brian Smith, a now-biodynamic winegrower in Elgin, South Africa. I first met Brian and his wife Marion at the same restaurant just over a year ago (so my blog tells me), and they’ve now got to the point where they [...]

Seresin 2009 Pinot Noirs

These are lovely. They are the six different Pinot Noirs released each year by biodynamic Marlborough (New Zealand) winegrower Seresin. I love the wines of Seresin: they’re consistently among the best from this excellent region.

Winemaker Clive Dougall, a British ex-pat, takes a thoughtful approach to Pinot. He’s moving towards a long post-ferment maceration, and doesn’t do [...]

Champagne Thienot Cuvee Stanislas 2005

Champagne rocks. It’s annoying that it costs so much, sometimes, but the older I get the more I like it. Here’s a good one. Actually, more than just a good one: a really serious Champagne from Thiénot.

Champagne Thiénot Cuvee Stanislas Blanc de Blancs 2005
Full yellow colour. Elegant citrus and white peach nose with subtle toastiness. [...]

Thinking differently about microbes

Through my education, I was taught that microbes were bad. We used soap and antiseptic to get rid of them. Chemicals kept us safe from these unwanted, unseen bugs. Bacteria = bad.

But this is a naïve understanding of the environment we live in. Not only is our environment full of microbes – of which a [...]