Fifth Grand New Year Blind Champagne Tasting Video

So here it is, the fifth Grand New Year Blind Champagne Tasting. A little shorter than last year’s (only 48 minutes!), but with two more wines, and some quality chat, not just on the subject of Champagne and sparkling wine. Eight Champagnes, three English bubblies, a Franciacorta and a Tasmanian fizz all in the mix. [...]

In Santiago, and to begin with, a Sauvignon Blanc

So, I am in Santiago, Chile. I arrived here this afternoon, after a fairly gruelling flight on an old BA 777 (predictably, the Highlife entertainment system wasn’t working, so I couldn’t watch any films) and then a quick hop over the Andes with LAN Chile. I’m just here for a couple of days to take [...]

The 2013 Polish Hill and Springvale Rieslings from Jeffrey Grosset

Jeffrey Grosset is widely regarded to be Australia’s top Riesling producer. Based in the Clare Valley, in South Australia, he makes two premium Rieslings from different sites, and they are both brilliant. I had a chance to try the recently released 2013s and here are my verdicts.

Grosset Springvale Riesling 2013 Clare Valley, Australia
Lively, precise, very pure and bone [...]

Video: at the Tesco wine press tasting

Wine writers at work. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to go to a major supermarket press tasting?

This short film, from today’s Tesco event, should give you some idea.

The remarkable Penfolds recorking clinic comes to London

Since 1991, celebrated Australian producer Penfolds have been running a series of recorking clinics for owners of bottles of their wines that are over 15 years old. ‘We’ve recorked/certified over 120 000 bottles,’ says chief winemaker Peter Gago, who was hosting this London event, the first to be held here since 2008.

Peter Gago with [...]

Canada's finest? Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Norman Hardie

On my recent trip to Canada, one of my favourite experiences (of many good ones) was visiting Norman Hardie in Prince Edward County. He’s making some brilliant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and so I was delighted to find out that The Wine Society are bringing in a couple of his wines. They’ve chosen very well: [...]

Musar 2005, the Moose is on good form

I just love Chateau Musar, the famous Lebanese wine from the Bekaa Valley. It’s a remarkable wine: one that technically possesses a number of wine faults, but which just seems to work. It’s slightly oxidative. It has relatively high volatile acidity. It shows some characteristics of Brettanomyces. But it is delicious, and ages beautifully. The [...]

Selfie wine tasting video 1 - Tokaji Eszencia four times!

I thought it might be quite fun to do some ‘selfie’ videos of wine tasting, taken on my camera phone, in situ.

Here I taste Tokaji Eszencia, a remarkable, intensely sweet wine made from the free run juice from aszu berries. It’s very low in alcohol, amazingly high in sugar, and rare and very expensive.

This is [...]

London Cru, an urban winery in Earls Court

It’s 8 am on a Wednesday morning in September, and I’m in a slightly sketchy part of west London, just down the road from the Earls Court exhibition centre. There’s an articulated lorry waiting in the street.

I think I’ve found what I have been looking for. Yes, tucked in behind a block of council houses, there’s a lock-up [...]

Video: visiting Shvo Vineyard, Upper Galilee, Israel

I have just written up my visit to Shvo, a wonderful vineyard run by the talented Gaby Sadan in Upper Galilee, Israel. You can read the full report here. I’ve also uploaded a short film of the visit: