Blogs behind the label


Monthly winery profile updates

We have now been providing our Club behind the label members with monthly updates ahead of the publication 11th edition of Wine behind the label. It seems like a good time to give all our readers a full list of the updates. We have now completed 61 new profiles and have added updates to a […]

Wine investment can work

My previous post highlighted the many scams associated with wine investment. However, wine investment can work provided certain conditions are met. Please note that my comments concerning the tax position relate to the UK only.   It is crucial to buy the right wine from the right vintage at the right time and price from […]

A Winery on Vancouver Island

My husband Michael and I spent last week at a family reunion on Vancouver Island. Along with the beautiful scenery, the island has a burgeoning wine industry, and I wanted to take a half-day to visit at least one producer and taste his range of wines. We were staying in the island’s capital, Victoria, and […]

Chartogne -Taillet – a grower’s view of a well- tended vineyard

  Alexandre Chartogne is one of the rising stars of Champagne, a protégé of Anselme Selosse. Alexandre’s family had been vignerons since 1687 in the north west of the Champagne appellation at Merfy in the Massif St. Thierry above Reims. This beautiful district was famous for the quality of its wines in the 19th century […]

Wine and Food at the Edinburgh Festival

My husband and I recently spent a week at the Edinburgh Festival, interweaving going to Monteverdi operas with having lunch at some celebrated restaurants. We booked two of them, both of which have Michelin stars, several weeks before driving up, and all three turned out to be part of one organization. On our first full […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

The Latest – June 16th 2017

Since my last announcement of “The Latest”, we’ve been busy communicating with wine news from around the world with news about Prosecco, Brexit and South Africa. Kathy Burk has also been very busy with the second instalment of her History of Wine as well as a comprehensive blog on her recent visit to Romania. David […]

Romania and Its Wines

Romania as a wine-producing country is a conundrum. As a quantity producer, its history stretches back to its position as Dacia, a province of the Roman empire, but as a quality producer, its history must be measured in decades, not centuries. In the 19th century, it suffered the same phylloxera devastation as the rest of […]

Weingut Wittmann – a vertical Grand Cru tasting

Another shining beacon that stands out in a sea of Liebfraumilch in the Rheinhessen area, the wines from Weingut Wittmann exude quality. Philipp Wittmann came to London last month to give us a vertical tasting of his Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) wines from his three top vineyards.  Farming organically since 1990 and being completely biodynamic since […]

Fenavin 2017

This blog is very much aimed at the wine trade but I will be doing a couple of round up pieces about the wine and winery highlights encountered which were interesting to say the least. In particular, a red light, unfortified wine aged under flor yeast in amphora. It was in fact very good and […]

History of Wine part 2 – the Greeks

In many parts of the ancient world, such as in Egypt, wine was drunk primarily by the kings and the upper classes. In Greece, however, it was drunk by everybody. It played an important role in The Odyssey of Homer, in Odysseus’ fight with Polyphemus. Odysseus relates how he had saved from harm Maron, a […]

The Latest – June 2nd 2017

Hi Everybody Here is what we have been up to over the last couple of weeks. We have continued to post up interesting wine news from around the world, culminating with the historic victory by Champagne Jayne over the CIVC (Comité Champagne) over her right to use the name “Champagne” as part of her business […]

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