The inaugural London wine tasting held by fledgling wine distributor North South Wines showed a number of quality wines across its portfolio. A tasting table based on the company’s insights and predictions for the coming year was illuminating. But it was the wines of one producer in particular, South Africa’s Painted Wolf, that got the journalists in the room reaching for their superlatives.
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.
Promoting the profession of vine growing and making wines with personality, the French Independent Winegrowers association, descended on London with 30 of its 7,000 members. Christina Rasmussen was there to taste and discover wines that are worth considering for your list.
Roger Jones’ Tri Nations Wine Challenges bandwagon hit New Zealand for the first time on Tuesday 7th February, a concept to highlight the quality of premium wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, matched with Michelin star food. With New Zealand the only nation not to have lost a round, could they hold their unbeaten record in Round 6 against the very best that South Africa could throw at them?
The Australia Day Tastings and the influential Artisans of Australia showcase late last year demonstrated the forward thinking and innovation of Australian winemakers. However, it’s not just on Australian home turf that this is happening. There is a group of three Australian micro-négociants doing brilliant things in Burgundy, too. Chrissy Rasmussen caught up with them, Mark Haisma, Andrew & Emma Nielsen and Jane Eyre. No, not that one…
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.
Wine writer and importer, Mike Turner, argues that there are two main reasons for putting cool climate Chardonnay on your list – price and food-pairing – when he attends a masterclass of Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills at the London date of the Australia Day Tasting 2017.
Pinot Noir NZ 2017 Day Two started with an international masterclass that highlighted eight international Pinot Noirs. After ruminating on the words ‘greatness’ and ‘perfection’ Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones went in search of both amongst the tables of winemakers, some of which are well known in the UK and others were wonderful discoveries.
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.