Cracking dinner last night over at my sister and brother-in-law’s pad. We decided we’d open some nice bottles, and so we began with some fizz. Initially, we’d planned on two bottles to start (between four; we had some decent Bordeaux to follow), but we got into the swing of things and b-in-law William brought out [...]
Spent the day at Lord’s today, for the final day of the International Wine Challenge. Just a small band of 12 tasters, deciding on the final trophies and value awards. Remarkably, the sun was out and the home of cricket was looking its normal lovely self. I’ve enjoyed the last couple of weeks a good [...]
I’ve been thinking a bit about wine branding recently, and specifically about Champagne brands.
The large Champagne houses are skilled brand managers. It has taken a lot of hard work to get Champagne positioned the way it is now, occupying an elevated space in the wine world, and much of the work has been done by [...]
This is one of several wines I was recently sent by Lot18, which is a new (to the UK; it has been going for a couple of years in the USA) wine retailer specializing in selling small lots of wines to a member-only audience. I’ve not seen enough of Lot18’s offers to comment on whether [...]
A short film of me tasting four pink Sparkling wines.
Hush Heath Estate Balfour Brut Rosé 2008 England
(£34.99 Waitrose, Bibendumfinewine.com, Slurp.co.uk, Sparklingenglishwine.com)
Freixenet Cava Elyssia Rosé Pinot Noir NV Spain
(£14.99 Waitrose, Tesco)
Champagne Michel Arnould & Fils Grand Cru Brut Rosé NV France
(£25.40 Tanners (http://www.tanners-wines.co.uk, 01743 234500)
Graham Beck Brut Rosé NV South Africa
(£11.99 Slurp.co.uk 0208 [...]
Two impressive sparkling wines from Laithwaites, both of which offer great value for money.
South Ridge English Quality Sparkling Wine 2008 England
12% alcohol. This is made by Ridgeview, one of the UK’s top 3 sparkling wine producers. It’s toasty and quite complex with intense citrus fruit characters as well as some spice and apple notes. There’s [...]
Today was the Champagne Mumm/Perrier Jouet Champagne Assembly, held in the fabulous surroundings of the Marriott Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras.
Peter Barham (in waistcoat) presenting his session
I attended three of the five sessions, and they were pretty thought provoking. Physicist and food science geek Professor Peter Barham led a session looking at the effect [...]
Caught a glimpse of this new wine label from D’Arenberg, for a celebratory sparkling wine they are releasing.
It’s very funny indeed. (For those who don’t get the joke, see this link.) I hope Pernod Ricard, who own Champagne Mumm, can see the funny side too.
So here it is. The third installment of the Great Blind Champagne Tasting, which is – by tradition – held on new year’s eve. This years’ was bigger (16 wines) and longer than ever. But I hope you’ll find it gripping viewing.
Some real surprises here. There were three ringers: a top Cava, a famous English [...]
OK, a round-up of some of the memorable wines we’ve had this holiday. Pictured above: the Man O’War Chardonnay 2009, with its characteristic matchstick reduction adding some Burgundian-style complexity. This is a superb wine with real interest. And I’m pleased to say I spotted it when served blind!
Totally different, and thoroughly enjoyable. La Morandina Moscato [...]