On cycling

I have discovered cycling. Don’t worry: I’m not about to don lycra, spend thousands of pounds on a racing bike, and start posting (boasting?) my Strava stats on social media. It’s just that I have discovered the pleasure that cycling can bring. Suddenly, on two wheels, any journey is fun.

I have my new Finnish friends [...]

Single critic opinions or panel tastings? Which is the best?

Yesterday Tim Atkin released his South African wine report. It’s created quite a bit of discussion, and it’s also raised once again for me the question of single critics versus panel tastings. Which is the best?

Tim has worked very hard tasting a lot of wines, as do the competing critics from the big publications such [...]

Lunch at Greg with Neal and Gareth, including some nice wines

Lunch at Greg Sherwood’s place (christening his new kitchen!). So it was Sunday, and we were off to Greg Sherwood’s gaff in St Margarets for some food and wine. It is probably close to the truth to suggest that when I accepted the invitation, I suspected that an extended lunch was in prospect. Joined by [...]

Napue, a superb Finnish gin

Tried this superb gin in Finland. It’s a small-batch rye gin from the Kyrö Distillery Company in Isokyrö. This was set up by a group of five friends (Miika, Miko, Mikka, Kalle and Jouni), and originally focused on producing Finland’s first rye whisky (naturally, being Finland, they conceived the idea in a sauna). They set up a [...]

Costière Denim

This is a guest post from Daniel Primack. I met him for dinner recently, but before we ate we popped into one of his favourite shops, Rivet and Hide. Here I had a quick chat with the owner, Danny Hodgson. It struck me how similar what he was doing – curating a shop with fine [...]

The blogger blackmail saga

The internet is currently on fire with a spat between a blogger and an artisan patisserie owner, and it has a hashtag all of its own: #bloggerblackmail. It would be quite funny, if it wasn’t for the fact that real people with real feelings are involved. From a distance, this is what appears to have happened. [...]

Gamay Focus 11, Château de Beauregard Fleurie Poncié 2013

Continuing the Gamay journey, it’s back to Beaujolais.

This Fleurie is from a sixth-generation family producer, and the vineyard is managed to promote microbial life, although it isn’t certified organic. The family have owned this Poncié plot since 1872, and it’s on a steep slope which tops out at 400 m. Soils are decomposed granite, and [...]

The iPhone 6

The iPhone 6. I remember when it first came out. I was at an event and a tech journalist had one, before its general release, for review purposes. I had a quick play. I didn’t like it very much. I was still in love with my 5, and I felt that the 6 [...]

If you were a wine... wines as people

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?

It’s an immensely silly question, but a fun one.

It’s actually even more fun to ask a friend: what wine am I? And then you get to reciprocate. I did this with a friend recently, and it turns out I am cru Beaujolais. It could have been [...]

'Down with wine dogma' - a comment on the alcohol level debate

A friend alerted me to this blog post by the excellent Ray Isle, which contains an open letter by Californian winemaker  Sean Thackrey on alcohol levels and wine. Thackrey is an eloquent and thoughtful voice in the wine world and his letter is worth a read.

While you are at it, you should probably also read [...]