Lunch at St John with Dujac, Niero, Barthod and Bereche

Lunch at St John today. A special time with Francis Percival, Dan Keeling and Jeremy Seysses. The company, the wines, the food: all were on sparkling form. I haven’t been to St John in a while. I will be back soon, for sure. Highlights included a wonderful crispy pig skin salad, and decadently rich devilled [...]

Champagne Bruno Paillard at Sushisamba

Tuesday evening and it’s time for dinner at Sushisamba. My first visit to this much talked about restaurant, perched on the top of London’s second tallest building, Heron Tower in Bishopsgate, in the City.

I’ve come from the International Wine Challenge, where I’ve been tasting lots of wine all day, followed by a quick beer with [...]

An amazing fine wine lunch at Chez Bruce

This was one of the most remarkable lunches I’ve experienced – and I’ve been to quite a few special lunches. The food, company and wines were all just perfect. The pace was ideal, too: there was no need to rush these special bottles: we started at 1215 and finished at 1730.

Keith and Greg


Jim and Neil

Neleen [...]

The Sixth New Year Blind Champagne/Sparkling Wine Tasting Video

So here it is. The sixth annual blind Champagne tasting video. It was, as usual, really interesting to see the results. Lots of surprises here.

The wines were, in order of their appearance:

Justerini & Brooks Champagne 250th Year Anniversary NV
Almeida Garrett Brut 2008 Beira Interior, Portugal
Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs NV
Champagne Drappier Quattuor NV
Champagne de [...]

Champagne Deutz Cuvee William Deutz 2002

This is remarkable stuff. The prestige cuvee from Deutz, from the brilliant 2002 vintage. Deutz is based in Aÿ, which is Pinot country, and the blend reflects this. It is 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier, and it’s aged for 60 months on lees. Dosage is a relatively high 11.5 g/litre. The key here [...]

Champagne - a blind tasting of some top bottles, with surprises

The older I get the more I like Champagne. This makes me sound like an old fart, but it is true. Champagne rocks. It’s a very interesting drink, and it takes a long time to begin to understand it. Slowly, I am beginning to understand it.

Last night I went to a fun blind Champagne tasting, [...]

Wine & Culinary forum: the Primum Familiae Vini tasting

The Primum Familiae Vini are an association of top European wine domaines, and we were treated to a tasting of some of their wines, presented by Christophe Brunet, wine ambassador of the PVF and Fiona Beckett, food and wine journalist. They were providing the chat, with Fiona’s brief being suggesting suitable pairings for the wines. [...]

Some remarkable older wines: 1937 Noval Colheita, 1975 Deutz and a 1919 Sherry

Three nice older bottles opened at the Gonzalez Byass 10th anniversary dinner last week:

Champagne Deutz Blanc de Noir 1975 France (magnum)
This Pinot Noir comes from Grand Cru Aÿ, and the wine was resting on lees for 37 years before bottling in 2012. A yellow colour, this has a taut citrus nose with subtle pear and [...]

Two from Champagne Savart

Fred Savart’s Champagnes are the real deal. His elevage is in a mixture of oak and now concrete, and the production here consists of small volume, terroir focused wines. I’ve reviewed one of these wines before, and this time round, I gave it an equally high rating. UK agent is Indigo Wine.

Champagne Savart L’Accomplie [...]

Some great wines at lunch, including Cristal, Faiveley Corton and Schlumberger GC Saering

After judging the Roederer Awards on Tuesday, we repaired to Chez Buce, where – naturally – we popped a couple of bottles of Roederer’s Cristal. This was followed up with some other gems from the Roederer portfolio (they own MMD, who distribute Roederer and other wines in the UK). Yes, these bottles were a little [...]