Some nice wines blind with dinner

Had another wine dinner on Thursday night. Andrew Thomas hosted, with Will Willis and Stuart Bowman-Hood. Alas fellow regular with this group, Joe Wadsack, wasn’t able to make it. [Here's the report of our last dinner together.] We did some wine blind. The best way to taste: start off blind, but before too long do [...]

Dinner at L'Anima

Earlier this week I had dinner at L’Anima, on the Shoreditch edge of the City. It’s modern Italian, and high end. The dining room reflects this, with a sharp, sparse yet luxurious modern sort of look. It’s very designed.

For ordering, we put ourselves entirely  in the hands of general manager Adriano Cacchione and sommelier Gianmarco [...]

Australian wine: my new perspective

[A word of explanation: I wrote this on the plane on the way home from Australia. I've held off publishing it until I'd finished my blogging about the trip, for the sake of continuity.]

I’m on my way home from a memorable visit to Australia. I often find it useful just to capture some of my [...]

In the Macedon Ranges

The final day of my Australian adventure took me to the Macedon Ranges. This is a cool-climate area, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne. In the past, Macedon was properly marginal for vineyards; now a bit of global warming has made it less of a crazy place for growing wine grapes, but it’s [...]

Champagne Pierre Péters Rosé for Albane

Had this at lunch yesterday, off the list at the excellent Kensington Wine Rooms. It was stunning. 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 [...]

Port round-up: my guide to the best readily available Ports

Port is one of the most seasonal drinks of all. And we’re in peak Port-drinking season right now. I drink quite a bit of Port – all year round – and I reckon that if you are a Port fan, these are happy days. Quality across the board is pretty good, and the cheaper wines [...]

The rise of the lighter-coloured red wine

What’s the most interesting development in the world of wine? Single-variety Vinho Verde? Rosé in magnum? No, for me, it’s the rise of lighter-coloured red wines. And this is quite a new thing, and a big thing.

When I started out drinking wine seriously, back in the mid-1990s, bigger was best. The sorts of red wines [...]

Champagne Thiénot Cuvée Stanislas Blanc de Blancs 2006 France

This is from a relatively new Champagne house, established in 1985 by Alain Thiénot. This wine is dedicated by Alain to his son, Stanislas, and it is made from Chardonnay, sourced from the Côte des Blancs. Stanislas and his sister Garance are now running things here at Thiénot, who also own Canard-Duchêne, and who have [...]

In the Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley. It was almost a decade ago that I first visited, back in March 2006. It was a lovely trip owing much to the generosity of Tony Jordan, who hosted me and arranged my appointments, Now, it was time to revisit.

I started off right in the south of the region, at Gembrook Hill, [...]

1937 Margaux and 1966 Lafite: what are we to make of old wine?

Yesterday I popped into The Sampler on Upper Street, Islington, to try some of their ‘icon’ wines (and a few others). This time every year they put on some lovely older wines, as well as some newer super-expensive or rare wines. It’s one of those rare opportunities to try these sorts of bottles. My write-ups [...]