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 […]

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Sometimes the wine world is sceptical and cynical, distrustful and suspicious; it whinges about the climate, the press, the supermarkets, the promotions, other wine producers/appellations /regions/countries/bloggers/writers and sometimes even the consumers, the very people who allow it to make a living from wine. But to be fair it is rare and most of the time […]

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English Wine

In retrospect, we didn’t pick the ideal time of year to hold an English Wine Tasting. The second day of spring seemed perfect back in September when we planned it – new life, new hope springing eternal? Sadly not. As it turned out, it was a freezing evening complete with a flurry of snow, depicting […]


Sparkling Times

In the last fortnight, I have been fortunate enough to attend 3 different sparkling wine tastings. On the plus side, yes, I do have a rather tasty job. On the minus side, as sparkling wines make such perfect appetisers, I seem to have been permanently hungry. I have already reported on the English sparkling wines […]

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Château Musar Vertical

I’m posting these tasting notes of a Château Musar vertical I was lucky enough to be part of four years ago because of some twitter chat with some terribly geeky wine people. I suspect we were all wearing our anoraks with pride. For those unfamiliar with Château Musar, it is the most famous wine of […]

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English Sparkling Wine

There was a time not so long ago when a tasting of 80 English sparkling wines would have been both impossible and something of an ordeal. Not anymore. Their success means that the number of producers of English Sparkling Wine has increased dramatically and, amazingly, quality has improved year on year too. So, when I […]