When slurping isn’t natural

I looked at the bottle three times, picked it up, took a photo on my phone. Something didn’t feel quite right. “This is simply a fabulous French no-nonsense natural wine…” screamed the label. And then further down, there it was again: “This wine is 100% natural as well as gorgeous to drink”. At €4.99 in […]

Amphoras ahoy in Tuscany – Fattoria di Sammontana

Tuscany, and more specifically Chianti isn’t somewhere I associate with diversity. This isn’t the wine region to pick if you want the thrill of discovering unheard of grape varieties, finding weird and wonderful orange wines or small, wacky estates. What Chianti does have is an unshakeable position in the annals of fine wine, even if the region […]

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 […]

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 – […]

Smoke on the water – Hungarian Wine House tasting

Any bon-viveur worth their salt will be familiar with Hungary’s most famous vinuous export – Tokaji Aszu. This luscious yet refreshing nectar has assured Hungary’s place on the international wine map for the last 400 years. Additionally, those of a certain age may remember when Eger Bikavér (AKA “Bull’s Blood”) was king. Sadly this deep-hued, […]

Dalmatia Part 2: Pelješac peninsula, Dingač and the wines of the Bura family

The Pelješac peninsula runs parallel to the Dalmatian coastline like a finger, with just a tiny sliver of adjoining land stopping it from becoming an island. It’s a dry, mountainous landscape, with quiet villages and sandy beaches spread around the coast. We’re here to learn about the legendary wines of Dingač and Postup – Croatia’s […]

Musar fireworks

Chateau Musar is an utterly unique, beguiling wine from the Lebanon, which could be said to have a cult following in the UK and internationally. Its uniqueness stems, I think, from a perfect combination of old world finesse and restraint, with new world ripeness and fruit. Particularly impressive is how the Musar character – exotic […]

Hot but not bothered – Phélan Ségur 2003

It’s always interesting to re-taste the wines from Bordeaux’s 2003 heatwave. There was much scaremongering at the time – the wines were flabby, they might fall apart before reaching maturity, they were largely atypical of the region, and so on. How enjoyable then, to taste Thierry Gardinier’s classic, yet accessible St. Estephe, which has happily […]