Posts Tagged Riesling


Toast Of Martinborough 2


When we visited Escarpment in New Zealand last November, we **only** got to taste some of its the wine straight from the barrel. Yeah, some hardship. So, it was great to get the chance to try some of the wines with food at the latest winemaker’s dinner held by The Providores in London. (more…)

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A Flight Around Hawke’s Bay


Every road trip needs some downtime. Our downtime on our two-week jaunt through a large swathe of New Zealand was in Hawke’s Bay. To be honest, the real reason we stopped there was to visit the art deco city of Napier, a place I’ve always wanted to see. Calling in at wineries played second fiddle. Oh, except we stayed on one. We rented a tiny studio from Te Mata with a wrap-around deck overlooking the vines. And a handy decanter. (more…)

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A Toast To Martinborough


One of the greatest thrills when visiting a vineyard is when the winemaker invites you to sample the wines as they mature in barrel. Especially when the wines are from Escarpment Vineyards‘ premium Insight Series and the man making the wine  is Larry McKenna. But here we were in the bunker-like barrel room at Escarpment in Martinborough, New Zealand, tasting the progress of the Kupe Chardonnay and Kupe Pinot Noir from grapes picked earlier this year. (more…)

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Natural Born Thrillers


For most people, Christmas Day is all about the food. For me (surprise!) it’s all about the wine. This year, the star of the show will be a 2001 Herzog ‘Spirit of Marlborough‘, a smooth mocha, cassis, liquorice and Agen prune-tasting Merlot Cabernet blend. It shouldn’t overpower a gamey, slow-reared Turkey with a punchy stuffing. But if it does, do I really care? (more…)

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Smiley, Happy Wine People


Seresin Estate must be the happiest winery I’ve visited. Beaming smiles greeted us from the moment we stepped through the cellar door on a gloriously sunny Marlborough day – to the moment we left. First up was Carolina, who was managing the cellar door. With a warm welcome and an ear-to-ear grin she went off to find winemaker Clive Dougall. (more…)

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So Long, NZ Sauvignon


This is the tale of how social media changed my mind about New Zealand wine. I’d got a bit sick of them, you see. All those endless supermarket shelves of gooseberry-screaming Sauvignon Blanc, and those big, jammy Pinot Noirs that all began to taste the same. Which I guess is why they’ve become so popular in the UK. Rather like your favourite chocolate bar, you know exactly what you are getting every time you buy these wines. To price-conscious Brits, that’s manna from heaven. (more…)

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All Hayle Scarlet Wines


Every year, we snatch a week or so in the South West tip of Cornwall. We’ve tried other parts of the county, but it is the rugged landscape littered with skeletons of tin mines and hidden coves that draws us back time and again. Sitting by a roaring open fire after a hearty walk, with a fabulous glass of wine in hand and listening to the waves crash on the beach below is one of life’s great pleasures. (more…)

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I’ll Be Bacchus… For The Wine


It’s mid-September and we’re sitting in glorious early evening Cornish sunshine tasting wine at the Camel Valley vineyards. It was supposed to reach 17 C in this part of the world today. According to winemaker and owner Bob Lindo, it reached 24 C, which must make him a happy man just a fortnight or so from harvest. (more…)

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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…)

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Uncorking Some Myths About Wine


Wine – there’s a lot of misinformation out there about serving and drinking it. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learnt along the way.

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