The natural wine fair

Spent a good portion of today at the natural wine fair in Borough Market. It was a fantastic location (though hot sunny weather or sheet rain would have played havoc), and the tasting itself was stunning. An embarrassment of riches. Here’s a short video of the event, which I hope gives you a brief flavour [...]

Natural wines with Doug at Brawn

Had a tremendous evening last night with Doug Wregg at Brawn, out in the wilds of E2 (near Bethnal Green and Hoxton).

It was my first visit to Brawn, which, like Terroirs, is backed by Les Caves de Pyrene, importers of interesting terroir-driven and natural wines. The setting is informal, and the food is based around [...]

Ponce's Pino: a wonderful natural Bobal

I’m really impressed by the portfolio of Spanish wines that UK agency business Indigo Wine has put together. Agents like this, who are run by people who love wine, are inquisitive, and are prepared to hand sell relatively unsung gems, are the unsung heroes of the wine world.

This is one of their wines. It’s a [...]

Wonderful natural Beaujolais: G. Descombes Regnie

Georges Descombes is one of the band of natural wine guys currently active in Beaujolais. The natural Beaujolais wines like this are by far the most interesting expressions of Beaujolais, and are in the same league of interest as serious Burgundies, in my opinion. Descombes works without sulfur dioxide during vinification (there’s a nice report [...]

Some thoughts on natural wine

I love natural wines. I’m also a scientist by training. Knowing what I know, I don’t understand how natural wines (here defined as wines with as little added as possible – and specifically with very low or zero additions of sulfur dioxide) are as good as they are. And how rarely they are faulty.

But the [...]

MANA – a natural wine coalition from New Zealand’s Marlborough region

Very interesting development in New Zealand’s Marlborough region. I’s a coalition of Marlborough wine growers, called MANA, for Marlborough Natural Winegrowers. The five producers involved are Fromm, Herzog, Huia, Seresin and Te Whare Ra.

I like their approach, and like their wines. Here’s what they say about the venture:

‘Natural Winegrowing’ isn’t a prescriptively defined term and [...]

A beautiful, affordable natural wine

Natural wines are often expensive, but frequently worth it. Here’s one that’s fantastic, and affordable. I can’t find it on the Oddbins website, so it may be a case of scouring stores to locate bottles. But this is a wine worth hunting down, I reckon. One of my bargains of the year, especially at the [...]

Two delicious expressions of Cheverny

Cheverny is a little-known appellation in the Loire. Here are two contrasting wines. In the red corner, a wonderful natural-style wine that’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. In the white, a more accessible blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay (this is typical of the region’s whites, although Chenin and Arbois are also allowed).

Clos [...]

A wonderful evening at Terroirs

Spent the evening with Doug Wregg at Terroirs. It’s hard to imagine a better evening of food and wine: authentic, expressive and in good measure. It proved hard to draw myself away to catch the last train back home.

We dined well. Matje Herring, a bit like ceviche, was delicious, as were the clams with coriander [...]

Two natural Beaujolais

Two interesting expressions of Beaujolais, from a couple of the natural wine crowd. Beaujolais is a real hub of natural winemakers, many of whom were inspired by the late Jules Chauvet, widely recognized as the father of natural wine.

Jean-Claude Lapalu Brouilly 2007 Beaujolais
13% alcohol. A startling wine: fresh, spicy and a bit animal, with a [...]