The wine boats of the Douro, a film from 1923

Just stumbled on this on YouTube. It’s a film dating from 1923 showing the wine boats of the Douro bringing the wine down river to Porto. This rabelos would have been navigating a river that had fast-flowing rapids, and it would have required skill and courage to do the journey. These days the Douro is [...]

A great evening at The Quality Chop House

So Ferran Centelles, super somm from Spain, was in town. Seeing as he treated Richard Hemming, Xavier Rousset and me when we were in San Sebastian last year, we thought it was appropriate to reciprocate with dinner at The Quality Chop House.

This was my first visit to Quality Chop, which has a deservedly good [...]

A perfect day of football and wine

So it was off to Selhurst Park yesterday, the home of Crystal Palace FC. They were playing ‘my’ team, Manchester City, and I’d been kindly invited along by Palace co-chairman Stephen Browett, who is also head of Farr Vintners.

This was a crucial game. We’re coming to the end of the premiership season, and City [...]

Two lovely Ligurians from Bruna

The wine world is big. And though I have been drinking wine in earnest for a long time, there are some bits that are new to me. These are the first two Ligurian wines I’ve drunk (Liguria is in the far west of Italy, down on the Mediterranean coast, near the French border). They’re full [...]

More new California highlights

So, as promised, some more highlights from Tuesday’s New California tasting.

Matthiasson Napa White 2012 Napa Valley, California
A curious blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, Semillon and Tocai Friulano that really works. Floral and pretty with aromas of herbs, tea, spice, grapes and melon. The palate is fresh, pure and detailed with nice finesse, and flavours [...]

Some highlights from the New California tasting

Yesterday’s New California tasting, organized by Roberson, was remarkable. So many great wines, with the hallmark being detail, sense of place and balance – traits not always associated with Californian wine. Jon Bonne, who has authored a brilliant book on the subject (The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a [...]

Dinner at Gymkhana, with nice wine

So, last night I joined up with some of the New California Wine people (Jasmine Hirsch, Jon Bonne, Raj Parr, Wells Guthrie, Steve Matthiason, Raj’s cousin Mona, and Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde) for dinner at Gymkhana.

Now I’m not a restaurant reviewer, but I’ll give you my take. It’s a brilliant, high-end Indian restaurant. It’s [...]

My first Georgian supra

For one evening, a bit of Georgia – and the world’s oldest unbroken wine tradition – came to east London. It was the Georgian supra, part of the Real Wine Fair.

To make this occasion more authentic, various Georgian ingredients had been smuggled in peoples’ hold luggage. And as well as a number of Georgian [...]

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Pinot Noir 2012

I have been quite a fan of Brian Croser’s Tapanappa wines, since being introduced to them when I visited him back in 2005. Making fine wine is a long-term project, especially when you are planting new vineyards. It takes the best part of a generation for most to really believe in a new project, in [...]

Feedback on my post on critics and style preferences

My recent post on whether or not wine critics can judge wines without their personal style preferences coming into play got quite a bit of reaction, both in the comments section, and also on Twitter. I thought it would be worthwhile looking at some of the responses.

Most of the comments agreed with my point of [...]