Sweet and sour – A vertical of Chatzivaritis Goumenissa

When I was invited to taste a vertical of wines from Goumenissa, I wasn’t initially sure if that was the wine region, producer or grape variety. Goumenissa turns out to be a tiny but highly rated appellation in Macedonia (Northern Greece), not too far from its bigger brother Naoussa. Chatzivaritis Estate is one of five quality-minded […]

12 years of Xinomavro

SUMMER 2003, CRETE. I’m staying in a self-catering apartment hidden away on one of Chania’s many labyrinthine alleys.  Almost right opposite is a local shop where I stock up on pasta, vegetables and olive oil. The owner is super friendly and doesn’t speak a word of English. On my first visit he points to a giant […]

Georgian qvevri wine: If it’s good enough for God . . .

The 8,000 year old culture of wine in Georgia is extraordinary – a very good book could be written about it (and I hope someone will do that soon!). I visited Georgia in November 2012, as part of an EWBC press trip. Here’s an article I contributed for Tim Atkin’s site: For Father Gerasim, whether to treat his […]

Eulogising about Etna

Following a hugely inspiring trip to Sicily’s Mount Etna region back in September, here are links to a  couple of articles that I wrote on the subject:  Exploding onto the Scene: Realising the potential of Etna wines When Ciro Biondi announced that he was going to abandon his career as an architect, in order to revive the […]

Feeling (Green and) Blue

You don’t expect to end up on the dance floor with the proprietor at the end of a wine tasting, but that’s what happened at last Sunday’s wine and music matching event at Green and Blue. The concept seemed simple enough – six wines to be tasted, each one with a specific piece of music […]

Down and Dirty – thoughts on the 2012 dirty dozen tasting

The UK may be one of the toughest, most price conscious wine retail markets in the world, yet somewhat miraculously the independent and on-trade sectors are developing a real love of the small, the quirky and the characterful. Exhibit A: The Dirty Dozen is a conglomerate of twelve passionate and free spirited UK wine importers, […]

Fulvio Bressan – Taking the long-term view

Winemaking has developed significantly in the last few decades. Winemakers now routinely draw on a vast canon of research, learning and technology to help ensure that they produce consistent wines and harvest fruit in prime condition, year in, year out. Vintage variation, of the sort that wrote off most early 90’s Bordeaux, is almost a […]

Modernist traditions of Istria

Most people will have a view about the classic “old world” wine producing nations – France, well it’s expensive, the name of the grape isn’t on the bottle, they’re still the greatest wines in the world, and so forth. Spain – they use a lot of oak, it’s all about Rioja, er..  and they make […]

Super Istrian meets Southern Plavac

The Morning Claret is delighted to be going on a brief sojourn to Istria later this week. Having travelled a couple of times in the Southern part of Croatia, I’m fascinated to see what the North of the country has to offer. By way of preparation, I cracked open two wines on Saturday night – […]