Four nice SA reds: Restless River, Pofadder, La Motte Syrah Viognier, Spioenkop Pinotage

A few interesting South African reds tasted together. I’d heard a lot about the Restless River, and didn’t quite know what to make of it: Hemel-en-Aarde is cool climate for Cabernet, and the wine is pretty distinctive. Pofadder is a known quantity: it’s a lovely expression of Cinsault, a variety that’s superbly adapted to the […]

Costière Denim

This is a guest post from Daniel Primack. I met him for dinner recently, but before we ate we popped into one of his favourite shops, Rivet and Hide. Here I had a quick chat with the owner, Danny Hodgson. It struck me how similar what he was doing – curating a shop with fine […]

Drakes Tabanco: five course Sherry pairing menu

I love sherry. I also love Drakes Tabanco‘s food. The two together? Well, sherry isn’t always my first thought when food is concerned. So it was great to try Drakes’ new five course sherry pairing menu. With the exception of the Fino en Rama (from bottle) all the other sherries were from the casks at […]

Bell Hill, one of New Zealand's finest producers

I just love the wines of Bell Hill, a boutique winery in Waikari, North Canterbury, New Zealand (not far from the Waipara Valley). I visited seven years ago on my first trip to New Zealand, and was blown away by the wines and the vineyard. So I was really pleased to catch up with owners Marcel […]

The blogger blackmail saga

The internet is currently on fire with a spat between a blogger and an artisan patisserie owner, and it has a hashtag all of its own: #bloggerblackmail. It would be quite funny, if it wasn’t for the fact that real people with real feelings are involved. From a distance, this is what appears to have happened. […]

Alfredo Arribas and his SiurAlta wines, from high altitude Montsant, Spain

Alfredo Arribas grew up and lived in Barcelona, and developed a successful career as an architect. He travelled the world working on interior design and architecture, and among other things had a hand in the Barcelona Olympics.

In 2001 he started his second life: in wine. There were two factors that led him this way. First, […]

Champagne Pierre Péters Cuvée du Réserve Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru NV France

Champagne Pierre Péters is a Blanc de Blancs specialist located in Le Mesnil sur Oger, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs. Under the direction of Rodolphe Péters since 2008, this sixth generation family firm just makes wines from their own grapes. Fortunately they have sizeable holdings: 19 hectares of Chardonnay, most of which […]

Taberna do Mercado, Old Spitafields, London

Yesterday’s lunch was at the much talked about Taberna do Mercado, in Old Spitafields Market, a short walk from Liverpool Street Station. This is Nuno Mendes’ relatively new venture, so I was expecting great things. This is not a grand restaurant: the dining room is simple, plain and modern. But the food is extraordinary.

Runner […]

On Champagne bubbles

I was reminded last night about how bubbles aren’t really a property of a Champagne (or sparkling wine). I poured the same Champagne into two different glasses. In one, the bubbles were fine – a steady stream. In the other, they were big and clumsy looking. The same wine.

It’s common to hear wine professionals comment […]

Three lovely wines from Čotar, Slovenia

These are interesting wines. And no, not in the English sense, where, when asked our opinion of wines that we don’t really like, out of politeness we say, ‘interesting’, in a considered, thoughtful sort of way. They’re genuinely lovely and interesting.

Čotar are based in Karst, Slovenia. The family planted their first vines in 1974 to […]