Archive for Opinion


If This Film Were A Wine…


I love movies almost as much as I love wine. Lucky then that Mr. SipSwoosh is a member of BAFTA. Each winter, we hunker down to wade through a pile of screeners – review DVDs of films, some before they’ve even hit the UK cinemas. So, as we head for this year’s BAFTA film awards, I’d thought I’d combine my two passions and match wine to the nominees for best film.

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A Little More Conversation


Some of my most memorable wine experiences have been Australian. The first wine that made me think ‘wow’ was a Jim Jim Hanging Rock Sauvignon Blanc at Mietta’s in Melbourne 16 years ago. A year on there was the Cullen Chardonnay served at our favourite restaurant in London. I liked it so much, I bought the last remaining bottles of that vintage from the distributor. Roll on further, to last year, and there was the Lenton Brae Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 the sommelier at Otto’s in Sydney recommended when we said we wanted something “really nice”. It was. (more…)

The Good, The Bad, The Coffee


The time has come to say goodbye to New Zealand in my blog. For the moment anyway. We had an amazing time, met wonderful people and visited fantastic vineyards. But I couldn’t fit everything into the blogs. So, for anyone planning a trip soon, here are a few more things we loved. And, er, a few things we didn’t. (more…)

(Wine) Sites For Sore Eyes


Making great wine takes a lot of care and attention. It demands thought, planning, dedication and diligence. So why is all that effort simply chucked down the drain when it comes to promoting the fruits of these labours online?  In other words, why are there so many awful websites behind so many nice wines? (more…)

Getting Down With The Wine ABVs


Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, it wasn’t unusual to find wines with ABVs (alcohol by volume) of around 11%. Maybe 11.5%.  At least it wasn’t unusual on our dinner table when I was growing up in the 70s. With an Italian father, there was always wine with a meal, and always from Europe. But then the world got hotter. Viticulture and vinification improved. New World wines began flooding the Northern European market. And we started developing a taste for fruity, more powerful wines with ABVs of 13%, 14%, 15% and beyond. (more…)

My Wine, My Rules…


The other day I met a friend for dinner in a pub. As we studied the wine list, she set out her rules. No Chenin Blanc of any kind. No Pinot Grigio. No Sauvignon Blanc unless it was a really full, fruity number. In other words, she didn’t like very dry wines and had decided these grapes were the worst culprits, denying herself the pleasure of, say, a Vouvray or a Pinot Gris from Alsace.

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Enough With The Silly Wine Names


So, you’re perusing the supermarket shelves looking for a spicy red to go with your Sunday roast. Your fingers wander over the Rhones and alight on Chat-en-Oeuf. With a helpful drawing of a cat sitting on an egg just to emphasise the humorous play on words.

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