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 proudly out 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 […]

Mosel museum: Old vintages from Staffelter Hof

I admit to a bit of a thrill when the cork’s popped on a properly ancient bottle of wine. The sense of expectation is palpable – will the cork make it out in one piece, is the liquid even still drinkable? At this year’s ProWein, Weingut Staffelter Hof’s Jan Matthias Klein treated a few friends and […]

Austria’s Weinviertel: Districtus Austriae Confusius?

Ask most Austrian winemakers about their country’s “Appellation Controlée”-like DAC regulations and you’ll be lucky if you get so much as a luke-warm response. Few are comfortable with the fragmentation, label confusion and lack of consumer recognition that the nine regional DACs have as their current legacy. Austrian wine marketing board head honcho Willi Klinger […]

Nuts about Neuburger

Not much over a month ago, I was waxing lyrical about my love affair with the Georgian Shavkapito grape. But that was then, this is now. Me and Shavkapito, we’re still friends but now there’s a new and similarly obscure Austrian grape variety in my life. I first came across Feiler Artinger‘s superb Neuburger last September, […]

Et tu Brut? Tarlant and zero dosage Champagne

A few months ago, a discussion about “zero dosage” Champagne erupted onto my twitter feed. Robert Joseph typically voiced it with brevity and force: “There’s NOTHING hedonistic about zero dosage wine. At least not to non-masochists.” What was this all about? Well, most Champagne, and notably all of the big non-vintage brands (The “Grand Marques” […]

Permaculture in Slovenia: Visiting Miha and Ivan Batic

There’s an almost reactionary view that winemakers who practice organic or biodynamic viticulture end up having to be more, rather than less interventionist in the vineyard. The theory goes that instead of a single (noxious) spraying to knock out mildew/pests/anything else living, the organic or biodynamic vigneron will have to tramp through their vineyard countless […]

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 […]