So you don't like natural wines - help is at hand!

Dear (insert name)

I have heard that you don’t like natural wines.

I can understand that this must be quite distressing for you. But do not worry: I am a doctor (a plant PhD, not a medic, but who cares? This is the internet) and I am here to help.

You have spent a lot of time and [...]

Two lovely whites: Vincent Carême Vouvray Sec 2013 and Ganevat Grusse en Billat 2012

I have just been in the Netherlands, presenting a talk and tasting to wine professionals here over two days, with the same 10 wines both days. I met some really great people and enjoyed talking about organic/biodynamic/sustainable/natural/authentic wine. It was also nice to look at the wines over two days. Interestingly, the wines seemed all [...]

Ageno la Stoppa, a distinctive orange wine from Italy

This is one of those distinctive skin contact white wines that I think I liked quite a lot. But I wasn’t totally sure. If you’ve never tried Brettanomyces in white wine, this might be a wine to check out, because I think it has quite high levels. Why wasn’t I sure about it? It’s just [...]

Cascina Degli Ulivi A Demua - a lovely natural white from Piedmont

This natural Piedmont white is really interesting. It’s a blend of several local varieties, fermented on skins for a month using native yeasts in barrel. Then the wine is pressed and returned to barrel for a year. No sulfur dioxide is added at any stage, and total SO2 is 13 mg (which means the bottle [...]

Two superb whites: Radikon 1993 and Shobrook Giallo 2013

So, on Wednesday evening I had one of the best pizzas I have ever experienced. I met up with buddy and fellow Beer Anorak Daniel Primack for a spot of dinner at Pizza Pilgrims. We each bought a bottle, both white it turns out, and they were both fantastic. It was such a nice evening.

Radikon [...]

Comments on Bruce Palling's anti-natural wine article

Bruce Palling’s article on natural wine has been the subject of a lot of debate over the last week or so.

I’ve read it twice. Three times if you count the abbreviated version that appeared in the New Statesman. He writes well, and he makes some valid points. But…

The ‘but’ is because I think he’s actually [...]

Talking of natural wine, I'm in love with Racines Blanc 2011 from Claude Courtois

This is just lovely. It’s a natural wine (in that it is made with no additions at all in the winery, from organically grown grapes in a farm that’s practising a form of polyculture) from the Sologne region of the Loire, next to Cheverney.

You can read about Claude Courtois and his domaine Les Cailloux [...]

I love natural wine, but...

I love natural wine, but I worry that the natural wine movement (whatever that is), is becoming a subculture that’s self-contained, self-referential, and living in its own bubble.

Let me try to explain. I like interesting wine. Wine with a story to tell; wine with a sense of place (whatever that is); wine that is [...]

Domaine Gauby La Roque 2011, a remarkable skin-contact Muscat

Gauby is the domaine that put the Fenouilledes in France’s Roussillon on the fine wine map. The wines are brilliant, and because of their fame, they’re also (alas) quite expensive. On a recent tasting, this bottle really took my eye. It’s a skin-contact Muscat, a variety that seems to respond pretty well to this sort [...]

A lovely Jura red from Michel Gahier

Michel Gahier is one of the top insider tips in the Jura. He has just 6.5 hectares of vines, and works very naturally in both the vineyard and the cellar. This wine is from a special Trousseau vineyard with very old (55-80 years) vines on a southwest-facing slope. He’s a neighbour of famous natural winegrower [...]