Two great wines with dinner: Zidarich Malvasia and Jamsheed Garden Gully Syrah

Had Ryan Mostert and Samantha Suddons over for dinner on Thursday night. They are a young couple working at one of South Africa’s most exciting wineries, Reyneke, and so we opened a lot of nice bottles. 11 in all, between four of us. (But we’re lightweights, and we didn’t drink all of them to the [...]

A great game of rugby followed by some wine

Took older son along to Twickenham today for his first England international. It was against the mighty All Blacks (that’s the New Zealand team for the benefit of those who don’t follow sport at all, in which case this may not prove to be your favourite ever blog post of mine), so I was expecting to [...]

A superb Hunter Valley Semillon

This is rather good. It’s a Tyrrells exclusive for UK retailer Marks & Spencer, and it’s the real deal. Proper Hunter Semillon, just entering its long drinking window. It’s not cheap, but this is a serious fine wine that will age well. And occasionally, M&S have 25% off the range, when this becomes a very [...]

Chateau Chunder, an interesting documentary about Australian wine reviewed

I’ve just watched Stephen Oliver’s excellent documentary on Australian wine, and how it changed British drinking habits. The title, ‘Chateau Chunder,’ comes from a 1972 Monty Python sketch knocking Aussie wine.

This is not a wine for drinking. This is a wine for laying down and avoiding.

This reflects the attitudes towards Aussie wine in 1970s Britain. [...]

An English white Pinot Noir and an Aussie Topaque

Headed over to Denbies wine estate today, in Dorking, Surrey, for a meeting of Elevage. Elevage is the organization I’m involved with that runs the International Sparkling Wine Symposium (ISWS). The last one was held last November, and we are in the stages of planning the next. (If you’d like to get hold of a [...]

Two lovely, full-on wines from First Drop

I love the packaging of the First Drop wines. The labels seem to resonate with the wines.

And while I’m all for elegance, sometimes it’s great to have full-flavoured Aussie wines from regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale, when the bigness is allied to freshness and definition, and appropriate oak use. Big can, of course, [...]

Royal Melbourne Wine Show - the film!

A short film, set to music, of the Royal Melbourne Wine Show judging. Ever wondered what an Australian wine show is like? Here’s your chance to find out, although I am told that this is not exactly typical.

 

A delicious Zinfandel from Western Australia

Laithwaites have unearthed a gem here. It’s a wine that surprised me: I’m not a fan of Zinfandel normally, but this is really elegant and utterly delicious, and it’s at a good price. It was sourced by well known consultant and ex-LVMH dude Dr Tony Jordan, and Laithwaites aren’t allowed to say which winery it [...]

Trophy judging and heading home

On the way home, in transit in Singapore. I love Changi for its relaxed atmosphere, its free, reliable internet and its swimming pool, which I’ll soon be using when it opens at 7 am.

Today (or was it yesterday, now?) was the final day’s judging in the Royal Melbourne Wine Show. Our table had an excellent flight of Semillon, followed [...]

More from the Melbourne Wine Show

Bicknell and Charteris debating a wine

It is lunchtime on Friday and judging is almost finished at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.

The team here has really gelled. It feels like family and I’ll be sad to leave for home tonight. Today I have been on PJ Charteris’ team and we’ve had a great morning of judging [...]