Seven reasons why I love Moscato d’Asti

Look, I’m not after anything serious. Let’s just flirt and enjoy each other’s company – we don’t have to be relationship material do we? We both know it feels good . . . oh but it does feel good. I love your undemanding effervescence, your fresh, charming yet captivating perfume – mmm, elderflowers, grapes, peach […]

The red badge of honour

Lukas Plöckinger picks me up in Eisenstadt at 6.30am prompt, on a chilly October morning. Lukas is the winemaker and vineyard manager at Weingut Tinhof, in Austria’s red wine heartland Burgenland, and he’s my teacher today as I pop my grape-picking cherry. Why am I doing this? Because I’m hoping that a day’s physical immersion […]

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 […]

Seven reasons why I love Beaujolais

Gamay, you are a charmer. That deceptively simple yet elegant perfume, your lightness of touch, and supple texture. Yes, you went a bit girly during your “nouveau” phase (circa 1980s), but that’s all water under the bridge now. Now you’re all grown up – mature and assured, and that much more attractive. I know you’ve […]

Wine Society whitewash – evil plot or careless journalism?

It’s no surprise that wine writers and journalists almost unanimously sing the Wine Society‘s praises. After all, here is a retailer which does not have profit as its primary motive, is entirely owned by its members and exists purely “to make available to members the highest possible quality of wines and services at the best […]

Great places to buy wine: Park and Bridge

“I would never have done this if I hadn’t started writing a wine blog”. So says Paola Tich, ex-journalist, blogger, communications supremo – and now owner of Acton’s newest independent wine merchant, Park and Bridge. Paola’s blog Sip Swoosh Spit is well known and well loved. Her writing is unstuffy and consumer focused. Paola explains that she […]

Great places to buy wine: Dvine Cellars

Something rather wonderful is happening with wine retailing in the UK. It didn’t begin well: Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen virtually all our mainstream wine merchants go bust – something catalogued by Tim Atkin in his recent article “The Fall of the British Wine Empire“. It’s been goodbye Unwins and Peter Dominic, adieu […]

Seven reasons why I love orange wines

I’m drawn to outsiders – people who dare to be different, who stand out proudly from the crowd. That makes orange wines – and the winemakers who produce them –  an easy sell. This is a style that can shock, surprise and thrill. A stand-out orange wine tasting at Styria’s Ploder Rosenberg winery reminded me of how much […]