Archive for Tasting Notes


A Navarra Ending Story


Before I went to a recent Wines of Navarra tasting, my thoughts were as follows: wines from this region are approachable, made primarily from Garnacha (Grenache) and Tempranillo, and great value compared to neighbouring Rioja. Oh, and they make a lot of rosado (rosé).

Circling the tables in London’s bijou Bar Pepito, though, I felt a lot less confident about summing up Navarra’s wines so neatly. (more…)

Malbec and Me


I don’t believe in detoxing. There I’ve said it. Unless your religion dictates it, what’s the point of giving up something for a month, only to go back to business as usual at the end of it? Especially when it is cold, dark and miserable outside.

So, while magazines are full of soups, salads and “light food”, I’m going to buck the trend and write about Kinky Friedman-style big, hairy steaks matched with ballsy red wine. Argentinian Malbec to be precise. (more…)

A Leaf-Kicking Wine


What’s the best way to describe a wine?

It seems there are now two schools of thought. (more…)

Wild About Barrel-Fermented Sauvignon


In a nation awash with Oyster Bay, I find it hard to get excited by Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc anymore.

Unless it has been fermented in oak and sat on its lees (the dead yeast deposits from fermentation). (more…)

A Disappointing Rosé


My name’s Paola and I’m a rosé avoider. Can’t help it. Too many bad experiences of nothing but pink acid or strawberry syrup.

Of course, there have been exceptions that have temporarily turned my head. Generally, though, when the sun comes out, I’d rather chill a red than go near a rosé. (more…)

PG Tips: I Give A Monkey’s


Falanghina is the grape di giorno dontcha know. You can’t move for a wine writer waxing lyrical about how wonderful wine made from this grape is for hot summer days.

“Drink this instead of Pinot Grigio” they say, referring to the Northern Italian style of wine made from the grape known everywhere else as Pinot Gris. (more…)

A Good Wine For Hard Times


Last month I went to The Co-operative’s spring wine tasting. And one or two of their wines excited me. In particular a Monastrell for £4.99. (more…)

Good, Honest Wine


Good, straightforward, honest wine. Sometimes that’s all you want. No great complexity, but goes well with food. The sort of wine you can imagine buying on holiday to go with a supper made from food bought at the local market. (more…)

Every Good Girl Deserves Faiveley


Bordeaux or Burgundy wine: Which do you prefer?

I found myself pondering this really inconsequential weighty question when I was invited to a tasting and dinner with Burgundy producer Domaine Faiveley – the very week the Bordeaux en primeur circus hit London.

(more…)

Wine Review: Catholic Tastes


Easter 2011. Already it seems such a long time ago – those lovely memories of a long, gloriously sunny afternoon where we could laze outside and sip wine all afternoon. (more…)