English sparkling wine versus Champagne - the Noble Rot tasting - my results

I mentioned a while back that I’d taken part in a tasting of English sparkling wine versus Champagne. Organized by counter-culture wine publication Noble Rot, it pitted a carefully selected quartet of English fizz against four very good grower Champagnes, and four very good Grand Marque Champagnes. It was a fair fight: all three quartets [...]

The Barry Smith interview: what is the nature of wine perception, and is wine flavour objective?

Professor Barry Smith (above) is an academic philosopher with a particular interest in flavour. A keen wine geek, he organized the first symposium on wine and philosophy back in 2004, and then published the first book on the topic in 2007 (Questions of Taste). More recently, he was founder and is co-director of CenSes – [...]

Gamay focus 14 - Bow & Arrow Gamay 2014, Oregon

Bow & Arrow is a relatively new Oregon winery. It’s located in Portland where Scott and Dana Frank, the people behind it, work in the wine business. These urban wineries are pretty cool, I reckon. They bring wine to the city: who says that wine has to be made out in a rural location? There [...]

Penfolds' Chardonnays, from Koonunga Hill to Yattarna

Penfolds are famous for their Bin Series reds, a range led by the world famous Grange. But back in the mid-1990s they decided to try their hand at whites, and chose Chardonnay as their target. Yattarna was launched as the white Grange, but the project also launched a number of other impressive Chardonnays. These were [...]

Champagne Dom Pérignon 2006

New release of a classic. And it’s lovely. A really good vintage for Dom P. [Aside, I never realized before that Dom stood for Dominus, and was a title for monks. I always thought it was like some bad-ass 18th century French mafia-equivalent thing.] I was lucky enough to drink this, not just taste it, [...]

Dinner at Grain Store with the Hedges dudes, and 'Score Revolution'

I had dinner last week with Boo Walker and Christophe Hedges, of Hedges in Washington State. I visited Hedges, the custodians of Red Mountain, this summer and it was a great experience. Their slightly quirky approach and lovely, almost European-styled wines, were a breath of fresh air amid quite a lot of sweetly fruited, rather [...]

The Manchester derby

So, today was fun. It was the Manchester derby.

Some explanation is needed. In the English Premier League, this is one of the biggest of all derby games (when two teams from the same city play each other). And at the moment, arguably the two best teams in the country are the two Manchester clubs. City [...]

Researching my new book

At the moment, I’m spending a good portion of my waking moments in research activity. It’s a lovely aspect of what I do: dealing with new ideas. There’s something thrilling about discovering fresh things, and grappling with areas of academic endeavour where you have to face unfamiliar concepts and see through the jargon.

The thing that really [...]

Gamay focus 13: Thibault Liger-Belair Moulin a Vent Les Rouchaux 2011

This is a really interesting Beaujolais from Thibault Liger-Belair, who has taken his Burgundian approach to the Gamay grape. I’ll let him explain his journey:

I have made a part of my studies in Beaujolais and in particular in Belleville, I’ve always been attracted by the beauty of this region, its landscapes but also by the [...]

Clos de Tart: a vertical tasting of one of Burgundy's most celebrated wines

 

Clos de Tart needs little introduction for most wine lovers. It’s Burgundy’s largest Grand Cru monopole (where the whole vineyard is owned by one producer) and for the last 20 years it has been under the safe stewardship of the fabulous map-making Sylvain Pitiot (above right). Now Sylvain has retired and handed over to Jacques [...]