Lay & Wheeler, now a part of Majestic, recently held a rather unusual tasting in Manchester. Showcasing a selection of wines from its own stocks, supplemented with older vintages from its broking list, I wasn't going to miss the chance to taste the wines of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia and of Château de Beaucastel - despite them not being the most obvious of bedfellows.Read More
Another enjoyable evening of tasting and talking with Ben and the gang brought these little gems to my attention. It’s always nice to share good news, so toddle off to Hanging Ditch and treat yourself to these tempting whites.Read More
I was recently asked if I would present a tasting event at Hanging Ditch. "Certainly", I replied, "I would be delighted to." As I'm not in the trade and thus have no wines of my own to promote, the next question I was asked left me somewhat stumped. What would I like to have as the theme for my tasting?Read More
After the excesses of Christmas, midway between the joyous fervour of well intentioned resolutions and the pay cheque that will once again allow you off the wagon, January can often seem to be the longest of months. What better way to shake off the malaise than by maintaining the level of decadence to which one has recently grown so accustomed?Read More
Ten years on, it would appear that the intense heat of the 2003 vintage in Europe has not delivered all that it promised. In more marginal regions the prolonged high temperatures all too often resulted in atypical ripeness and an unusual lack of acidity, handled best by only the most skilful winemakers.Read More
The annual carnival of mercenary hype is upon us once again and, as usual, my heart is filled with lament at the prospect of ever greater numbers of lovely wines rendered unaffordable by joyless speculation and hoarding. As good a time as any, then, to open a bottle of Bordeaux bought in slightly less cynical times when a reasonable amount of wine was still bought to drink rather than to resell.Read More
“Greetings, fellow gastronauts.”
That was the familiar salutation of the much-missed Francophile gourmet, Keith Floyd. Whilst he undoubtedly had his demons to face, his knowledge and love of food and wine were an inspiration to me when I was young and his straight talking approach was a blessed relief from the insipid inanity of most other television cooks of the time.
Thanks to Ben and Mark at the award winning Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants for organising a very enjoyable and interesting Bordeaux tasting dinner earlier this month at the St. James’s Club. Given their ethos of quality being paramount I knew that the wines on offer would not disappoint, but the objective of keeping the wines affordable was going to be more of a challenge.Read More
Why don’t we drink more Alsatian Pinot Noir?Read More
Although today began pretty much like any other day, a fortuitous visit to Majestic on my way home from work for a couple of alarmingly premature Christmas presents jogged my memory about the significance of the date.
Any ideas? I’ll give you a clue. Today is the third Thursday in November.
“We take you now to Kermit the frog with another fast breaking news story…”Read More
Every year I think about buying a couple of cases of Bordeaux en primeur, but every year I always seem to have either just bought a case or two of something interesting or I find that I’ve just allocated my next few months’ wine allowance to several bottles of something I just can’t live without.Read More
An interesting one ce soir, a 2010 old vine Grenache Blanc by Domaine du Clos des Fées (14.5% ABV). I’ve been a big fan of this estate’s reds for ten years or more, but for some reason I never got round to trying its sole white. It always seemed rather pricey, even when Oddbins (R.I.P.) was interesting enough to stock it, and, at €18 from the cellar door, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d feel the same today.Read More
I need to preface this post by pointing out that it was my birthday, this was not exactly everyday fare! A half bottle of Dönnhoff’s Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2003 (8.0% ABV) is a great way to start any evening, and tonight was no exception.Read More
I like Malbec: it’s one of those grapes that, until quite recently, was rarely given the chance to spread its wings and fly solo. I like Argentinian wines: they tend to be more European in style than those from her neighbour across the Andes. A good Argentinian Malbec puts a smile on my face and a steak on my barbecue.Read More