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 [...]

Gulfi's delicious Cerasuolo di Vittoria

Gulfi is an organic winery in Sicily, specializing in local grape Nero d’Avola. I recently tried through their range, which is characterized by big, structured, burly expressions of this grape. Impressive as they were, I was rather taken by this wine: a 50/50 blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, from Sicily’s only DOCG – Cerasuolo [...]

A wonderful Italian tasting

Alberto Graci, ex-banker, who is making seriously authentic wine in Mount Etna, Sicily

Yesterday’s tasting at One George Street, hosted by the wonderful Berry Bros & Rudd, is worth a mention. For the last few years

David Berry Green has been resident in Italy. In that time he has built up a superb portfolio of Italian [...]

Dorilli, a new wine from Sicilian producer Planeta

This is an interesting new wine from Sicilian producer Planeta, who I visited a while back. It’s a posh version of their Cerasuolo di Vittoria, which is a deliciously fresh blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola. For drinking now, I have to say that I prefer the regular version, but this may well develop nicely [...]

Lunch with Frank Cornelissen and his fabulous Etna wines

Yesterday’s lunch was special. It was a chance to catch up with Frank Cornelissen (above), a winegrower from Sicily’s Mount Etna, over lunch at Hibiscus.

Frank works as naturally as possible, without using any chemicals in the vineyard – not even the sulfur and copper used by biodynamic and organic growers – and he doesn’t add [...]

Fun on the wedding day

We had a great time yesterday at my sister’s place, where a sizeable contingent of family gathered to celebrate the royal wedding. I was initially not intending to watch the spectacle, but it turned out to be quite gripping – a day of real emotion.

We celebrated with Champagne – beginning with a magnum of Drappier [...]

Planeta's first Mount Etna wine: the Carricante

Almost two years ago I visited Sicilian producer Planeta. One thing they talked about was their new project on Mount Etna, which has some really interesting terroirs. At this stage, no wine had been made, but now they’ve released their first Etna white. It’s from the Carricante grape variety, and it’s full of interest. It’s [...]

Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria: an elegant Sicilian red

Back in February 2009 I visited Sicilian producer Planeta (report here). It was a great visit, and I particularly enjoyed the Cerusuolo from Vittoria, a blend of Nero d’Avola with the bright, fresh Frappato variety. I even went out and bought some afterwards, which for a wine writer deluged by samples is a true endorsement.

Planeta [...]

Cos Frappato at Terroirs, a nice end to a busy day

It has been a long day. It began with a Bernard Magrez tasting and lunch at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, which was very impressive (write up to follow). Then I went for a quick pint at the Coach and Horses with Douglas Blyde, Richard Siddle and Caspar Auchterlonie, before hot footing down to the Atlas, [...]