Before you get too excited about this week's wine of the week you’re unlikely to be able to buy it unless you live in South Africa or Sweden but I want to flag it up because it’s the best Fairtrade wine I've tasted.
After the wild winds and lashing rain we’ve endured in the UK this week my drink of the week really had to be a full-bodied red and what better choice than a Malbec?
If you’re a Sauvignon Blanc fan but are looking for something a little different try this deliciously fresh, elegant Chilean Sauvignon.
This week’s wine highlight was the Australia Day tasting which seems to get better every year. I could have picked out a whole load of interesting bottles but this came from the producer who made the biggest impact on me, Lethbridge of Geelong
Given that it’s Burns Night what other bottle could I feature but whisky? And as I couldn’t make up my mind which one here are five!
A cellar clear-out at our French house this week unearthed this neglected treasure from 1999. I couldn’t imagine that it would still be drinkable having travelled from England to France when we moved most of our belongings here six years ago.
Today’s Guardian column was all about getting out of your wine drinking rut which in the case of Spanish wine most likely means Rioja.
It’s easy to overlook the familiar in favour of the esoteric, particularly when you’re a wine writer but it’s hard to think of a bottle that consistently gives more pleasure than Cune’s Gran Reserva Imperial Rioja.
I was trying to think what would be the most useful drink to recommend over Christmas. Sloe - and damson - gin are favourites but there’s nothing as useful as an orange liqueur.
The idea of a whisky made in Suffolk might strike you as so bizarre as to be not even worth contemplating but if you’re desperately searching for a present for that-impossible-to-buy for (generally male) relative this ticks the box admirably.
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