A big night out in Melbourne, with a good feed and lovely wines

James Suckling, David Bicknell and PJ Charteris

Sunday night in Melbourne. Just before the beginning of the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, which I am here to judge.

The evening started off in the City Wine Shop, Spring Street (http://www.citywineshop.net.au/). A brilliant place – sells wine, and is also a wine bar, with an amazing selection that’s [...]

Fun in Singapore, with dinner at Immigrants and lots of nice wine

Gavin and YiXin

So I arrived in Singapore late afternoon and headed out of the airport to meet with YiXin, Jules, Gavin and Hsien Min, eager partners in crime when it comes to food and wine. We began at YiXin and Jules’ place, with a few wines along with a very nice piece of Comte.

Marc [...]

Cape Wine: lunch at Bizerca, Cape Town

So, after a busy morning tasting, the Cape Wine Brits met for lunch at Bizerca (www.bizerca.com), a lovely French-themed bistro. There was a good buzz in the air, helped by some decent wine, the presence of Wadsack (who always lifts the atmosphere), and a plate of oysters to kick things off with.

On Wadsack’s advice we [...]

Some nice food here in Catalunya

So, I have been eating quite well over the last couple of days.

Dinner on Tuesday evening was at Cal Ton in Vilafranca (www.restuarantcalton.com). Not flashy, but just very good. Started off with a really deliciously executed warm octopus salad, and then had salt cod done three ways.

A quick lunch yesterday at El Moli del Mallol in [...]

Lunch at the Glasshouse, Kew, with Brian and Marion Smith of Elgin Ridge

Kew’s Glasshouse has to be one of the best places to lunch in London. It’s the sister restaurant to the equally impressive La Trompette in Chiswick, and together this pair of gems gives those of us out west reason to feel grateful. They both possess brilliant wine lists alongside highly creative and utterly delicious cooking, and [...]

Dinner at le Mange-Grenouille, Saint Aignan sur Cher

Another nice dinner, this time at le Mange-Grenouille in Saint Aignan. No frogs: just some delicious wines and really impressive food, including a really nice pigeon and one of the most visually appealing desserts I have had in a while. Two slightly less well celebrated Loire varieties shone. First, Romorantin, and second Côt (aka Malbec [...]

Dinner at Le Bon Laboureur, with nice Loire wines

I’m in the Loire, with Tim Atkin, Sam Harrop and Annette Scarfe. We’re here to judge Loire Sauvignon, and last night we were joined by some Loire growers for a nice dinner at Le Bon Laboureur in Chenonceau.

The food was first rate, but what I found really exciting were the wines. The Loire is a [...]

Lunch at the Square with some nice wines

So the bit about ‘nice wines’ in the title was an understatement. The wines were spectacular.

It was the Primum Familiae Vini lunch at The Square, one of London’s top restaurants. The PVF is an association, or club, of 11 family owned wine companies from across Europe, and between them they can put on quite a [...]

Lunch at La Trompette with Scali Pinotage

Lunch at La Trompette today, the Nigel Platts-Martin restaurant out in the wilds of Chiswick, west London.

It was very good indeed. Starter: smoked haddock and creamed leeks with grain mustard, poached egg and toasted crumbs. It was brilliant, with strong but balanced flavours. To match? Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2010 Swartland, South Africa, at [...]

Dinner at the wonderful Viajante with Dirk Niepoort

Sensational wines. Sensational food. Just what you want on a cold Tuesday night in January.

Amaranth with sorrel; onion brioche with stilton cheese; thai explosion 2

Dirk Niepoort, one of the winegrowers I respect the most, was in town, and he kindly invited a small group to dine with him at Viajante in Bethnel [...]