When Mike Turner was invited to a Vinho Verde tasting with a Sarah Ahmed MW masterclass, he thought that this would be very much an in-out affair, associating the category with very little diversification. How wrong could a man be? Having had his eyes well and truly opened to the many quality wines on show, he also predicts that many buyers and sommeliers will soon have their eyes focussed on North West Portugal.
Does the world need another gin? If so how do you make it stand out from the rest? James Oag-Cooper, co-founder of Foxhole Spirits believes it has the answer in a collaboration with English wine producer, Bolney Wine Estats that uses its waste to distill in to what it believes is a unique gin. He presents his case for another gin brand to Helen Arnold.
Armed with the new 2013 vintages of The Pioneer Shiraz and The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon, plus the latest releases of its St Andrews range, Mitchell Taylor was in London to prove a few points about the world-class standard of his wines – released as Wakefield Wines in the UK. Peter Dean attended the tasting at London’s South American Temper restaurant and put the company philosophy to the test – that these are wines that are intended to really sing when drunk with food.
Finding great quality at a price that customers find affordable is one of the sommeliers’ key challenges when it comes to Burgundy. This conundrum has become more acute as prices have risen and volumes have fallen. One of the keys to upping the value-per-cost ratio is to explore the appellations that are not in the core of the Côte de Beaune such as Saint-Romain, Saint-Aubin, Saint-Véran and Saint-Bris, or the Subtle Saints as Vins de Bourgogne refers to them. With master sommelier Xavier Rousset at the helm, Christina Rasmussen went along to a Bourgogne Wines Club sommelier masterclass whose aim was to unlock the secrets of these four appellations.
With so much uncertainty and lack of real information about what Brexit is going to mean in reality it is easy to put it on the back burner and leave it to the politicians and bureaucrats to work out. But there is actually a lot of detail we do know about the kind of trading deals we could expect down the line. A lot of which rests in the rules and regulations laid down by the World Trade Organisation. Here’s some starters for 10 for you…
Another week, another wine term to get your head round. Just as we are all getting used to the concept of natural wines, Dr Jan Lindfeldt is now looking to take it a stage further with what he calls ‘ecological’ wines, namely wines that have been made with no synthetic chemicals. He concedes it is a niche market to go after, but with restaurants like The Fat Duck already stocking his wines, it is an approach that is catching the eye of influential sommeliers.
Wine blogger and importer, Mike Turner, tries his hand at Speed Tasting where you have to try at least three wines and ask as many sensible questions as possible to a number of different winemakers in just ten minutes. Some top tips… remember to try the wines at the beginning of the timeframe and not save three to be tasted in 60 seconds! And, try not to ask too many questions about the winemakers’ dogs, especially if you can overhear the serious chat either side of you.
Zimbabwean twenty-something Callan Williams swapped a career as a ballet dancer for an even bigger love for wine. This month sees the first release of her Garajeest wines hit the UK. Already causing a stir in South Africa with the brand’s unashamedly edgy and non-traditional approach, importer Nik Darlington of Red Squirrel Wine talks to her about the wines, discovering the Garajeest, and the impact of social media and image on how we interact with wine today.
In another of her special reports from California’s Sonoma County, Christina Rasmussen meets some of the most influential winemakers who have helped shape Sonoma into the region it is today. These are winemakers who promote true-to-terroir winemaking and have challenged given styles that involved extraction, late picking and heavy-handed oak regimes.
A delegation of wine producers from the quite Portuguese region of Tejo, just outside of Lisbon, will be heading to the London Wine Fair next week to present its wines for the first time at the fair. To help mark your card and explain what the region and its wines are all about Sarah Abbott MW, who is helping to champion and promote Tejo wines in the UK, explains why she thinks they have genuine potential in the premium on-trade.