Cabernet Day 2017

Clos des Fous

Do you like a full-bodied red, with fairly grippy tannin and black fruit?  Bold enough to warrant some oak-ageing?  A wine that can develop cedar, mocha, graphite with age?  Something to pair with hearty roast beef, steak, venison? Then look no further than Cabernet Sauvignon. If you need an excuse to treat yourself, I can […]

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Chilled reds

chilled red

I’m frequently asked about chilling red wines, particularly as people return from drinking chilled reds on holiday abroad.  Very often in warmer regions, the challenge is to keep red wines from becoming too warm and soupy,  so they are kept under refrigeration.  A chilled red on a warm day can be refreshing, rather like iced […]

2016 Wine Wish List

Wine  Wishes

If I were to create a wish-list of what I’d love for 2016, it would read something like this: That the proposed minimum pricing legislation is carefully thought-out before being implemented.  I for one, do not want to have to pay even more for wine.  I have yet to be convinced that pricing will impact […]

Wines for Christmas Day

turkey & wine

If you are part of a large gathering on Christmas Day, choose wines which will appeal to everyone, rather than anything too esoteric. Save your prized bottles for a quieter time, when you can appreciate them better, and not have to worry about excited children knocking over glasses! If you are having a fish starter, […]

Beaujolais season!

Beaujolais & food

If you are lightening up for summer, then take a closer look at Beaujolais. It’s the quintessential summer red from France – light in body and alcohol, with barely-there tannin, and bursting with fresh raspberry and cherry.  Unusually, the wine (made from Gamay grapes), undergoes an enzymatic fermentation called carbonic maceration, which results in vibrant […]

Discovering Oseleta

Maureen O'Hara _ Sandro Boscaini

Wine students are frequently overwhelmed with the number of grape varieties they have to study when it comes to Italy.  At WSET Level 2, the course syllabus is primarily varietal-driven, yet when the course is delivered differently in relation to Italy as it is impossible to cover the multitudinous unusual varieties on offer. At WSET […]

Australian Chardonnay

bernard hickin

The changing face of Australian Chardonnay It seems hard to believe, but Australian Chardonnay is a relative newcomer to the wine scene.  In the early 1970s, Murray Tyrrell of Tyrrells, and of Bob Oatley of Rosemount, led the way in creating a full-flavoured, oaky, dry Chardonnay, to replace Riesling which dominated at the time.  It […]

Penfolds Bin wines

penfolds logo

Australian Shiraz is one of the world’s most recognisable and popular styles, and owed much to Penfolds.  Until the 1950s, Australian wines were fortified with spirit, and drank ostensibly for medicinal purposes.  Max Schubert came back from a European tour with a yearning to replicate the wines he had tasted there.  He continued to make […]