Some red wine highlights from Bibendum

Following my round-up of white wine highlights from the recent Bibendum (major UK agent/wholesaler) tasting, here are some nice reds from their range. A few real gems here.

Gal Tibor Titi Egri Bikaver 2016 Eger, Hungary, Eger
A blend of Kékfrankos, Kadarta and Syrah. Beautifully packaged. Fresh, stony cherry and plum fruit nose with a damson twist. The palate […]

The importance of the stuff around wine, with reference to West Ham United

It’s not just about a liquid in a bottle. The stuff around it matters more than we realise.

The BBC recently put together a short film about the effect on fans of moving a football (soccer) team from an old, traditional stadium to a new one. The club in question is West Ham United, and two […]

Some white wine highlights from Bibendum

These were some of the white wine highlights from a recent portfolio tasting with major UK agency business Bibendum.

Litmus Element 20 2013 Surrey, England
This is lovely: really expressive with a subtly nutty edge to the grapefruit and pear fruit, together with some citrus brightness. Complex and beguiling with a subtle hint of green and refined fruity […]

Lovely wines with Daniel and Eric at 67 Pall Mall

Had a lovely dinner last night with Daniel Primack and Eric Solomon at 67 Pall Mall. We enjoyed some really nice wines, and these are brief notes from memory: I was too busy chatting to take notes (although I did manage one on my phone for the last wine). All three of us like to […]

Week one of the International Wine Challenge

Week one of the second tranche of the International Wine Challenge is complete! There’s a weekend break for the judges, and then we meet again on Monday for four more days. Once again, we have been at The Oval (one of the UK’s top cricket grounds), and today we even saw some cricket, although it […]

Who judges the wine judges? And how can we increase judge diversity?

Wine judging is tough. This week and next it’s International Wine Challenge judging, which will keep me and quite a lot of other people busy. I guess if you are looking in from outside it looks like a whole lot of fun, tasting wine all day. Well it is – the judges are invariably nice […]

On hope, for wine businesses, for people

It’s amazing how much bravery a little hope can inspire. But take away hope – make someone feel trapped and hopeless – and they then become cautious and fearful. Many people live their lives from a position of fear because of this lack of hope. Their best efforts are directed at minimizing damage and suffering […]

Time for a new passport

I’ve just applied for a new passport. I’m going to miss the old one: it has been a constant companion on my travels, but even though it has plenty of space (I got a big one last time!) and five more years’ validity, it has started playing up at electronic passport gates.

And that’s a deal […]

A template letter for wineries responding to two-timing critics

As a public service, I’m providing a template letter for those wineries who want to escape abusive relationships with two-timing critics. If you are a winery and you find yourself in this regrettably common position, I hope you find it useful.

Dear (insert well known critic’s name)

It was lovely to host you last week at the […]

Dinner at Arbour with lovely wines: Felton Road, Vieux Telegraphe, Kumeu River and Quartz Reef

Arbour is widely regarded to be the best fine dining option in the Marlborough region. I visited with friends yesterday evening and we had a really good time. The kitchen here is currently on a roll. We chose the ‘feed me’ option on the menu: you choose 3, 4 or 7 courses and the kitchen […]