Archive for September, 2012


New Street Wine Shop


I like buying wine to be more than a transaction. I want it to be experience where I can touch bottles, sample wine and chat to the experts on hand. Even better, if I can hang around and have some charcuterie and other small bites as well. And if I can admire the shop design as well, then DING! DING! DING!

So, hello then New Street Wine Shop, near London’s Liverpool Street, just opened by D&D London in The Old Bengal Warehouse, which dates from the 18th century. I went for a pre-launch sneak peek, and to sample some of the grower Champagnes they stock. (Growers make and bottle their own Champagne unlike the Grand Marques who buy most of their grapes in.) (more…)

50 Years of Villa Maria


I’m sitting in front of six glasses of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in a mild state of panic.

All of the wines are made by Villa Maria and, just across the table from me in a room at London’s BAFTA, is Sir George Fistonich, the founder and owner of the New Zealand brand which is currently celebrating its 50th vintage. (more…)

Semillon, But Not As You Know It


I’m sitting in a vineyard on a gloriously sunny day with a glass of Semillon in my hand. Nothing unusual about that, you might think. Except the vineyard is in the centre of Dublin. And it isn’t raining.

This is not a working vineyard – though the 70-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines from France are real – but a pop up in Temple Bar to celebrate 20 years of Australia’s McGuigan Wines in Ireland. (more…)

Wine To Make You Feel Good


When I first heard about Piggy Bank wine, my cynicism kicked in.

I thought that raising money with every bottle sold was simply a gimmick aimed at middle-class bleeding hearts. To make them feel they were doing some good every time they enjoyed a glass or two.

I also assumed that the supermarket-sold wine would be dull, mass-produced and over-priced so that everyone involved could each make a decent enough margin – and still cream off 50p for charity with each sale. (more…)