“Education, education, education” is a mantra that has passed in to political speak, but it is also just as valid and relevant to the world of wine, particularly for a region that can appear as baffling as Bordeaux. It’s one of the key challenges and opportunities that Allan Sichel, president of the Bordeaux Wine Council, believes it has to help make Bordeaux more relevant and appealing to both the trade and consumers alike.
Can the spirit of a Catalonian Vermouth bar ever be recreated in North London? That’s the question wine expert Mike Turner asks. He recalls his first experience of a Vermouth bar in Barcelona, gets enthusiastic about it in his customary way, then wonders whether he can recreate the drink and the atmosphere in La Ferme, a new restaurant he has opened in North London’s Primrose Hill district.
It was all the rage in the 1980s, you could hardly move in a party without tripping over a Party Seven or empty bottle of Bull’s Blood. But Egri Bikavér, as it’s known in Hungary, has got an illustrious past and could well have a magnificent future – that is, if the young winemakers who are re-discovering Hungarian heritage and unique varieties have got anything to do with it.
Spend any time in Lebanon and the first thing that strikes you is the passion. Whatever the subject, whatever the product it is guaranteed to generate such a wide range of emotions. Making wine is no different and they don’t get more passionate than Faouzi Issa, co-owner and winemaker at the 150-year old Domaine des Tourelles. Here he shares his passion for bringing Cinsault, one of Lebanon’s traditional red varieties, back to life and why he thinks it is so important to Lebanon’s winemaking future.
Washington State wines are a bit like the Robert Duvall of the wine world. Highly respected, always classy and just does things in the right way, but an actor who was never really the star of the show. But great as a supporting actor. Which is not too dissimilar to how Washington State wines continue to build their reputation. Ahead of next week’s Oregon and Washington State tasting Richard Hemming MW explains why he thinks Washington has so much more to offer.
Those who still criticise Bordeaux for being aloof, cut off and oblivious to the trading needs of the wine trade have clearly not been to a Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux tasting. As well as giving you the chance to taste for the first time en primeur wines from the 2017 vintage, you don’t even have to travel to Bordeaux to do so. Richard Siddle talks to Alain Raynaud, president and founder of the organisation, about his on-going efforts to promote Bordeaux wines for all palates and price points.
Given a completely open choice then many sommeliers and wine buyers could quite happily fill their wine lists with interesting and different wines from across all the regions of Italy. But rarely can they do so. At least the Il Collectivo tasting next week gives them the chance to disappear to Italy for a few hours with this specialist tasting hosted by five independent importers. Here we talk to the producers that Sommelier’s Choice and Flint Wines will have at the event.
It’s hard not to descend into cliche when talking about sherry, or immediately imagine the poshest of posh folk crying out for a “SHERRY!” as they embrace each other at a spiffing drinks reception. Thankfully, for the category at least, its recent revival as one of the fastest selling drinks sectors is being driven by the young and happening rather than the old and has-beens. Helen Arnold talks to Bibendum’s Christina Schneider about how it is the hipsters that are helping drive more sherries onto the back bar.
We know how busy you all are on a weekend morning – how many bottles hit the dust last night? Will the bus come in time for service? Who’s going to be named in the team? – so we have condensed everything you need to know about ViniSud, the Mediterranean wine fair that took place in Montpellier last week all in an 80-second read.
It’s always the receptionist – the most connected person in any company. Want to come up with a name for an iconic, cult drink that Princess Diana later confesses to being her favourite drink? Why you ask the receptionist of course and she comes up with the name (well, half of it at least). Things were very different for drinks inventor David Gluckman in the 1980s. The man who helped invent Bailey’s, and many other iconic brands, recalls the fascinating time when you were given a brief, came up with an idea and more or less just ran with it. As the non-alcoholic sector starts developing in earnest, we asked Gluckman to recall how one of the original products came to see the light of day – Agua Libra.