It was all going swimmingly for Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones until he actually got to Napa Valley, a wine region he has often loved but never visited. Our Napa ‘virgin’ arrived in CA full of BA’s First Class wine selection, something he will never, ever brag about in front of other wine experts. But just as Roger was settling into the thought of having a week tasting the delights of Napa along comes a pizza-making competition which is red rag to a bull-headed kitchen maestro.
Roger Jones goes on a quest to find out what is really driving South Africa’s Old Vine Project? Is it a marketing ploy to enter the UK premium wine scene? Or are wines from Old Vines generally better and more interesting than wines that are made from younger vines? And if that is the case… Why is that and How are the wines different?
Roger Jones is one of a kind. Not only he is such generous, fantastic company, but he is a rare breed. A Michelin-starred chef who is as passionate about wine as he is the food he creates. He not only lists great wines from all over the world, he travels, visits and hosts wine dinners from Cape Town to New Zealand. This week lucky members of the trade will be invited by Roger and his wife, Sue, to take part in a series of events at their restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. But before he hits the stoves and corkscrew he shares his wine and food secrets.
Two years ago One George Street was the setting for the annual Champagne tasting day in London. Now, for the second year running, English wine had taken over this prestigious venue to show off how “bloody good” English sparkling wine has become. Not only that, but Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones has had his head turned by a number of classy English still wines as well.
Globetrotting Michelin-starred chef, Roger Jones, leaves the ovens of his Wiltshire restaurant to experience the Moroccan cuisine – testing out a variety of white and red wine and seeing how well it matches with the food. The French legacy has shaped the Moroccan wine industry, into becoming the second largest in the Arabic world. With the likes of Alain Graillot and Bernard Magrez setting up shop, this will only increase.
Roger Jones, our Michelin-starred roving reporter, attends the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino Investiture annual dinner held at London’s Dorchester Hotel. For the past 33 years this prestigious event has been held to promote the high quality of wines from Spain. The climax is the ordaining into the fellowship of Caballeros, individuals who have made a particularly significant contribution to promoting wines from Spain.
If you didn’t manage to make it to the Berkmann annual portfolio tasting in London last week them never fear, Michelin-starred chef Roger Jones was on hand to taste the wines for you and recommend which ones will work and which will not work in the premium on-trade.
It is rare that sommeliers and members of the press get an opportunity to try aged wines which show evolution and wines during their peak drinking window. For its annual portfolio tasting in London, wine importer Fells laid out a treasure trove of aged fine wines and fortifieds, an opportunity that Roger Jones could not pass up, tasting alongside the new vintages available.
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.