Four great wines at The Remedy: Jura, Sicily and Tenerife

Was at The Remedy wine bar last night, with a couple of dudes. We had some lovely wines, including two stunning bottles from Tenerife. The red in particular was quite sensational. It was a lovely evening, and I was impressed by the food. We had some great cheese and meat, and also lovely smoked mackerel [...]

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 [...]

Centonze Frappato 2013, a beautifully floral Sicilian red

I do like Frappato. It’s a grape variety that yields beautifully fresh, floral, lighter-style reds, even in the warm climate of Sicily. This is a truly seductive, floral example.

Centonze Frappato 2013 Sicily, Italy
13% alcohol. Sweet, supple, floral nose of red cherries and rose petals. On the palate this shows supple, sweet fruit with red cherries [...]

Valdibella Ariddu Grillo 2012 Sicily, Italy

This characterful white wine comes from a really interesting micro-cooperative in Sicily, with just 6 members. Olive oil, almonds and wine are produced, with 38 hectares of vineyards. The focus is on sustainable, organic winegrowing and minimal intervention winemaking, with very little SO2 added. They belong to the Addiopizzo movement, which says no to the [...]

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 [...]