Blogs behind the label

Grant Burge Wines Barossa Valley

Grant Burge has an impressive resource of 200 ha from which to make top Barossa wines. Nearly all are now prefixed with a vineyard name and are made in the recently reacquired old Krondorf winery. Shiraz is naturally the strongest hand, starting with a sweet-fruited Miamba, progressing to a fuller, richer, oaky but characterful Filsell, […]

Bowen Estate Coonawarra

Doug Bowen’s smallish 33 ha estate continues to maintain a relatively low profile among the Coonawarra giants, though the wines are widely exported. The reds are of consistently high quality: deep, fleshy and textured with very ripe flavours and a certain idiosyncratic style. The grapes are picked very late and a good dose of oak […]

Jim Barry Wines Clare Valley

From a large number of some of Clare’s best sites Peter and Mark Barry continue to build on what their father made famous over four decades, but whether the wines will now show more individuality or refinement remains to be seen. Reds are the mainstay: deep, impressively rich and concentrated if relatively unsubtle are Shiraz […]

Balnaves Wine Coonawarra

The winning combination of Doug Balnaves fruit and Peter Bissell’s winemaking has propelled this 52-ha estate near the southern end of Coonawarra into the top echelon of Coonawarra producers. The flagship is The Tally, a big, powerful, oaky Cabernet Sauvignon that needs at least 5–8 years’ ageing. Cabernet Sauvignon is also in a powerful mould […]

Ashton Hills Vineyards Adelaide Hills

Stephen George is a winemaker of considerable talent, especially given the diverse range of wines he produces to a such high standard. To be equally at home producing fine sparkling wines as cool Adelaide Hills Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay or rich powerfuls reds from the Clare Valley, as he is in forging the GALAH […]

Annie’s Lane Winery Clare Valley

This Clare Valley range of wines is one of the best of the many in the former BERINGER BLASS Australian stable now owned by Treasury Wine Estates (formerly known as Fosters). Named after Annie Wayman, a local personality in the late 19th/early 20th century, the wines were previously made at the historic Quelltaler winery but […]

Tim Adams Wines Clare Valley

This is a brilliant Clare Valley producer with marvellously consistent reds and whites of great depth and character. Aberfeldy, the top red, has a certain elegance as well as masses of fruit and American oak, in which it spends the best part of two years. The Fergus takes its name from a grower who first […]

Ch. d’Angludet Winery Margaux

Well-established Cru Bourgeois with 30 year-old vineyards planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, which comes from the oldest parcel of vines and adds extra character. The emphasis at the property is to achieve a natural balance in the vineyard and this shows through in the quality of the wine which is medium-weight with […]

Ch. d’Agassac Haut-Médoc

Things are taking a turn for better at this medium-sized operation based in the southern part of the Haut-Médoc and owned by the insurance company Groupama. The wine is now showing good depth and some attractive dark fruit notes and harmonious tannins. A medium-weight style, better with 5 or 6 years’ ageing. The rating applies […]

Setubal for the 2nd Festival Iberico do Vinho

I’m in Setubal for the 2nd Festival Iberico do Vinho. Some surprisingly good wines from this little-known DO, but more importantly, some great values for money wines. I will share more details about this in a few days.

The Gusbourne Interview – English Fizz at its Best

English Fizz at its Best There is no doubt, that helped along a bit by global warming, English sparkling wines can hold their own with any from all over the world, including Champagne. I had a chance to interview Charlie Holland, head winemaker at Gusbourne Estate in Kent who told me about all the exciting […]

Best Restaurant in Luxembourg

The Best Restaurant in Luxembourg If one wants to visit the famous vineyards in the Moselle, the nearest airport is Luxembourg and then it’s quite a short drive to the vineyards. I have done this many times and have usually had at least one night in Luxembourg City itself. Without a doubt there, my favourite […]


LOWER ALCOHOL In a recent tasting of 131 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (no I didn’t taste all of them!) there were five grouped together as “lower alcohol”. Now lower alcohol could be anything from 5% to maybe 10% alcohol by volume in a bottle of wine, and the usefulness of this can be considered in […]


Not quite following on to Shakespeare’s idea of camaraderie triumphing over love, these two restaurants are just about as far away in style as you could have in a small town that boasts of historic diversity of gastronomy. Borsari 36 is a chic, modern, stylishly decorated restaurant, which is part of the upmarket Palazzo Victoria […]

Wine Guides – Want to learn about specific wine regions? Check out all the areas and regions available

Now you may be wondering just why we have named this area of the website … “Wine Guides”, plural … rather than …“Wine Guide”, singular. Well no, we’re not suddenly recommending other wine guides here, we are in fact though, doing something that we have never done before. We have made the decision that we […]

Sauternes Hidden Gem

It was an exciting day when I took delivery of Alessandro Masnaghetti’s latest vineyard map – the Cru Classes of Sauternes and Barsac (as well as the Sangiovese vineyards of Romagna, but that’s another story). Looking at this beautifully produced map, I couldn’t help but notice that among the designated vineyard plots of Ch. d’Yquem, […]

Bordeaux 2012 Impressions

I attended the primeurs week organised by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux last week, curious in some way to find out for myself whether the vintage was as bad as some had made it out to be. Well, the answer is a resounding NO. True there were some pretty poor wines on display, […]

Looking for Great Price/Quality Ratios in Restaurant Wine Lists

I like to analyse restaurant wine lists. I like to find value for money. I look for great price/quality ratio wines on the list. That’s not necessarily the cheapest and even in the most expensive looking wine lists, there is always a bargain to be found – if you look hard enough. A few years […]

A great new Spanish wine guide

My old friend and colleague David Moore, has just spent the last few months compiling a very comprehensive guide to the wines of Spain. It’s only an online version which can be downloaded as a PDF, but as usual this does have searchable facilities so that you can find a producer or a wine with […]

The Beverage Report or from the Graves to the cradle

In the general election of 1945, the Labour Party ousted Winston Churchill’s Conservative Party. The new prime minister, Clement Attlee, announced he would introduce the welfare state outlined in Sir William Beveridge’s 1942 Report. This included the establishment of a National Health Service in 1948 with free medical treatment for all. A national system of […]

Some musings on 50 years of air travel

Flying back from Genoa the other day, I mused over the quarter bottle of Spanish wine offered to me by British Airways. It wasn’t a bad wine at all – I noticed that it had been sourced for BA by Bibendum, an independent wine merchant. Not that I have any problem with Bibendum, I have […]

Every Prospect Pleases

A great blog by Robert Joseph on another load of Single Issue Fanatics on “factory” wine etc. Check it out on These people’s missionary zeal seems to have no bounds and I have taken the liberty to compose a suitable hymn for them which also encompasses the “natural” fanatics credo (with apologies to Reginald […]

Miami Airport – Avoid!

Some years ago, we bought a week’s timeshare in a South African resort for the magnificent sum of $376. I won’t say where it is, but we did visit it and whilst it was pretty downmarket and somewhat seedy, it has given us the opportunity to exchange our week with some more upmarket places. We’ve […]

Restaurant Crissier

It’s about 20 years since I last visited the little village of Crissier, just outside Lausanne, particularly to eat at Giradet, then considered to be the best restaurant in the world. I had been there a couple of times before and was amazed – not only for the finesse of the cuisine, but also for […]

Gentlemen vs. Players

Last week a bit of a furore arose in the Twtter shpere over a blog by a young man called James Isherwood on visiting Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus restaurant in London. The review didn’t make the greatest reading in the world, but it did severely criticise one dish and the service. Part of the game, one […]

A Merlot to savour from Roberto Voerzio

Roberto Voerzio is rightly famous for his magnificent Barolos – some of the most sought after in the world of wine for the sheer concentration of flavours that he produces from his heavily pruned vines. The average yield per plant is around 500grams of fruit whilst his neighbour’s vines could be yielding at least six […]

Genoa – the fourth “M”

There seems to be something with me and restaurants in Genoa beginning with “M”. Having fallen in love with Mario, Mua and Il Marin – all well worth a visit for entirely different reasons – I have now discovered a fourth baby – Migone. Well, actually, the restaurant is called SanMatteo, but the usp here […]

Eating at your covenience – even if it’s on the next floor down

Our annual trip to the Wexford Opera Festival, as usual, produces a fine trio of operas that one goes to see for their scarcity value, if nothing else. At the same time, as we have recorded elsewhere on this website, we note the considerable increase in the quality of the restaurants over the 16 years […]

A dining experience to forget

We were very puzzled by an advert which we received by email from the Old Vic a couple of weeks ago thus. “Reserve your tickets now for this unique collaboration combining sight, sound and taste. For two weeks, during Frieze Art Fair and London Restaurant Festival, Lazarides Gallery and Kofler & Kompanie will present The […]

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