Seafood Grillo, Barraco style

It’s a gorgeous late summer evening on Sicily’s west coast. But instead of admiring the sea, our group of wine writers and bloggers are looking slightly perplexedly at what appears to be a patch of weeds. Actually this is Antonino “Nino” Barraco‘s prized hectare of coastal Grillo, practically growing on the beach and preciously handed […]

Graves doesn’t have to be serious

Who doesn’t love a joyful, everyday wine – especially if it’s fairly priced Bordeaux. There’s an unfortunate view, particularly prevalent in the UK, that Bordeaux wines fall into only two categories – those sold at super-premium prices for the obscenely rich, and those that are little more than execrable filth. The truth is that there are many […]

Oh Balls! (Or how customer service saved the day)

Picture the scene – four old friends, and we’ve just passed a convivial evening in a restaurant. It’s Thursday night, 9.30pm, no-one’s ready to go home but at the same time a change of scenery is called for. Oh yes, and we’d like good wine please. The trouble is, we’re in Victoria. A quick look on […]

Sherry Maestro No.22

Sherry seems to be going through a mini-renaissance right now, after decades of being banished to the backwater of granny’s christmas cupboard. It is after all one of the few real bargains of the wine world – complex, characterful, consistent and often aged for a decade or more, yet entry level examples in most styles […]

Mar i Terra y Juan Garcia

An unplanned nutrition requirement near Waterloo led to an excellent discovery tonight. Mar i Terra is a cosy yet bustling tapas restaurant buried on a Southwark backstreet. I can never resist an obscure grape variety, so the Arribes de Vettonia Juan Garcia Crianza 2007  was a must-have choice from an excellent and lovingly annotated wine […]

Zucca and Brazan

Mrs. Claret and I have developed a cunning modus operandi for eating out at fine restaurants – rock up to the hottest ticket in town, without a booking, but at a slightly non-standard time (perhaps 6.30pm, or 9pm). Accept any seat, even if it is at the counter (which is frequently the case). Think you […]

Lunch at Brixton Cornercopia (Obscure white grapes, Part 2)

Brixton Village used to be a forgotten corner of the market, depopulated and unloved, until 18 months ago when the spacemakers project started persuading artists, philosophers, foodies and other madmen into the once empty units. Fast forward to March 2011, and it’s crammed full of interesting new eateries and shops, and in danger of becoming […]

Rotgipfler and Scamorza (Obscure white grapes, Part 1)

Mrs. Claret arrived back at the house yesterday evening clutching an intriguing looking black bag. Had she indulged herself in a new dress or pair of shoes I asked? Absolutely not, it was actually a present for me – and a consumable one at that! She had happened across a stall at the South Bank  […]