Brave New World

They know how to make wine in Bordeaux, they’ve been doing it for centuries. Grape varieties and vineyard sites were decided in the dim and distant past, viticultural and vinification practices were developed and then copied around the world, they’ve learnt how to use oak to its best advantage and the results have been held […]

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There ain’t nothing like a dame

Earlier this year I was invited to become a Dame de la Jurade de St.Emilion – think Masons but with wine and women, and without the handshake. I was honoured to be asked and despite the robes being red, so not my colour, I was quick to accept. I was to be intronisée (the literal translation […]

From inside Birmingham's new library

A Different Perspective

Apparently, you have to taste something you don’t like 17 times to convince your palate that it is something pretty tasty after all. It was true of olives for me but I’m sure some things don’t need quite so many times for a conversion from yuk to yum; sometimes it’s just down to having a […]

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In The Pink

Thomas Pink on Jermyn Street was the venue for a recent tasting of top still Rosé wines from around the world. The event was hosted by myself and Jean-Christophe Mau whose Pessac-Léognan estate, Château Brown, has recently launched its first Bordeaux Rosé. A mix of merchants, press and Thomas Pink clients tasted over 20 wines, […]


Win tickets to a wine event with a difference

Every Friday night in June and July, Zoo Lates at ZSL London Zoo will be giving grown-ups the chance to see one of the city’s most iconic attractions in a whole new light.  ByWine has teamed up with the exclusive wine sponsor, Bordeaux Wines, to offer one lucky winner a prize pair of tickets to […]


Jura wine finds fans in London.

Recently, I spent a couple of days in Bordeaux in the company of my friend and colleague, Wink Lorch, along with 30 other wine educators. It was an honour to have Wink with us as she is not the world’s greatest fan of Bordeaux wines, and she had promised herself  months of abstaining from trips […]


Bordeaux – Escape to the wine country

At last! An airline which caters for the wine lover – Monarch will be flying from Birmingham directly to Bordeaux from May. This is probably not earth-shattering news to many of you, but for this particular wine writer (who happens to be a Bordeaux specialist) it means a very great deal. No more stressful drives […]


The Essence of Bordeaux

What do you call a Super Tuscan-type wine from Bordeaux? Occasionally a producer may prefer to label his wine as AOC Bordeaux Blanc rather than, say, Entre-Deux-Mers but to fly so majestically in the face of the AOC hierarchy and classification systems of Bordeaux as Dourthe is doing with its wine, Essence, deserves a moniker […]


Vintage Port

Although my very first vineyard visit was to Portugal 30 years ago, my work does not often give me a chance to taste Vintage Port so, when an opportunity presents itself, I am delighted.  Consequently I found myself attending a tasting hosted by Joao Nicolau d’Almeida and Dirk Niepoort, representing the houses of Ramos Pinto […]


Bordeaux Primeurs – 2012

Every year in April, the great and the good of the wine world descend on Bordeaux to taste the new vintage.  The sort of wine pilgrimage that other wine producing regions of the world can only dream of.  French wine producers are often accused of being poor marketers, but they have certainly hit the jackpot […]