Calmel & Joseph – classy wines from Languedoc Roussillon

The Languedoc-Roussillon still has a bit of a name for being cheap – it’s France’s most important wine region in terms of quantity, with an extraordinary 299,000 hectares under vine (that’s three times the size of Bordeaux, also not exactly small), but you have to hunt for the quality. There are increasing numbers of overperforming […]

Feminine Faugères

I’m a big fan of Faugères – and if asked to describe the character of the wines from this small but over-achieving Languedoc appelation, I’d probably use words like “muscular”, “spicy” and “intense” – but also “elegant” and “structured”. However, tasting Brigitte Chevalier’s Domaine de Cébène cuvées had me frantically recalibrating. Brigitte’s terroir is at the North-Eastern […]

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, […]

Let’s get naked, again

Here’s a brief write-up of some of the more interesting wines I encountered at the Naked Wines tasting in London this evening. I have to say, I think the interactions with the winemakers were at least as interesting as the wines, if not more so. So nice to have a room full of enthusiastic producers […]

Don’t you just hate it when that happens . . .

Have you ever had this frustrating experience? The discovery of a rare jewel, a wonderful wine that gets the saliva flowing and the tastebuds quivering, and you uncharacteristically bought only one bottle. With the last drop drained, thoughts of re-ordering awaken, only to find . . . sold out! So it seems is the fate […]

Birthday vinucopia

I have to write a brief post about my very enjoyable birthday celebration, last week. What better place than Green and Blue (of which I have spoken before) – good atmosphere, brilliant wines, and enough high quality nutrition to keep everyone from falling under the table. As we ended up being a party of 14, […]