Four very fine Rieslings: Germany, Italy and New Zealand

It seems to be a bit of a season for Riesling. Here are notes from four bottles tried a while back which I have found in a notebook, and feel compelled to write up now because they just deserve to be written up.

Wittmann Morstein Riesling GG Trocken 2009 Rheinhessen, Germany
13.5% alcohol. From limestone soils, this [...]

In Austria, up a mountain, and some wines

So for the last few days I have been up a mountain with a group of buddies in the lovely town of Zell am See in Austria. It has been such fun. I only managed one day on skis, though. I am not a very good skier and I damaged my knee on the first [...]

Some highlights from the Waitrose Press Tasting

We wine journos are in the middle of press tasting season at the moment, with all the major supermarkets showing off their ranges. Buying standards for UK supermarkets are very high, but what makes life difficult for the buyers are their margin requirements, especially in the days of 25% off entire range special offers. So [...]

A perfect day of football and wine

So it was off to Selhurst Park yesterday, the home of Crystal Palace FC. They were playing ‘my’ team, Manchester City, and I’d been kindly invited along by Palace co-chairman Stephen Browett, who is also head of Farr Vintners.

This was a crucial game. We’re coming to the end of the premiership season, and City [...]

Seven great affordable Austrian wines

A selfie wine tasting of seven good value Austrian wines. This tasting reminded me how much I really like Austrian wine.

Vagabond, Drakes Tabanco and the Draft House, a great night out

London is an interesting place for food and drink these days. Last night I went out with buddy Daniel Primack of Around Wine to have some fun in Charlotte Street, taking in three establishments that represent the best of London’s new gastro/booze scene.

We started of at Vagabond (pictured above), which I reckon represents the future [...]

A brilliant, affordable Austrian red

Here’s a really nice Austrian red at a great price. Just the sort of wine I love to drink. It has personality and freshness.

Pittnauer ‘Pitti’ 2011 Burgenland, Austria
A blend of Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch, 13.5% alcohol. Lovely ripe, vivid blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with some floral, spicy, meaty interest. It’s a lovely fresh, robust red wine with pure [...]

A brilliant Orange wine from Austria

Tried this today: it’s a brilliant Austrian skin-contact white. Just beautiful: one of the best examples of an ‘orange’ wine that I have tried.

Schell Mann Achtung Wine 2007 Thermenregion, Austria
From Fred Loimer, this is a skin-contact white (an ‘orange’ wine) made from Grüner Veltliner, Muskateller, Rotgipfler, Traminer, Zierfandler, all grown together in a mixed vineyard [...]

Two good, affordable Gruner Veltliners

I have a soft-spot for Gruner Veltliner, the wonderful Austrian white grape variety that the Kiwis are now beginning to plant.

Here are two good, affordable examples. The problem with cheap Gruner is that it can end up being just a fresh, rather anonymous dry white wine. This pair manage to combine a low price point [...]

Two lovely Rieslings, Alsace and Austria

Two happy hunting grounds for Riesling: Alsace and Austria.

These bottles satisfied, the Trimbach for its purity and freshness, and the Stadt Krems for its depth of flavour and richness of texture. Both are affordable (I bought the Austrian for £10 a few years back, and the Trimbach is similarly priced), but deliver the sort of quality [...]