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May 2017 – Australia (Coonawarra) – Cabernet Sauvignon + Recipe

Having recently spent a fortnight with a lively group of people attending a couple of weekend conventions in Australia, some other organized activities were looked for on ‘days off’.   A lunch in Melbourne with my Australian host was already booked in my diary the following day, however the notice of a (clashing) organized tasting down [...]

April 2017 – Chile – Sauvignon Gris + Recipe

My wine choice for April has all the freshness of a spring shower about it – OK, we’ve possibly had more than our fair share of those, but this may be more welcome - and it comes from one of a clutch of clonal variants of Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Gris. You may possibly have come [...]

March 2017 – Tuscany – Morellino di Scansano + Recipe

In these reviews I know I have aimed principally towards wines most easily accessible on the high street with occasional forays to The Wine Society or to other well-regarded wine merchants like Berry Bros, Lay & Wheeler or Lea & Sandeman whose upward beat tends towards the fine wine market, at prices to match.   No [...]

February 2017 – Priorat + Recipe

Showing my age, maybe, but I’m remembering Kenneth Williams as the sage gardener character William Fallowfield (inter alia) in the comedy series ‘Round the Horne’ on BBC radio. No matter what question he was asked, his reply was always “The answer lies in the Soil”.     This is certainly true of my exceptional wine choice for [...]

January 2017 – Lirac Blanc (Southern Rhône White)

Now January is here I make no apology for writing-up a wine that qualifies as my very best drinking in 2016, though discovered too late for inclusion as a ‘wine of the month’ for December. I have always enjoyed the wines of the Rhône Valley, white or red, though my personal budget doesn’t always allow [...]

December 2016 – Late Harvest Kadarka + Recipe

You might consider that the attention that wine educators and writers get from wine merchants and suppliers is an embarrass de richesse. Endless promotional emails, invitations to tastings, catalogues of the latest ‘must try’ wine discoveries come flooding either through the ether or the letterbox with unfailing regularity.   It may come as a surprise, however, [...]

November 2016 – Vinsobres (Southern Rhône Red) + Recipe

“All is safely gathered in - Ere the Winter storms begin” at least as far as most of the vineyards of France are concerned, and with more definite signs of Autumn mists and mellow fruitfulness on our own shores my taste buds begin their annual craving for the warmth and spicy/fruity depths of wines from [...]

October 2016 – Rhone Viognier + Recipe

I was momentarily tricked recently when noticing a bottle label bearing the prominent name ‘Saint-Amant’ into believing that this was an obscure French Appellation I’d somehow overlooked.   Maybe I had subconsciously confused it in my mind with the Burgundian ‘Saint Amour’, one of the ten Beaujolais ‘crus’.    Further examination revealed that the name referred simply to [...]

September 2016 – Chile Pinot Noir

A ‘fine dining’ experience I really enjoyed recently became more than the sum of its constituent parts for argument given that I invited the restaurant’s sommelier to pick wines ‘by the glass’ to accompany my own food choices from the menu. Why not, considering that these highly trained arbiters of taste are well acquainted with [...]

August 2016 – France (Loire Valley) – Saumur Rouge

One never knows one’s luck.   A couple of months ago I had been assigned to lecture on a cruise sailing from Dover to Lisbon to cover ‘en route’ the wines of the Loire, Bordeaux, and Portugal.   Accompanying my trip as a fellow lecturer was Prof. Brian Williams (first and foremost a Welshman), a geologist whose [...]