A brilliant unoaked Malbec at the Gaucho

Met up with my buddy and co-author Sam Harrop today for lunch. We were at Gaucho in Richmond, sitting outside as the swollen Thames flowed by in dappled sunlight, plotting our next moves in wine world domination, and sharing our mutual guilt at having made less progress than we really ought to have made on the book [...]

Dinner at le Mange-Grenouille, Saint Aignan sur Cher

Another nice dinner, this time at le Mange-Grenouille in Saint Aignan. No frogs: just some delicious wines and really impressive food, including a really nice pigeon and one of the most visually appealing desserts I have had in a while. Two slightly less well celebrated Loire varieties shone. First, Romorantin, and second Côt (aka Malbec [...]

Lunch at the Square with some nice wines

So the bit about ‘nice wines’ in the title was an understatement. The wines were spectacular.

It was the Primum Familiae Vini lunch at The Square, one of London’s top restaurants. The PVF is an association, or club, of 11 family owned wine companies from across Europe, and between them they can put on quite a [...]

Lunch at La Trompette with Scali Pinotage

Lunch at La Trompette today, the Nigel Platts-Martin restaurant out in the wilds of Chiswick, west London.

It was very good indeed. Starter: smoked haddock and creamed leeks with grain mustard, poached egg and toasted crumbs. It was brilliant, with strong but balanced flavours. To match? Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2010 Swartland, South Africa, at [...]

Dinner at the wonderful Viajante with Dirk Niepoort

Sensational wines. Sensational food. Just what you want on a cold Tuesday night in January.

Amaranth with sorrel; onion brioche with stilton cheese; thai explosion 2

Dirk Niepoort, one of the winegrowers I respect the most, was in town, and he kindly invited a small group to dine with him at Viajante in Bethnel [...]

A visit to Haskell and Dombeya

Rianie Strydom

OK, it’s a holiday, but I’m in wine country, and so it’s a chance to add in the odd low key visit.

I agreed to lunch at Haskell Vineyards’ Long Table restaurant, with Keith and Rita Prothero. Numbers swelled somewhat, and it became a major event,with PR Nicolette Waterford, Richard Kershaw MW, winemaker Rianie [...]

Lunch at Launceston Place

Took my significant other for lunch yesterday at Launceston Place. Last time I was there was on 10th September 2001 (I know the date because of my blog from that time), for an offline dinner. Since then, things have changed (it’s now part of the D&D group of restaurants, who operate several high end London [...]

A great 'modern Russian' lunch in Novorossiysk

Had a little bit of time to look round the port city of Novorossiysk yesterday. Its seafront has been redeveloped very attractively, and there’s a huge old battleship moored in front of the promenade.

This was followed by lunch at Cafe Prego, where as an alternative to their normal Italian fare, they had prepared a fantastic [...]

Lunch at the Sands End followed by football at the Cottage

Great day today. Met up with Joe Wadsack and Stuart Bowman-Hood for our annual Man City v Fulham lunch and football game. Replacing Will Willis was Andrew Thomas, who was – like Will – cracking company.

Instead of our usual haunt, the excellent Harwood Arms, we shifted to The Sands End. The food was superb. Possibly [...]

Some traditional Portuguese food and Graham 1980

I’m in sunny Porto, heading off to the Douro today where vintage 2011 is just starting. So, snatching a few minutes on free wifi (all hotels should offer this) in the lobby, a brief account of last night’s dinner.

It was at O Carteiro (55 Rua Senhor da Boa Morte), a traditional Portuguese restaurant. The food [...]