The £6 Orange Natural Wine

Cramele Recas is a large winery in Romania well known for its astutely made commercial wines. Last year they began making an affordable orange wine, and this, the second vintage, is on the shelf at £6 in Asda (a UK supermarket). It spends 20 days on skins, and has no added sulfites.

I’m impressed by it, […]

Two natural Italian wines from The English Winemaker

These two wines are made by Matt Gregory, wine merchant turned winemaker who has adopted the name ‘The English Winemaker’. I met him in Christchurch last year when I was hanging out with Theo Coles, who he’d been doing vintage with. They’re really interesting.

The English Winemaker Mascot 2018 Piedmont, Italy
This is an aromatic skin-fermented Muscat […]

A clichéd natural wine producer review

I love natural wine (well, whatever that is…), but as with any style of wine there’s good and there’s bad and then there’s some stuff in the middle. So, here in a spirit of friendly fun-poking, here is my prototype clichéd natural wine producer review. [Just in case you were trying to guess, this doesn’t […]

The First Date natural wine bar pop-up at Cupple Coffee, Hastings, NZ

On Saturday night, travelling companions Mel Brown, David Brookes and I popped into a natural wine bar pop-up First Date at Cupple Coffee in Hastings, Hawkes Bay. This was billed as Hawke’s Bay’s first natural wine bar event, and so we were really keen to check it out.

Food was from Restaurant Chimera, who are Auckland […]

Alternative Bordeaux (5) natural wine at Château Peybonhomme, Côtes de Blaye

The Hubert family are sixth-generation vignerons based in Cars, near Blaye. The family arrived at Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours, which is on a small hill overlooking the Gironde estuary. Sister and brother Rachel and Guillaume Hubert run things these days, and the reason they are included in alternative Bordeaux is that they are one of the relatively […]

New York Wines (14) Nathan Kendall, Chëpika and Hickory Hollow, Finger Lakes

Nathan Kendall

Nathan Kendall is one of the bright lights of the Finger Lakes wine scene. He’s winemaker at Hickory Hollow winery, but also makes wine under his own name. And he’s also involved in a new project with Pascaline Lepeltier, the famed New York Sommelier, making a pet nat called Chëpika.

Nathan met Pascaline a […]

Two lovely Syrahs from Dard & Ribo

Dard & Ribo are one of the top producers of the Northern Rhône, but unless you hang in natural wine circles you probably won’t have heard of them. The hallmark of their wines is incredible purity of fruit, and massive drinkability. René-Jean Dard and François Ribo began working together in the early 1980s, and launched […]

34 hours in New York, eating and drinking well, part 1

Olmsted, Brooklyn

After exploring the Finger Lakes and Long Island wine regions, Christina Rasmussen and I had just a short time in the city of New York before heading back to the UK. I hadn’t been to New York since 1998, and this was Christina’s first visit. We arrived in New York at 7 pm […]

Some natural wines with the Grape Witches

A few weeks ago I was invited to host a tasting of natural/authentic wine in Toronto with Nicole and Krysta, the Grape Witches. It was for local somms and trade and was a sell out. The wines were lovely: here are my notes.

Guiberteau Les Moulins Saumur 2016 Loire, France
13% alcohol. Tight and complex with lively […]

A lovely orange wine from Vermont: Iapetus Tectonic

I met Ethan Joseph of Iapetus Wine in Nova Scotia last year, and recently again with Nathan Kendall in the Finger Lakes. He gave me a bottle of his orange wine, made with hybrid grape La Crescent, fermented on skins. This shows lovely character and personality. Ethan is winemaker at Shelburne Vineyard in Vermont, which […]