Pinotage is a wine that has gone out of fashion, particularly in the premium end of the market – this despite it being a derivative of Cinsault and Pinot, two grapes that have recently seen a massive increase in production on South Africa’s Cape. Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones travelled to South Africa to find out what has happened to quality Pinotage and see if he could find some that would sit happily on wine lists in the UK.
With the lightweights all tucked up in bed trying to sleep the gala dinner off, our man in Wellington, Michelin-starred chef, Roger Jones returned to the Opera House to hear some impassioned talks about biodynamic farming, meet Sam Neill and explore the many wonders of Pinot Noir from Marlborough. All of this after Roger’s customary 20k morning run, many hundreds of bench presses and meagre, organic oats breakfast…. ‘natch.
So what do you do after three days of intense Pinot Noir tasting and drinking? Not to mention the after-party of Guns And Roses in the same hotel. Why another round of Pinot Noir, of course, drank in a chartered jet flying at low, turbulent altitude. Our Michelin-starred chef, Roger Jones, put on a brave face (well not that brave) and decided to join the mile high Pinot club.
The sixth celebration of New Zealand Pinot Noir is under way with 600 delegates descending on the capital Wellington to celebrate the grape. Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones is there for The Buyer and reporting back every day on events, as well as trying to taste and discover as many of the wines on show from 115 Pinot Noir producers. Pinot Noir NZ 2017 started with a road trip of New Zealand’s major Pinot Noir regions and with his butt cheeks alive (his words not ours) Roger went along for the ride.
Our Editor at large, Michelin starred-chef Roger Jones, questions why he is flying across the globe to celebrate New Zealand Pinot Noir. Will the conference Pinot Noir NZ17 really be the ‘Greatest Pinot Noir show on planet earth.’ ? Never one to eschew the drinks trolley, Roger samples a few NZ Pinots to get him in the mood, bumps into some of the world’s top sommeliers as well as a ‘knowledgeable’ stewardess called Sandra…
With new grapes being grown in Australia and a new generation of winemakers producing wines for a younger audience, Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones argues that we must not forget how good Aussie Shiraz is. From the Australia Day Tasting 2017, Jones picks the Shiraz that really stood out from the crowd.
Our Wine Editor at Large is inspired by a glass of Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2015 whilst journeying back from The Cape (sat at the impressive on board Emirates Business Bar in the Sky) to come straight to the Great New Zealand Wine Tasting. There he picks three Chardonnays that caught his fancy and highlights three Pinot Noir producers that he particularly liked.
Most people luxuriating in the balmy climes of South Africa might take to the beach or safari. At the very worst they might head to a winery to partake in some chilled Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay. Not our Roger Jones who heads for a mammoth tasting of spirits from many of the world’s top Brandy producers – trying to find out why South African Brandy has dominated international award ceremonies in recent years. And then he heads off for a tasting at a distillery. Oh, and there’s one bit where Roger has to turn off his phone and leave it outside the room. Don’t worry Rog your secret is safe with us!
Caviar first thing, smoked eel, lobster and he hasn’t even put the oven on for the turkey yet! Christmas lunch at Roger Jones’ house is a sumptuous affair and a chance to open up his six wines of 2016. A Michelin-starred chef, wine writer, judge and industry bigwig, see if you agree with his best wines of 2016 aka the Christmas Six. Put it this way, you’re hardly going to put your hand over your glass now are you? Cheers Roger! Hope you, Sue and the kids have a blinder.
Of the 100 wines that were highlighted at the Wines From Spain Awards, it was the whites that stood out for Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones who picks nine whites that showed real class, refinement and elegance. As it happens he did have time for a few reds as well….