Beso Negro el Decadente: a serious red blend from Chile

This wine is the result of a collaboration between winemaker Grant Phelps, and husband and wife team Tunku Soraya Dakhlah and Sharif Majid, who farm the vines and also get stuck in with the winemaking from harvest to labelling. It’s made from organically farmed vines in a small enclave called Santa Ana, in Colchagua.

Santa Ana, […]

A great meal at Aniar, Galway

Galway, Ireland

We were in Galway for a Beaujolais masterclass, and it went well. But folks need to eat, and so we made a reservation at Aniar, the town’s Michelin-starred restaurant, opting for the 6 course tasting menu (it’s tasting menu only here). How was it?

In short, fabulous. Aniar means ‘from the west’, and the […]

At the Fish Shop, Dublin, with Tondonia Rosé, Dagueneau and UBE

It was the second stop in the Ireland Beaujolais tour. After a very successful seminar, we headed over to the Fish Shop, Benburb Street, for a remarkable meal including some stunning wines. This place is incredible: small, informal, but some of the best seafood I’ve eaten in a long time. There were six of us, […]

Some lovely wines at L'Atitude 51, Cork

Pascal Rossignol of Le Caveau holding a magnum of Foillard, with Phoebe in the background

I’m in Ireland doing some Beaujolais seminars, and the tour began yesterday in Cork. Post-work yesterday evening we headed off to L’Altitude 51, a really cool wine bar, and drank well.

Foillard Morgon Côte du Py 2014 Beaujolais (magnum)
Warm, spicy and […]

The classic Beaujolais wines of Château Thivin

Claude Geoffray is the sixth generation of his family domaine, which was purchased in 1877 by Zaccharie Geoffray, a farmer from Villefranche sur Saône. Then, it had just a couple of hectares of vines, and since has expanded greatly. Based in the Côte de Brouilly cru, this is benchmark Beaujolais: the Thivin wines are classic […]

Judging the National Wine Awards of Canada 2018

The first evening, at Martins Lane winery

I’m just on the way back from Penticton, BC, in the Okanagan Valley, where I’ve been part of the team judging the Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada. It’s my fifth year as a judge, and in this time we have been in Penticton, then Niagara Falls, […]

Lunch at Nedre Foss Gård, Oslo, with Sandhi and Souhaut

On Sunday, Brian Smith and I had some time to spare in Oslo, so we lunched. We’d been recommended Nedre Foss Gård, which is a restaurant in an old building in a park on the Akerselva river. The restaurant reopened in 2017 after a fire two years earlier, and it’s very stylish. We lunched well: the […]

In Norway for the Sandefjord Wine Festival

Preparing the festival tent

I’ve just spent the weekend in Norway, at the Sandefjord Wine Festival. Sandefjord is a small seaside town about two hours’ train ride south of Oslo, and it’s a lovely place to hang out, especially when the weather is favourable.

The wine festival is a collaboration between a few local importers, and […]

Commercializing social media, and being honest with readers

The landscape of wine writing has changed quite a bit since I first started earning money writing about wine. [This is a subject I’ve written about before here and here.]

When I started out there were quite a few people making a good professional salary writing about wine. Several writers had specialist columns in newspapers that paid […]

Impressive new releases from Franco Lourens, a new South African star

Chris Alheit and Franco Lourens

Franco Lourens is assistant winemaker with Chris Alheit, and also makes his own wines in the Alheit cellar in Hemel-en-Aarde. I tasted through the latest releases of the Lourens Family Wines and was really impressed, especially by the two new Chenin Blancs. These are pretty serious.


Lourens Family Wines Lindi Carien […]