Dry, oaked white Bordeaux is one of the most underrated styles of wine in my view. I can’t understand why it’s not more popular (probably because the Bordelais keep most of it for themselves).
I tasted so many great wines last week in Piemonte but this was one of the most fascinating. It’s made from freisa, a grape variety that according to the Vajra family was once the second or third most cultivated grape in the region and used to make vermouth.
I was hard pushed to choose just one bottle from the amazing collection of aged madeiras that was shown at the Berry Bros & Rudd tasting a few weeks ago but went for this 1977 Terrantez from Pereira d'Oliveira on two grounds:
If you’re after a bright, fruity, sunshine-filled red to carry you through the dark, dreary days of winter you couldn't do better than this delicious Côtes du Rhône.
If you’re looking to keep the cost of entertaining down this Christmas you could do a great deal worse than buy a case of Normandy cider.
I’ve a bit of a weakness for the Rhône but was really blown away by this amazing Crozes I tasted at the Berry Bros & Rudd tasting this week - part of their Rhône sale which lasts until November 10th.
Marks and Spencer has always been known for its adventurous food ranges but now the wine department has turned its attention to the Eastern Mediterranean
South African wine is in a good place at the moment - better quality than ever and terrifically good value as this bargain underlines.
With wall-to-wall tastngs this week I could easily have picked out at least 50 matches of the week but I’m choosing this delicious Alsace white from Jean-Michel Deiss I tasted at Lea & Sandeman's table at The Bunch tasting because it’s so unusual.
Given that I’ve been in Napa and Sonoma County for the past few days you might expect me to select a cab or a pinot noir as my wine of the week (more on those in due course) but I’m going for this fantastic syrah I tasted at the Rhone-fixated Girl and The Fig in Sonoma
I’ve been reading some research from restaurant supplier Bibendum this week on the most popular grape varieties and chardonnay comes way down the list, lower than Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio which vie for top place depending on which region you’re in.
Majorca produces serious wine? Go on, you’re kidding! No I’m not as it happens. This luxuriant red from Bodegues Macia Batle - surprisingly stocked by Marks & Spencer - is a great buy.
I suspected this was going to be my drink of the week before I even tasted it. The idea of a cucumber-infused summer beer seemed so irresistible, particularly when it came from one of my favourite breweries The Wild Beer Co in collaboration with Scotland’s Fyne Ales
There’s nothing like hearing a bottle is impossible to get hold of to make you want to buy it so the news (via Jared Brown of Mixellany) that Noilly Prat Ambré was no longer available in the UK made me instantly snap one up here in France when I spotted it on the shelf.
The general view is that it’s impossible to buy decent pinot noir under £10 but I find it’s a theory that’s consistently being disproved these days. And that the best of the cheaper pinots are as good as many burgundies at twice the price.
I was praising Australia’s new generation of pinot noirs in my column in The Guardian today but didn’t have room to mention more than one, ironically one of the cheapest wines in the line-up.
If you’re after an inexpensive white to take you through the summer you need look no further than this smart Gavi from Aldi which they’re selling for the ridiculously low price of £4.99. £4.99! In fact I’d be hard-pushed to think of any Italian white that’s better value at under a fiver.
The problem with practically every food and drink having its own day or week now is that it’s all too easy to miss one. Which is how I come to be doing my bit for English Wine Week with less than 48 hours to go before it finishes tomorrow.
One of a brilliant trio of Uruguayan wines that were shown at the Wine Society’s spring tasting, this rich spicy red shows that unyielding Tannat can be made positively seductive with a dash of Merlot - in fact they seem made for each other.
There hasn’t been a drink of the week for a couple of weeks so I’m making up for it and posting 3 really good gins I’ve tasted recently.