Video: a day at the International Wine Challenge 2018

A short film of a day’s judging at the International Wine Challenge.

Visiting Yvon Métras, Beaujolais star

Yvon Métras

Getting a visit with Yvon Métras was quite a big deal. He doesn’t normally see UK press, and regularly turns down requests for visits. One of the gang of five pioneering natural winegrowers in the region (along with Thevenet, Lapierre, Foillard and Breton), he counts Jules Chauvet and Jacques Neauport as his inspirations. […]

English wine is doing well, but four notes of caution...

It’s an exciting time for English wine, and in particular for English sparkling wine. The latest statistics from the Wine Standards Board show that in 2017 there were 1677 hectares cropping, and the total planting area is 2245 hectares. The average production over the last five years has been 5 million bottles a year. This […]

Video: a weekend in Beaujolais for the Bien Boire en Beaujolais

Vineyards on the slop of Mont Brouilly

I’ve just spent the weekend in Beaujolais, home to one of my favourite grape varieties, Gamay. It meant an early flight on Saturday morning, and then an early flight this morning (by early, I mean alarms going off at 0300 and 0330 respectively), but it was worth it. […]

Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 Adelaide Hills, Australia

Brian Croser is one of Australia’s most well known winemakers. Brian was a very influential consultant winemaker who started his own brand, Petaluma, back in 1976. This grew and was later purchased by Lion Nathan in 2001. After the loss of his own venture, he began a new project, Tapanappa, with its debut vintage 2003. […]

Week one of the International Wine Challenge

Week one of the second tranche of the International Wine Challenge is complete! There’s a weekend break for the judges, and then we meet again on Monday for four more days. Once again, we have been at The Oval (one of the UK’s top cricket grounds), and today we even saw some cricket, although it […]

Wine marketing: choice doesn't equal preference

There is a common assumption that people’s buying patterns (or consumption) are the same as their preferences. But this isn’t always true. Choice isn’t the same as preference.

Let’s think about coffee. I might drink a Starbucks coffee because I can’t find a Pret (I prefer Pret, although it’s rare that you can’t find one because […]

Eight nice gins

I tried these eight lovely gins last night. They are part of the Bibendum Wine gin portfolio.

Hepple Gin
45% alcohol. From Northumbria, this is a juniper-forward gin and it’s lovely. Very aromatic with a juniper lift and hints of mint. Nice intensity here: it’s spicy and vivid with real depth. 8.5/10

Edinburgh Gin
43% alcohol. This is refined […]

More on Prosecco Wars

More on Prosecco. The debate – outlined yesterday on this blog – about whether the Australians should be allowed to label their wines by grape and place, including use of the word ‘Prosecco’ on the label, has intensified on social media. Facebook and Twitter have been abuzz. If I were legally minded, these are the […]

Prosecco Wars: should the Aussies be able to use the name?

There’s an excellent article in the Financial Review by Max Allen discussing whether or not Australian winemakers should be able to use the name Prosecco.

It used to be common for new world countries to label their wines by style, after the famous European wine regions. There’d be Burgundy, Claret and Champagne, usually made from completely […]