In New Zealand, day 3, The Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration starts

This is turning into a very good trip. Day three began with two visits. The first was at Grasshopper Rock, with Phil Handford. Phil lives in Hamilton, and has a background in agricultural banking, He found the perfect vineyard in Alexandra (the picture above is Clyde, the main town here), and now makes 4000 cases a [...]

In New Zealand, day 2, Central Otago

An early start, time for a 7 am run around the lake in Queenstown, through the botanic gardens. You can just keep on going for as far as you want, and it’s a really beautiful place to run. So much better than squelching through the winter mud. Then a shower, packing belongings, and off to Cromwell [...]

In New Zealand, day 1, Queenstown, Gibbston Valley and Chard Farm

I arrived in Queenstown late Tuesday morning, and I wasn’t feeling too bad. The flight down from Auckland was a beautiful one: you need to get a window seat on the left of the plane (which I did), and then you enjoy superb views of the alps and the fabulous descent into Queenstown airport.

I checked [...]

On my way to New Zealand, some random observations from LAX

So I am on my way to New Zealand. Almost half way there, actually, sitting at the gate in LAX after 10 hours in the air, about to board the second leg of the flight. At 0329 UK time here are my slightly random, and probably vastly boring observations.

1. Air New Zealand is a pretty good [...]

Seven great affordable Austrian wines

A selfie wine tasting of seven good value Austrian wines. This tasting reminded me how much I really like Austrian wine.

Quinta do Judeu red and white from Portugal's Douro

As you all know by now, I am a big fan of Portuguese wines, and particularly of the Douro region. It is such a cool place. Of late, I have neglected Portugal a bit. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because so many other journos are focusing their attention there it has made it [...]

My New Zealand Pinot Noir e-book is now released

I love New Zealand Pinot Noir. When I was beginning my journey into wine, back in the early 1990s, it was a Kiwi Pinot that first switched me on to this wonderful variety. I was hooked by the heartbreak grape.

As last year’s Pinot Noir 2013 event demonstrated, there’s an awful lot of really good [...]

Zorah Karasi, a remarkable Armenian wine

One of the most interesting encounters I had at today’s Liberty Wine tasting was with Armenia, the land-locked country hemmed in by Georgia, Ajerbaijan, Iran and Turkey. This broader area is widely regarded to be the birthplace of wine, and the wine in question that I tasted today is Zorah’s now famous Karasi.

I had [...]

Some highlights from the New Zealand Annual Trade Tasting

I’m off to New Zealand on Sunday. But first, to whet my appetite, today’s New Zealand Annual trade tasting, held at the Lindley Hall near Victoria, with its fabulous natural light. Here were some highlights from what I tasted (and, of course, I didn’t taste everything, and not all wineries were represented, so an omission [...]

The new edition of my book Wine Science/The Science of Wine

I’m delighted to say that if you are as nerdy about wine as I am, there’s a new book coming out next month that will be just up your street.

OK, I am a little biased. It’s the new version of Wine Science, which in the USA is published as The Science of Wine. Both [...]