August 6, 2015

Picnics & wine


We all love a picnic. According to Wikipedia, the first usage of the word in print can be traced back to 1692, in Tony Willis’s Origines de la Langue Française, in which he mentions the term ‘pique-nique’ as being of recent origin.[1] The interesting part is that the term ‘picnic’ originally described...
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July 30, 2015

Why champagne is worth celebrating

Champagne Delamotte bottles sitting on a table in the sun

Ah champagne. Lovely, bubbly, delicious, historic, prestigious, luxurious champagne. There is no substitute. Yes, of course we love Prosecco and other sparklers – especially English ones! But the popping of a champagne cork is something uniquely special. Champagne bottles are the armoured tanks of the glass world, as they have to contain the enormous pressure the...
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July 23, 2015

Summer party tips & tricks


So, you’ve sent out your invites and are now preparing for your summer party. But with a load of friends potentially coming, how much wine should you serve and what type? If the weather is hot (fingers crossed), how can you chill the large amount of drinks and for how...
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July 15, 2015

Piedmont – Conterno & Negri


My favourite producer trip every year will not surprise anyone anyone who knows me. It is the one where we go to see and taste with Roberto Conterno at Cantina Giacomo Conterno in Piedmont. This year I have been there twice within a month for tastings, which is a rare treat. Often...
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May 21, 2015

Domaine de Chevalier Vertical: Drinking history…

Domaine de Chevalier bottle label and image of the cavaliar on the foil cap

The place: Bonhams new restaurant (more about that later). The wines: a vertical of Domaine de Chevalier. Blanc – 1986, 1976, 1975, 1970, 1967, 1966, 1964 and 1962 Rouge – 1964, 1961, 1960, 1959, 1955, 1953, 1952, 1947, 1929 All the wines were generously donated by a private collector. This could easily have become...
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May 13, 2015

Tenuta di Biserno dinner 23/04/15 with the Marchese Lodovico Antinori

Biserno dinner with the MArchese Lodovico Antinori - line-up of wines

I have a 'bucket list' of winemakers that I would like to meet. Marchese Lodovico Antinori features high on the list so you can imagine my excitement when I heard he was attending a dinner to introduce the newest vintage of Tenuta di Biserno. [caption id="attachment_4374" align="alignnone" width="461"] Biserno dinner line-up[/caption] A...
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April 2, 2015

Bordeaux 2014 en primeur tastings: Day 7 – ‘Fin’


So the last day dawned, a beautiful day for tasting with a fresh temperature and little cloud cover. This was nice timing as the first stop was Petrus. To a certain degree it is a nerve wracking pace to taste because the expectation is very high, there was nothing to...
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April 1, 2015

Bordeaux 2014 en primeur tastings: Day 6


Finally a morning came with no rain! It was however a very early start with a tour and tasting at Les Carmes Haut-Brion a property we have followed for some time now. They have a totally new set up being built that should see the great progress at this estate...
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March 31, 2015

Bordeaux 2014 en primeur tastings: Day 5


With the wonderful dinner from the night before having possibly affected the quality of sleep there was a slight weariness as we embarked on the trip to the Union de Grand Crus (UGC) tasting of the Margaux commune. We also managed to be 30 minutes early, this would not normally...
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March 30, 2015

Bordeaux 2014 en primeur tastings: Day 4


Having negotiated an early breakfast, though sadly no hot eggs and bacon, at 7am we were off and running by 7.30 heading up to Branire-Ducru for the first visit of the day. [caption id="attachment_4314" align="aligncenter" width="384"] Rubbish weather at Branaire[/caption] The snoring from the back row started early but fortunately never became...
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