Neville Blech

Author Archives: Neville Blech

Duckhorn acquires Calera

The big winery news this week for readers of Wine behind the label is the acquisition of the Calera winery, producer of some cult Pinot Noirs by the Duckhorn winery group. The Calera winery was established by Josh Jenson in 1975 when he planted vines on limestone rich soils and at significant altitude near the […]

The risks and pitfalls of wine investment

The risks and pitfalls of wine investment  By Jim Budd How to protect yourself against wine investment scams and similar scams.  Wine can be a worthwhile alternative investment providing you buy the right wines at the right price and the right time from a legitimate company. Unfortunately like a number of other alternative investments it […]

Report on our Sancerre Dinner

We held our Sancerre dinner on “The Yacht” London on July 27th which was a rip-roaring success. Christophe Mangeart, who is the director and winemaker for the Sancerre cooperative, took us through the wines to show the diversity of the appellation. Starting off with a fruity “Guillopées” 2016 Rosé to accompany canapés in the Stateroom, […]

Antinori purchases Haras de Pirque in the Maipo Valley

Tuscan giant invests further in the Maipo Valley Regular Wine behind the label readers will be interested in this recent snippet of news. The sizeable (well very sizeable) Tuscan merchant house of Antinori has increased its investment in the Chilean Haras de Pirque winery acquiring 100% ownership in the property. In order to give readers […]

Healthy eating – Venere Black Rice

Venere black rice is named after the goddess Venus and the main growing area is in the vicinity of Novara in the Po Valley in the south west corner of the province of Piedmont. This is very much like the black rice which was grown in China, traditionally reserved only for the tables of the nobility […]
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The Latest – August 4th

There’s still time to take advantage of our summer sale offer of £199 instead of £297 for the VinGardeValise wine carrying suitcase. (UK delivery only). Sale ends August 31st when it will revert back to the normal price. Following on Gary’s weekend in Oporto, I followed up with a sort of rest of the week […]

There’s more to Oporto (and the Douro) besides Port

BY NEVILLE BLECH Following on Gary’s blog on a weekend in Oporto, I spent a little time in the area myself, primarily to attend a wedding but also took the opportunity to look at the surroundings in more detail.   Oporto in July is busy with tourists – apart from the obvious wine and Port […]

Creating the blend:

The story of transformation in the South African Winelands A fascinating article and video about the development of the South African wine industry over the past two and a half decades. Thanks to Wines of South Africa.     The South African wine industry has come a long way since 1994. Inclusivity, upliftment and growth […]

Tyddyn Llan revisited

It’s more than 2 years since I last stayed at Tyddyn Llan and I must say nothing has changed my opinion that Bryan Webb is one of the best chefs in the UK and probably the best fish cook in the country. Our 3 day sojourn was truly fantastic as a quiet holiday celebrating my […]

An interview with Dirk NIepoort

Dirk Niepoort is probably the Douro’s greatest ambassador and was in the vanguard of putting table wines from the area on the map maybe 15 years or so ago and now leads a plethora of producers who have been adding table wines to their Port portfolios. I visited him recently at his estate at Quinta […]

Spain – 2017 Highlights from the Tastings – Cataluña

This is the first of a number blog articles covering new discoveries from a number of tastings over the spring and early summer including the Fenavin Wine Fair (recently reviewed), the Viñateros tasting in London, the recent London Wine Fair as well as samples sent in from wineries. These bodegas will all be featured in […]

History of Wine part 3 – Rome and Pliny, The Early Wine Connoisseur

Although the Greeks did differentiate between wines geographically – wine from Lesbos was of a certain quality, for example – true connoisseurship apparently had to await the Romans. Here, my hero is Pliny the Elder, who is probably remembered primarily for being killed in 79 AD by the eruption of Vesuvius. But in his own […]

Big wine + flat screen TVs seizure – Jim Budd reports

          Report from Kent Police on an alleged large distribution fraud – wine and flat screen TVs:       Policing news  Goods recovered in fraud investigation fill four lorries 24 Jul 2017 Items including tens of thousands of bottles of wine and the latest flat screen televisions have been seized by […]

Untying Tuscany – a quick guide to the wine region and its styles

Untying Tuscany – a quick guide to the wine region and its styles Introduction Tuscany in central Italy is famous for many things – the glorious art, architecture and culture of Florence and Siena, the Tuscan countryside, its beautiful rolling hills and breath-taking villas and, of course, its food and wine. In terms of wine, […]

An Interview with Justin Knock MW of Philglass and Swiggot

In the first of a series of interviews with the owners of independent wine shops in the UK, I talk to Justin Knock MW about the philosophy behind the Philglass and Swiggot brand in the two shops that they own in London. Justin also heads up the UK office of the Wine Institute of California, […]

New Cava classification announced

Cavas de Paraje Calificado Mid July has just seen the announcement by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing, Food and Environment in Spain of 12 “Grand Cru” sites to be recognized under Cava DO, Cava de Paraje Calificado. It is intended these site-specific wines will be the pinnacle of the appellation and differentiated from Gran Reservas […]

The Latest – July 18th

Our first comprehensive travel blog has been posted by Gary White on the vinous merits of Oporto. You will be able to spend a wondrous few days there by following his advice. In fact – I’m off to Oporto this afternoon and I am certainly looking forward to trying out his recommendations. And of course, […]

A weekend in Oporto

A weekend in Oporto By Gary White The city of Porto (O Porto = the port) in north west Portugal is the country’s second city and famous for its historic connections with Britain and association with the port wine industry. The city is popular as a short-break destination for Brits, especially wine appreciators who like […]

Wine Investment is on the up

From it’s nadir in 2012, wine investments have steadily increased in value. It’s not been even all round – traditional Bordeaux wines have been patchy but the increases from the rest of the world – particularly Burgundy. led by the Domaine de la Romanée Conti – have been very encouraging. Here is the latest report […]

South Africa’s Old Vine Project Tasting

At the end of June there was a special tasting in London organised by Wines of South Africa showcasing a wide selection of wines presented under their Old Vines Project in the comfortable backdrop of the Reading Room at South Africa House. You can also read about the background of the South Africa Old Vine […]

The Latest – July 9th 2017 – Summer sale!!

SUMMER SALE!! With summer holidays on the horizon, you may wonder how you can bring home those incredible wines you tasted whilst you were away safely and securely. The VinGardeValise VGV02 wine carrying suitcase is the perfect answer to this problem which allows you to bring home from 2 to 12 bottles INTACT! We will […]

Amazon launches its own branded wine range in US

Not content with dominating the world book and electronics market – and pretty much everything else in between – online retail behemoth Amazon has just muscled its way into a new arena – producing and selling its own brand of wine. The company has teamed up with Oregon’s largest winery King Estate Winery, to develop […]

Steak Tartare – something for the summer

With the summer heat upon us, Sonia has produced a recipe for that old favourite – Steak Tartare. The important thing is to buy the best quality beef that you can for this. Don’t buy ready minced meat – usually it is of poor quality – best to use the trimmings from a nice piece […]
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Boxcar Deli & Grill – a real meat restaurant

There are hamburger joints and hamburger joints plus and now we have discovered a hamburger joint plus plus. Well, it’s not JUST  a hamburger joint because there is also real, tender, delicious beef available, sliced off the rib and cooked just the way you like it. Boxcar has only been open for 3 weeks and […]

South Africa’s Old Vine Project looks to the country’s past to secure its future

Those fortunate enough to attend last week’s tasting hosted by Wines of South Africa to celebrate the The Old Vine Project (OVP) in London have described it is one of the most interesting and exciting events in year. Particularly if you are interested in seeing what terroir and age can do to wines produced from grapes from […]

Hottest June in UK for 40 years sends rosé sales soaring

Scorching temperatures in the UK last week, which have made this month the hottest June since the long hot summer of 1976, has sent rosé sales soaring, according to the high street multiples. June 21st was the hottest day in the UK for over 40 years, with temperatures topping 34 degrees centigrade in some parts […]

Vinexpo 2017

It seems to be inevitable that Vinexpo coincides with a heatwave and this year it was no exception. Sweltering in a 39C heatwave, it was lucky that the aircon didn’t fail – as it did once! My brief as is my wont these days, is to look for the unusual and maybe off-the -wall producers, […]

Global wine consumption on the up, except in France where it has more than halved in the past 40 years

It’s enough to have your average French drinker choking on their verre du vin rouge in shock.  While global wine consumption is growing year on year – in France, the world’s leading wine exporting country – consumption is down and forecast to drop by 13% between 2011 and 2020, according to LARVF.  From knocking back 100 […]

Supply and demand in global wine market balances out as glut eases

The global wine industry is rallying after years of a glut of wine and suppressed prices,  according to a report in the Weekly times.   It referred to Wine Australia, data which shows supply dipping to around 26 billion litres, from a peak of around 29 billion litres four years ago. At the same time, demand […]

Veuve Clicquot’s New Extra Brut Extra Old (EBEO)

Heritage & Innovation  Michael Edwards provides details of a special new multi vintage blend from Veuve Clicquot and tastes some equally remarkable old vintages.     Extra Brut Extra Old previewed this April in London and Edinburgh is a modern, intricate expression of Veuve Clicquot’s 200-year old core heritage, ever since the great lady herself […]

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