Video: the Finger Lakes Wine Region

I’m just back from a trip visiting the wine regions of New York State. Here’s a short film giving you an idea of what the Finger Lakes, the largest of the wine regions here, looks like.

Over the next week or so I’ll be writing up the visits in full detail, explaining a bit about the […]

In Niagara, Canada: Stratus

I’ve been to Stratus a couple of times now. It’s such a distinctive winery, with a very modern design. This isn’t surprising: it was established by David Feldberg, president and CEO of the Teknion furniture business, and whose father Saul was the founder of the Global Furniture Corporation.

Stratus’ impressive winery relies on gravity flow and […]

On jealousy

Jealousy is one of the ugliest of emotions. A quote, popularly attributed to Gore Vidal, reads thus: ‘It is not enough to succeed; others must fail.’ That sort of professional jealousy, common in the media, isn’t very nice. It raises its head at award ceremonies, and when one of your colleagues releases a new, positively […]

A lovely orange wine from Vermont: Iapetus Tectonic

I met Ethan Joseph of Iapetus Wine in Nova Scotia last year, and recently again with Nathan Kendall in the Finger Lakes. He gave me a bottle of his orange wine, made with hybrid grape La Crescent, fermented on skins. This shows lovely character and personality. Ethan is winemaker at Shelburne Vineyard in Vermont, which […]

Some impressive wines from Frankland Estate, Western Australia

I enjoyed revisiting these wines from Frankland Estate, and the current releases are really impressive. Head 250 km east of the Margaret River wine region in Western Australia, and you’ll hit the remote Frankland River region. With the coast quite a distance south, this is a cool climate wine region. Frankland Estate was established here […]

Les Tourelles de Longueville 2013 Pauillac, tasted on camera

How does a second wine from a vintage widely regarded to be the worst of the decade shape up? I taste the Tourelles 2013 and discuss this question. And should wines be rated relative to their peer group, or should reviewers attempt, as best as they can, to give an absolute score across all styles […]

Restaurants: The River Café, London

On the hottest day of the year, my first visit to the River Café. I know: it’s almost inexcusable not to have been before. This is a London institution. Originally opened in 1987, it’s located by the river in Hammersmith, and on a hot day the dappled sunlight of the outdoor seating area is just […]

In Marlborough, where big can be good: Rapaura Springs

Rapaura Springs is a somewhat surprising rising star in the Marlborough wine scene. They are owned by the Naylon family, and I tasted with Brendan Naylon and Sam Harrop who is a consultant here, helping out with winemaking and marketing. Matt Thomson is also involved on the winemaking side.

Rapaura Springs stems from the Spring Creek […]

Could we smell better? Much better?

Do we have only very limited access to the sensory information that we are receiving all the time? As a wine taster, I’m particularly intrigued that my senses are capable of detecting a lot more in wine than my conscious perceptions are alerting me to. Here’s a case study that does seem to suggest this.

In […]

In Niagara: Rosewood

Ryan Corrigan and William Roman, Rosewood

Rosewood is a family run business. The vineyards were planted in 2003, the first harvest was 2006 and the doors opened in 2008. I visited with GM William Roman, and winemaker Ryan Corrigan. This visit was one of the big surprises of my Niagara trip, because quietly, since Ryan […]