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    Buying decisions from trend setting trade and The Buyer tastings

    Tasting: Wine

    Top 10 new wines from Canada you need on your buying list

    Now in its eighth year, Taste Canada 2018 welcomed 37 producers to London’s Canada House in May to show more than 150 wines across a myriad of styles and price points. But how come all the trade is talking about Canadian wine and are these wines actually any good? Chris Wilson explains why all the fuss and picks out the Top 10 wines from the event just in case you didn’t make it along.

    Tasting: Wine
    Wines of Great Britain

    Top 10 Wines of Great Britain that need to be on your radar

    There was a more professional sheen to the Wines of Great Britain generic tasting this year, argues Chris Wilson, which put it on an equal footing with similar tastings from other wine regions. But how did the wines shape up? Glass in hand, self-confessed fan of English and Welsh wine, Chris picked out 10 wines both still and sparkling that he thinks you should definitely have won your buying radar, and gives his reasons why.

    Tasting: Spirit
    Wild Turkey

    Two fingers of Wild Turkey (or Monday morning at the office)

    He calls himself a ‘bourbon aficionado’, we call him a ‘bourbon nut’, so when we were looking around for someone to go and try a range of barrel strength whiskeys and bourbons we just had to send photo-journalist Neil Hennessy-Vass. After all it was 9.45am on a Monday morning.

    Tasting: Wine
    Zwölberich Long Read

    Hartmut Heintz of Zwölberich: Biodynamics in the Nahe

    It was realising how fragile nature is, following the Chernobyl disaster, that convinced winemaker Hartmut Heintz to make his Zwölberich winery in the Nahe fully organic. He then converted fully to biodynamics, the first winery in this German region to do so. A firm advocate of the principles of Jean-Pierre Frick, this wasn’t the only thing that he shared with Christina Rasmussen, who sat down with him at London’s La Trompette restaurant for an unforgettable evening of conversation and wine.

    Tasting: Spirit
    Rémy Martin

    Why Rémy Martin gives creative freedom to its Cellar Master

    The Cognac industry suffers more than most from the tyranny of the world’s economic cycles, but it is currently in rude health, with annual growth at 10%, driven by the high-value premium market. For the 300 year-old Cognac house, Rémy Martin, projects such as Carte Blanche which has a price tag of £350, are an important part of its super-premium offering. It also gives its Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau an amazingly free hand in choosing the style of Cognac he wants to be making.

    Tasting: Wine
    Corney & Barrow

    Top 10 new wines from Corney & Barrow that you need on your list

    We associate Corney & Barrow with many of the grand wine estates, most of all Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Petrus of course but at its Spring tasting a very different side to its portfolio was in evidence. The buying team have been beavering away picking up new ranges from Greece, Romania, Hungary, Italy and Chile amongst others and very good they were too. We tasted through the new range and pick out 10 that particularly caught our palate for the on-trade.

    Tasting: Wine

    Why the future’s looking brighter for top end Chianti Classico

    The new Gran Selezione category, which was meant to denote the highest level of quality within Chianti Classico, has arguably been introduced too quickly, argues Justin Keay, with regionality not taken into account and the door being left open for malpractice. Keay talks to producers in Italy and importers in the UK about ways in which Chianti Classico can move forwards. While the debate rages on, thankfully the weather has been kind in Tuscany with a succession of great vintages on their way.

    Tasting: Wine

    Roger Jones: Champagne Billecart-Salmon bicentenary tour

    Our Michelin star chef, and contributing editor, Roger Jones, gets all the short straws – imagine how long his face got when we packed him off to the London leg of Billecart-Salmon’s global gastronomic celebrations of their 200-year anniversary, presided over by two of the world’s top chefs, Alain Passard and Anne-Sophie Pic.

    Tasting: Wine

    Romanian wine: the top 10 wines you need to have on your radar

    Quality wine from 2017 is going to be harder to come by with Europe suffering its most devastatingly bad harvests in living memory. Not so Central and Eastern Europe where Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova and Austria had bumper crops. A good time to see what premium wines are available? No brainer. Central European wine expert Darrel Joseph picks his top 10 Romanian wines that show off the indigenous grape varieties at their best.

    Tasting: Wine

    Harry Crowther: why La Rioja Alta is up for a vertical challenge

    If you are looking to discover more about the iconic wine region of Rioja then you really can’t go wrong exploring the back vintages of producers within the La Rioja Alta. It’s why wine consultant, Harry Crowther, jumped at the chance to delve into the history and the properties of this unique region, within wines dating back to 1991, all in the hands of chief winemaker Julio Sáenz.



    Tasting with pictures View All
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    • Bone dry and still surprisingly young for a 2008 Bit
      Bone dry and still surprisingly young for a 2008. Bit of petrol blows off, and nose has hits of white flowers, white peach, pineapple, wet rocks; on the palate there is a multitude of flavours - lime zest, dried pineapple, - with terrific wet slate texture and fantastic acidity of course. I would serve this with food (I had it with whole roasted turbot) rather than aperitif. Very yummy.
    • Interesting direction for marquescaceres  1st vintage of its first
      Interesting direction for  @marques_caceres  - 1st vintage of its first ever Cava. 100% Viura, 10 months on its lees, 7/8 gms residual sugar. Big moith-filling mousse, quickly settles into a steady stream of fine bubbles, nice complexity of notes and flavours - quite savoury and nutty. This is a 50,000 bottle toe-in-the-water for the US market.
    • If you thought Viura was a onetrick pony think again
      If you thought Viura was a one-trick pony think again. Stunning white that will have you pouring a 2nd glass quite quickly! Here Viura is picked from shallow soil on the high slopes of Rioja Alavesa, then aged for 10 months in new French oak with no malo and blended with 30% Malvasia. Light lemon gold in colour, complex, lightly floral nose, with hints of stone fruits, almost no oak aroma. On the palate : mouth-filling, fine-grained texture, nuances of orange zest and lemon zest, hint of oak. Let it open out in the glass, can age further in the bottle.
    • A Ros with a difference  made from Pinot Noir
      A Rosé with a difference - made from Pinot Noir in the Côte de Nuits -with five years on the clock. Pretty nose of wild strawberries with an interesting broad depth to the palate. Great wine to have by the glass paired with fish, vegetable dishes and dessert. Very interesting.
    • Ripe spicy Carmenere from Chiles Aconcagua Valley and our pick
      Ripe, spicy Carmenere from Chile’s Aconcagua Valley and our pick of this new range for  @corneyandbarrow  Concentrated ripe black fruit on the nose with hints of mocha and cooking spices. There are rounded tannins on the palate, lovely grainy texture, a good depth and complexity and the acidity keeps the wine fresh. It all works very nicely.
    • Typical 100 Liatiko from Crete with a nose of black
      Typical 100% Liatiko from Crete with a nose of black fruit, olives, spices; the palate is very different mixing ripe red cherries with earthy qualities, resin and pine. The finish is quite tight with tannins that will be rounded by a Mediterranean mezze.