Natural wine, a primer

One of the hot topics of the wine world is the concept of ‘Natural Wine.’

Travel to Paris, and you will find lots of bars that specialize in vins natruels. It’s a hipster movement, and it’s beginning to catch on elsewhere. London has at least four natural wine bars at present, and this year there were [...]

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 [...]

Julien Sunier Fleurie 2010, a delicious, serious Beaujolais

This is a really good example of how Beaujolais is becoming SERIOUS.

It’s naturally made, from organically (in conversion) farmed vineyards. It is from vineyards at almost 500 m in elevation, on a south-facing plt on pink granite, planted at high density from 50 year old vines (10 000 vines per hectare).

Julien Sunier Fleurie 2010 Beaujolais, France
12.5% [...]

Presenting natural wines to a curious audience

Just finished a tasting for the Oxford Wine Club. I presented nine natural wines, all sourced from Les Caves de Pyrene. I knew it would be a challenge, because some of these wines were taking people well out of their comfort zone.

In some cases, these are the strong, smelly cheeses of the wine world. In [...]

A brilliant, but rather different, Argentine Malbec

I’ve been following this wine over the course of a couple of days. It’s an Argentine Malbec, but not as you know it.

It is made by Vincent Wallard, a former wine bar owner, and Emile Heredia, a natural winegrower from the Vendomois in France. According to the blog of Les Caves de Pyrene, the UK importers, [...]

Natural wine is an unnecessarily divisive subject

Natural wine is a divisive subject.

It needn’t be.

I enjoy many natural wines. I like to drink them. So do many others. They bring me great pleasure.

I don’t really mind that there is no strict definition for ‘natural wine’. If someone wants to call their wine natural then that’s fine. It is a useful banner under [...]

Pineau d'Aunis rocks!

Drinking a lovely, bright, elegant, fresh red from the Loire. It’s a varietal Pineau d’Aunis, and it’s one of those wines that is both non-serious and drinkable, and yet also serious at the same time.

Pineau d’Aunis is a brilliant grape variety. It’s a bit like Pinot Noir, in that it produces lighter red wines with [...]

Naturae wines from Gerard Bertrand, made with no added sulfur dioxide

Very interested to try this pair of wines made by Gerard Bertrand, and stocked by UK retailer Marks & Spencer. They’re not what you would associate with the natural wine movement (Bertrand is a conventional producer making some very smart commercial Languedoc wines), but they are both made without any added sulfur dioxide, or indeed [...]

Video: the Real Wine Fair 2012, London

A short film from this year’s Real Wine Fair in London. I hope this captures some of the essence of the fair. Includes footage from the grower’s party. I don’t remember shooting that bit.

The real wine fair dinner in pictures

Cracking night last night. Dinner with the growers at the Real Wine Fair. 200 people, a gazillion bottles of natural wine, and simple but delicious food. I didn’t take any notes, but I did take my camera, with a trusty old 28 mm manual focus lens at f2.8. Considering how much wine was consumed, it’s [...]