In Vancouver: dinner at Forage with some nice BC wine

Arrived last night in Vancouver, and it was straight off to dinner at Forage with the small UK press group I’m travelling with, and Chris Coletta of Haywire. Forage is a really impressive place with lovely small plates – everything was spot on. Favourite dishes:

Keremeos asparagus, St. George’s mushrooms, asparagus purée, mushroom velouté
beetroot salad, compressed […]

Interesting Marlborough: meeting the Vandals

The three Vandals

Vandal is a micronegociant project based in Marlborough, New Zealand. It began in the 2016 vintage, and it’s a collaboration between three local winemakers who all had kids, and who wanted to get out of the house more. They’d all been making Sauvignon Blanc since they were young, and now wanted to […]

Interesting Marlborough: Clos Henri

Clos Henri is the Marlborough outpost of the Bourgeois family of Sancerre. They first came to New Zealand in 1999 and decided they wanted to make wine here, but rather than take on an existing project they wanted a blank canvas. Their focus was to be Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, just as in their […]

The dangers of negativity

One of the perils with my line of work is that it can be so easy to allow negativity to seep into my writing. I’m strongly convinced that negativity is poisonous and it can easily taint a writer’s output if it is allowed to take control.

Of course, this is not unique to wine writing, and […]

Prophet's Rock Vin de Paille

This wine deserves a mention, even if few will get to try it. It’s the first vintage of Prophet’s Rock new Vin de Paille, a ‘straw wine’ made from Pinot Gris grapes dried on racks in the vineyard barn for 45 days, and then whole bunch pressed. The resulting concentrated must is fermented using wild […]

Dona Berta: traditional, restrained, delicious Douro wines

There’s something very traditional about the labelling of these wines from Douro estate Dona Berta: pure and classic. This is reflected in the winemaking style, which shows admirable restraint and purity.

The estate, based in Quinta do Carrenho in the Douro Superior, was established some 40 years ago by an engineer, Hernâni Verdelho, using old family […]

Interesting Marlborough: Framingham

Framingham is one of the most interesting of Marlborough’s wineries, but they tend to fly under the radar a bit. They are best known for their Rieslings – winemaker Dr Andrew Hedley is a complete Riesling freak – but their other wines are serious, too. Indeed, Riesling is only about 8% of the volume here. […]

A case of 2015 reds from the Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Each year, the Gimblett Gravels association – a group in charge of a special terroir in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand – makes a selection of 12 top reds. This is the 2015 edition, the latest, and it was selected by Andrew Caillard MW. These are my notes on the wines. Some I was really impressed with; […]

The Hermit Ram Pinot Noir Whole Bunch 2017 North Canterbury, New Zealand

I’ve talked about the wines of Theo Coles here before on this blog. His brand is The Hermit Ram (although he also works on other projects), and the other night at Scotch we had this: the latest release of his Pinot Noir. I see that I scored the 2016 the same, but this 2017 may […]

Air New Zealand lounge wine round up

I’m in the lounge at Auckland airport heading to Hong Kong and then Thailand. Flight delayed by a few hours, so time to try all the lounge wines. Airlines don’t have much money to spend on lounge wines because passengers chug a lot of wine while they are waiting, so it’s always interesting to see […]