On my way to New Zealand, some random observations from LAX

So I am on my way to New Zealand. Almost half way there, actually, sitting at the gate in LAX after 10 hours in the air, about to board the second leg of the flight. At 0329 UK time here are my slightly random, and probably vastly boring observations.

1. Air New Zealand is a pretty good [...]

At the Feria Vinos de Lujo, Santiago

Last night I headed over to the Grand Hyatt in Santiago for a remarkable wine festival. It was fortunate that of the two nights I was in town, one should coincide with this event. Organized by Patricio Tapia, It wasn’t cheap at 42000 Pesos (around £50), but there was an amazing array of Chilean wines [...]

In Santiago, day 2, sunshine and lighter style wines

A cork oak (above) 

So this morning was a conference on lighter-style lower alcohol wines here in Santiago, for the Chilean wine industry. I was one of the speakers. This is a growing category that looks set to get quite big. Only today New Zealand Wine Growers announced a seven-year project researching lighter-style wines with NZ$17 [...]

More from Belgrade, Serbia

 

Just back from Belgrade, where I have been having a lot of fun judging wines, eating, drinking and staying up too late.

On Friday, we judged 160 wines; on Saturday we retasted the 33 highest-scoring wines to sort out the gold and silver medals. This was followed by a fun session choosing the trophy winners, and [...]

In San Sebastian

How come I have not been here before? San Sebastian is a beautiful city.

I am here for www.sansebastiangastronomika.com/en/, which is a remarkable three day gastronomic festival with an amazing line-up of chefs. The theme this year is London, and so many of the top names from London are here this week that you may as [...]

Some more pictures from Tokaj

Just back from my lightning trip to Tokaj. I enjoyed it a great deal, and learned a lot. I thought I knew a little about Tokaji (the wine), but visiting and seeing the grapes as they are ready for harvesting, tasting the wines, and seeing how they are put together exposed just how little I [...]

On the road in Tokaj, Hungary

It fills me with a sense of childish excitement when I visit a new wine region. I’ve said it before, and likely I will say it again, that it is when you visit a region that the penny drops: all the book learning and knowledge of the wines falls into place, and you begin to [...]

In Canada, day 2

A great day in Niagara wine country. 58 wines tasted at four different wineries. Lots learned. Helicopters flown in: 1.

The day started at Southbrook Vineyards, which was Canada’s first certified biodynamic wine producer. It’s an impressive, modern LEED-certified winery, too. I met with winemakers Ann Sperling and Brian Hamilton (above), and we tasted through a [...]

In Canada, day 1

So, I am in Canada. For one night only, I’m staying in the very pretty resort town of Niagara on the Lake. I got here about 4 pm yesterday, arriving in beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s. The first thing I did was check the test match score (England pulled off a thrilling [...]

In Israel

Uri Hetz, Naama Sorkin and Gaby Sadan

Until yesterday, my experience of Israel’s wines was pretty limited. But yesterday I spent a day in northern Israel’s wine country, visiting producers and learning a lot.

This was followed by a dinner in Akko, at Uri Buri restaurant, with some winemakers. It was a remarkable day.

Today I pay [...]