Smith & Gertrude is the kind of bar that most people would want to have in their neighbourhood. Set up by thirty-something married couple Duncan and Amy Findlater two years ago, it has already become something of a local institution with its winning formula of a great wine selection and a simple bar menu of cheese, charcuterie and salads, all served up in a chilled atmosphere. Helen Arnold met up with the couple to discover what inspires them.
With the newly created Occitanie region now claiming to be the largest wine region in France, Chris Wilson was disappointed at the latest London annual tasting that Sud de France didn’t use the opportunity to explain more about what the change means for the UK trade, especially when 25% of wines from the region are exported to Britain. Curiously, the majority of wineries were also looking for UK distribution.
It seems Australia’s wine scene has gone full circle. From bringing the world exciting new versions of classic grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Shiraz in the eighties and nineties, it is now re-inventing itself as the country best placed for so called alternative, Old World grape varieties, particularly from Italy and Spain, to grow and flourish as next week’s Wine Australia Alternative Varieties Tasting hopes to show.
Alto Adige is like no other wine region in Italy. The language is primarily Germanic and the mountains that border Austria and Switzerland bring an unique freshness to the wines that include Gewürtztraminer, hailing from the town of Traminer. Justin Keay travelled there to witness the launch of new wine Epokale, that is aged for seven years in a disused silver mine.
Faced with 16 tempting glasses of fizz of a morning is just what wine blogger Mike Turner kicked his job in the City of London for, all those years ago. Turns out, however, that these glasses are full of wine as ‘rough as a badger’s arse’. Welcome to WineSkills, a course aimed at winemakers needing to extend their learning and have a refresher’s course in what to do, and what not to do when making a good bottle of wine.
Let’s face it can be hard to get some customers to switch away from Pinot Grigio or a safe bottle of South American Merlot, never mind take the plunge with a natural wine that may not even taste like wine at all. So it’s some achievement to get 100s of restaurants and bars serving 1000s of bottles of natural wine to customers all over the county as part of Real Wine Month. Event organiser, Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene, explains how it all comes together.
Philip Hunter taste-tests the three single grain whiskies that form the new blend Chita, which has just had its UK debut. He drinks it a number of ways and ends up rather taking to it, even though his initial reaction was to have a problem with the musky phenolics.
South Africa’s development as a country that looked first to copy the classic winemaking styles of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone, before finding its own voice, its own identity is perfectly illustrated in Creation Wines. Situated in the heart of the cooler climate region of Hemel-en-Aarde, close to Hermanus, it is one of the leading producers of what you might call South Africa’s modern Burgundian wines, says Greg Sherwood MW.
Outside of the natural wine debate is there a more contentious issue than the one that surrounds the type of closure you have in your bottle of wine? To assess what leading on-trade buyers and sommeliers now think about closures we teamed up with Vinventions, one of the biggest suppliers of all types of closure from cork to screwcap, to make the issue of closures the latest topic in our Buyer Debate series.
Anne Krebiehl MW looks at the evolution and revolution of New Zealand wine through twelve wines that are chosen by Nigel Greening from Felton Road and Tim Finn from Neudorf Vineyards – both members of the Family of Twelve. She hears why Greening loathes the term masterclass, what the rules are for joining these twelve elite wineries and why the Maori term Turangawaewae is the most appropriate word for a terroir in New Zealand winemaking.