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 […]

Brian Croser on natural (or 'accidental') wines

[I recently contacted celebrated Australian winemaker and consultant Brian Croser to get a few quotes on the topic of natural wine in Australia, and its sometimes uneasy relationship with the more conventional side of the country’s wine industry. He ended up penning an essay, and with his consent, I’m publishing it here in its entirety. […]

Wine in Hong Kong: Le Quinze Vins, with Ganevat, Bereche and Clotaire Michal

Le Quinze Vins was a lovely surprise. It is Sunday afternoon, and Nat and I are looking for somewhere to get a glass of wine after some Hong Kong tourism. We do a bit of searching around, and find the Central branch of Le Quinze, which is empty, but apparently open. We go inside and […]