Judging at the International Wine Challenge, 2015, Tranche 1

For the last couple of days I have been at The Oval (one of London’s two major cricket grounds) judging in the International Wine Challenge. It’s the second year where the judging has been divided into two tranches. This is tranche 1 of 2015, and the second (and larger) tranche will be held in April [...]

A week as a wine writer

Hush Heath

So what does a week as a wine writer consist of? It’s hard to say. Every week is different. There’s travel. Attending tastings. Writing articles to deadlines. Lunches. Dinners. It all depends.

This week? It began on Monday with a day clear to write, and then dinner with Ryan and Michael at The Remedy, [...]

Just pick earlier!

I had a remarkable tasting a few weeks ago with Marcelo Papa of Concha y Toro. He did an experiment: picking some of the grapes for Marques de Casa Concha a month earlier than they are currently picked. He says that he had to close his eyes when he looked at the seeds: they were [...]

Unwritten rules for wine writers

I was recently at a supermarket press tasting, and one of the buyers – new to the game – commented that he was surprised how well we (the wine journos) all got along. ‘After all, you’re competitors,’ he noted.

I was pleased he made this observation. We do get along. But it hadn’t really occurred to [...]

Sorry for the absence

Apologies for being a week without updating this blog. Normally I update daily, so this has been very uncomfortable for me. It was a technical issue to do with the maximum permitted size of my database. It was

It got too big. I updated my WordPress install to the latest version and this pushed the [...]

Recently on the main wineanorak site

For the benefit of those who just visit this blog, some recent articles from the main wineanorak.com site:

Lowburn Ferry: small, high quality winery from New Zealand’s Central
Otago
Vino di Anna: natural wines from Mount Etna, Sicily
Mount Difficulty: visiting Central Otago’s largest producer
Pegasus Bay: [...]

Perfectionism

Some thoughts about perfectionism.

Generally speaking, this is an undesirable trait. There are some people who you would quite like to see perfectionism expressed in: for example, your neurosurgeon, your architect, or the payroll person at work. But perfectionism isn’t easy to live with, and in the long run makes people miserable.

It leads to a binary [...]

Keep on running

I wrote last year about how I’d begun running. The good news is that I have managed to keep it up. And I’m just about to get on a plane to run the Marathon du Médoc for the second year.

I’m so pleased that I have managed to carry on, because what it shows me [...]

The Lidl fine wine sale, full notes on all the wines

Lidl have just launched a fine wine offering. Titled the ‘Lidl Premium French Wine Collection’, they have purchased a large quantity of decent French wine and are selling it at very competitive prices, in a bid to entice more middle-class shoppers into their stores. The scale of the offering is impressive: Lidl bought 5% of [...]

Ardbeg Supernova SN2014

OK, this isn’t wine. It’s whisky. A subject I know considerably less about than wine. But I am a flavour guy, so when I encounter some really interesting flavours, I want to share them here (unless they are beers – for that, I have beeranorak).

The whisky in question is the new release of Ardbeg’s Supernova, [...]