A pair from Tenuta di Trinoro

These are remarkable wines that are very hard to pigeonhole. On paper, they aren’t really my thing: we are looking at Bordeaux grape varieties, grown in Tuscany, and weighing in at 15.5 and 16% alcohol. And they cost a LOT of money. But they are compelling wines, even though the price tags are hefty indeed.

Andrea Franchetti [...]

Muscat and Moscato

Just had to do a Sunday Express column on Moscato, which gave me a chance to try a few different ones. I’ve included Muscat here, as well as what we normally think of as Moscato – a light, fizzy, sweet and rather delicious wine that offers simple joy.

Curatolo Arini Zibibbo 2011 Sicily, Italy
12.5% alcohol. Zibibbo [...]

Two summery sweet wines worth checking out

Sometimes you just want something fun and summery to drink. Here are a couple of really fun, sweet, fizzy wines with real points of interest.

Innocent Bystander Moscato 2013 Victoria, Australia
5.5% alcohol. From a really attractive crown-capped 37.5 cl bottle, this just works. It’s pink and sweet and fizzy, with grape and cherry fruit. Simple, fresh [...]

Five eclectic wines at the DIAM Rioja conference

Today I gave a talk on social media and the wine industry at a conference in Logrono (Rioja) organized by DIAM, the closure company. Also speaking was José Penin, author of the respected wine guide, chosen to represent the existing media. I was chosen because I have made a reputation with more modern media.

As well [...]

A profound Valpolicella Ripasso

I have been sampling this wine over the last three nights, and it has got better each time. It’s made by Nicola Ferrari (a bloke – in Italy, Nicola isn’t a girl’s name), who has been for 12 years the winemaker at Quintarelli, a job he took at the tender age of 26. He’s now [...]

A brilliant Tuscan Cabernet Franc

Regular readers will know that I’m not really a super-Tuscan kind of guy. But here’s one that enticed, despite its ripeness and richness. It’s a varietal Cabernet Franc, and it’s lovely – although they don’t really give it away, at £40-ish a bottle. Mind you, compared with its peer group, it’s well priced for such [...]

Gulfi's delicious Cerasuolo di Vittoria

Gulfi is an organic winery in Sicily, specializing in local grape Nero d’Avola. I recently tried through their range, which is characterized by big, structured, burly expressions of this grape. Impressive as they were, I was rather taken by this wine: a 50/50 blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, from Sicily’s only DOCG – Cerasuolo [...]

Reports of vandalism at Soldera

One of Italy’s great wine estates. Soldera, making some mindblowing Brunello di Montalcino, in the south of Tuscany. I reviewed these rare gems a few years ago, after a fantastic lunch at The Square (here).

Apparently, Soldera’s winery has been vandalized, with the loss of six vintages (these are wines that age for a long time [...]

A brilliant, affordable natural Salice Salentino

Come with me to the south of Italy, and to a winery who I know very little about, and about whom there is very little on the internet. This is a natural wine, made with no added sulfur dioxide, and it’s deliciously open and drinkable. It’s not expensive (I can’t find a UK stockist, but [...]

Fighting jetlag with Querciabella

Now this is my style of Sangiovese. It’s savoury, but it has elegant fruit, too. Both elements are held in lovely tension. It’s helping me fight my body clock, which is rather messed up at the moment. There are all sorts of circadian cycles that go on in the body, and when they are out [...]