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 [...]

The fabulous Dow 1963 plus other special wines

Simon Staples of Berry Bros & Rudd is a top bloke. He treated a few of us to a lovely dinner in the boardroom after Thursday night’s screening of red obsession. We had some lovely Burgundy, a cracking sherry, a stunning English sparkler, and – most appropriately – a Chinese wine. But my heart was [...]

Tio Pepe Fino En Rama, Fourth Edition, 2013

Just out: the new Tio Pepe Fino en Rama. Taken straight from the cask, unfiltered, and offering lots of flavour. Wines like this are helping to make Sherry sexy again.

Think of this like supercharged Fino, with lovely complexity and depth of flavour. And while it’s a bit more expensive than most Finos, it’s still underpriced [...]

Tio Pepe Fino En Rama, the new release

It’s the third release (I think) of this wonderful sherry. Taken straight from the cask without filtering or fining, and when the flor (the layer of yeast cells growing on the surface of the liquid in the cask) is nice and thick. I also tried this from a half-bottle last week while I was doing [...]

Three lovely Palo Cortado sherries

Sherry gives me a lot of pleasure. Here are three Palo Cortados that I’ve had open for a while. I did a contemplative comparative tasting of them. All quite different, but all thoroughly lovely.

Paolo Cortado starts life as a fino, but then the flor dies. It’s fortified up to a higher strength (18%, typically) and [...]

Another experience of Spanish greatness in the form of Equipo Navazos sherries

Jesus Barquin of Equipo Navazos

I am being spoiled by Spain at the moment. Hot on the heels of yesterdays fabulous Vega Sicilia tasting, today was a chance to try through a wide range of the fabulous Equipo Navazos sherries with Jesús Barquín, one of the original partners in the venture.

Equipo Navazos started out as a [...]

A brilliant fino sherry from El Maestro Sierra

I’m a big sherry fan, as I think most of my wine nut friends are. Great sherry is one of the most affordable of all fine wines, which is a good thing. This little gem is from El Maestro Sierra, a small sherry house owned by the nonagenarian Pilar Pla Pechovierto, and is very traditional. [...]

A remarkable evening of wine, with Burgundy, the Wachau, the northern Rhone, Champagne and Sherry

Had a fabulous dinner last night at Francis and Bronwen Percival’s pad in Borough Market with a group of wine nuts, including a Burgundy-resident Californian winemaker. Some lovely bottles came out, and Francis and Bronwen’s cooking was on top form.

We started with some cheese, of course: Stawley, Kirkham’s Lancashire and Citeaux (a washed-rind cow’s milk [...]

Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla en Rama

Now this is interesting. Remember all the fuss about the Gonzalez Byas Tio Pepe Fino en Rama? It was a special bottling of Fino straight from the cask, and it was fabulous.

Sherry like this is normally filtered and fined to stabilize it for commercial release. The great thing about en rama is that the wine [...]

Old VORS Sherries from Harveys

Old Sherry is fabulous. It is one of the wine world’s great treasures, although it doesn’t really get the limelight that it deserves.

Here are three VORS wines from Harveys, which retail at £20.82 each for 50 cl. That’s not cheap, but these are very impressive, complex wines. All are available only from  www.thedrinkshop.com in the [...]