Koomilya, the 'new Wendouree'

The Koomilya vineyard in McLaren Vale

Komilya is the exciting new vineyard-based project from one of the McLaren Vale’s stars, SC Pannell. I don’t like to hype wines, but this is one of the most exciting discoveries I’ve made in Australia. This is the McLaren Vale’s Wendouree, in terms of style, intention and potential longevity.

Stephen Pannell [...]

A day in Adelaide: Big Table, Lady Burra, Shobosho, Pink Moon

It’s nice to be back in Adelaide. I spent a few days here last July, and it’s a very liveable place, a little scruffy around the edges, but a great place to eat, drink and wander around.

I had a day in the city yesterday. I began by wandering through the Central Market, where there are [...]

Niagara Riesling: some treats from Cave Spring, Flat Rock and Vineland

On my mini-trip to Niagara last week I got to try a few very nice Rieslings that served to remind me just how well this grape variety does in Niagara. I tasted some Cave Spring Rieslings at dinner with Angelo Pavan (pictured above), then squeezed in a quick tasting of some older Rieslings with Ed [...]

What's the role of emotion in the perception of wine?

One of the aspects I didn’t cover much in my discussions of perception in I Taste Red, is how emotion affects the perception of the world around us.

When we are consciously aware of things around us, we create a model of the world that is a seamless, unified representation that includes input from all the [...]

Champagne Piper-Heidiseck's new Cuvée Essentiel Extra Brut, and a review of their Vintage 2008

Last night I drank (with help, of course) two Champagnes. One was the impressive new Cuvée Essentiel, and the other the 2008 vintage, from Piper-Heidsieck. It’s a house I associate with forward, generously toasty wines, so it’s nice to see the Essentiel, which is a bit more serious and well defined.

Champagne Piper-Heidiseck Essentiel Cuvée Réserve [...]

Gamay 33, Metrat Fleurie La Roilette Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2015

Metrat is underrated as a Beaujolais producer. I visited him last year, and really loved the wines. This is one of his best, a Fleurie that comes from a special Lieu Dit, La Roilette. The crus of Beaujolais have a fair bit of soil variation, and there are some especially privileged sites, and now growers [...]

For food and drink at the airport, forget the lounge, and let's rethink the flight experience

I had a good experience in Toronto airport this evening. Arriving quite early, I got through security, and then wandered around Terminal 3. Because I was flying WestJet (saving my client money!), there was no lounge access. This forced me to check out the various food and drink options in the terminal, and I found [...]

Stunning new releases from Domaine Queylus, Niagara, Canada

I’ve written about the wines of Domaine Queylus before. This winery, headed up by Thomas Bachelder, is making some of the most distinctive wines in the Niagara wine region. I met with Thomas and winemaker Kelly Mason to taste through the 2014s and the soon to be released 2015s. These are really impressive wines, and [...]

Exploring the wines of Ontario, Canada

Yesterday I took part in a session for LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) product consultants, focusing on Ontario wines. This was held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, in the vineyards (we started off at Jackson-Triggs, went to Cave Spring, then finished at Flat Rock.) These consultants are the people who work in the government liquor stores as [...]

A major award for I Taste Red

I’m so thrilled that I Taste Red, my latest book, has just won an a major award. Last night, at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards, it was successful in the Wine Book of the Year category. Unfortunately, I had to fly to Canada for some work yesterday so I wasn’t there. But my [...]