Dinner at Neo Bistro with chums: an exciting new west end restaurant

The Neo Bistro tasting menu

It’s always nice to find a really good new London restaurant that also takes wine seriously. Neo Bistro, a stone’s throw from Bond Street tube, is an absolute gem. I went there on Tuesday night with wine buddies Ben Henshaw (Indigo Wine), Greg Sherwood (Handford Wine) and Daniel Primack (the [...]

Pet Nat focus (1) Kindeli La Lechuza

I’m beginning a series on Pet Nats! This is an interesting style of wine that’s becoming more popular. Also known as Methode Ancestrale, Pet Nat stands for Pétillant Naturel, and refers to sparkling wines that are bottled while there is still some sugar, and they complete fermentation in the bottle, making them naturally sparkling. This [...]

Let's stop hiding behind subjectivity

In the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris, there’s a wonderful interchange between the hero from the 21st Century, Gil Pender, and Ernest Hemingway, in 1920s Paris. Pender has written a novel and he asks Hemingway if he might read it for him and give his opinion. He’s told Hemingway the subject, a curiosity shop, [...]

Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé, one of England's finest

This is really good. It’s 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir, with 95% of 2014 and 5% reserve wines, and retails at £35 in the UK. Dosage is 10 g/litre.

Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé NV England
12% alcohol. This is quite special. An attractive salmon pink with orange hues, it has aromas of lemons, sour cherries and cranberries, [...]

The Lidl Prosecco giveaway, and why we need Minimum Unit Pricing for booze

 

Yesterday people queued for hours outside branches of discount supermarket Lidl, all for a six-pack of cheap Prosecco.

If you were one of the lucky first 20 or so in the queue, you’d be able to get a six pack of an already cheap Prosecco for just £20. This is pretty much the cost of the [...]

From the road in Austria

Carnuntum vineyards

My short but lovely trip to Austria is almost over. For the last few days I have, along with a fine group of international media and trade, been taking a deep dive into the wines of Carnuntum, and then the Danube areas (Kremstal, Kamptal, Wagram and Traisental).

Traisental

Looking over the vineyards in [...]

In Austria: tasting exciting older 1er cru wines from the Österreichischer Traditionsweingüter members

Michi Moosbrugger, chair of the OTW

Austria is making some wonderful wines at the moment, and this tasting was a chance to look back at some of the Rieslings from ‘Erste Lagens’ (which translates as ‘Premier Crus’) in the winegrowing area unofficially known as the Danube area, from the regions that are taking part in [...]

72 hours in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I’ve just spent a lovely long weekend in Kuala Lumpur with my Kiwi winemaker friend Natalie Christensen. We’d been looking for a half-way point to meet up, and for both of us this was around 12 hours flying. It’s a great city for short break, and without trying too hard to fill all our time, [...]

Some new release Pinots from Seresin

Biodynamic producer Seresin are one of the most interesting in Marlborough. Winemaker Clive Dougall is thoughtful and produces a range of wines that’s quite distinctive, and not typically Marlborough in style (in the best way). I always find the Pinot Noirs really interesting: they have savoury detail to them, and aren’t just about upfront fruit. [...]

IPNC: notes on 33 Pinot Noirs from Oregon

The International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) is held each July in McMinnville, Oregon. This was my third time at this remarkable event, which brings together consumers and trade in a happy celebration of this thrilling grape variety, in the lovely setting of the Linfield College grounds. Over the course of the weekend, I tried quite [...]