In Niagara, Canada: Hidden Bench

Hidden Bench is one of Niagara’s leading boutique wineries. Owner Harald Thiel bought the Locust Lane vineyard, where the winery is located, in 2003 after selling a successful audiovisual business he ran with his brother. A year later, he added the Rosomel Vineyard, and then in 2007 the Felseck Vineyard. All are on the Beamsville […]

Deliciousness at Bar Raval, Toronto

Had a lovely lunch yesterday at Bar Raval, Toronto. This is a beautiful tapas bar on College St, with a design that’s channelling  Gaudi.

We ate very well, including tinned razor clams! The food here is beautifully done. To drink: two wines that I really like. The mineral, textured 2016 Trenzado from Suertes del Marques, and […]

Champagne Salon 1985

A real treat to drink this tonight after a lovely boat ride and swim in Muskoka cottage country. It’s mature and delicious. Thank you Steven Campbell for opening this.

Champagne Salon Le Mesnil 1985 France
Golden colour. Lovely aromas of toast, nuts, honey and apples with a faint cheesiness. The palate is intense and concentrated with a […]

A mini tasting of five Gamays from Beaujolais

I’m hanging with a group on the lake in Muskoka, Ontario for a few days. Celebrated Canadian winemaker Thomas Bachelder is one of the party and he brought some Beaujolais for us to taste and discuss: he’s taking an interest in Gamay, so he wanted to look at different expressions of the grape. We tried […]

Eating and drinking in Hong Kong: Mott32, Ho Lee Fook, Divino, Luk Yu

Luk Yu

Continuing my reviews of the Hong Kong dining and boozing scene (I started with fab wine bars Le Cabane and Le Quinze Vins), here are a few mentions.

First of all, a proper old school tea house: Luk Yu. This is a large art deco-style building, and since the 1930s it has served tea […]

The cork harvest in Portugal

We drive out of the centre of Lisbon over the 11 km long Vasco de Gama bridge, crossing the Tejo esturary, and head for the Alentejo. We are off to the cork forests, to witness the harvest of cork bark. We were with Cork Supply’s Frederico Lima Mayer, who is in charge of buying cork […]

Brian Croser on natural (or 'accidental') wines

[I recently contacted celebrated Australian winemaker and consultant Brian Croser to get a few quotes on the topic of natural wine in Australia, and its sometimes uneasy relationship with the more conventional side of the country’s wine industry. He ended up penning an essay, and with his consent, I’m publishing it here in its entirety. […]

Exploring Hong Kong

Looking over Hong Kong Island across Victoria Harbour towards Kowloon on the other side – picture taken from the Peak

Hong Kong is a great place for a long weekend! I really enjoyed my three nights/four days there, and I’m itching to get back. It’s very accessible and easy to get around, and there’s lots […]

Wine in Hong Kong: Le Quinze Vins, with Ganevat, Bereche and Clotaire Michal

Le Quinze Vins was a lovely surprise. It is Sunday afternoon, and Nat and I are looking for somewhere to get a glass of wine after some Hong Kong tourism. We do a bit of searching around, and find the Central branch of Le Quinze, which is empty, but apparently open. We go inside and […]

Wine in Hong Kong: La Cabane

My first night in Hong Kong. I get to the hotel, meet Natalie (who’d arrived earlier) and head out to La Cabane, in Central. We’re staying in Kowloon, so it’s either a taxi through one of the tunnels, or the MTR. We took the lazy option – the taxi.

La Cabane is a wonderful French natural […]