Neville’s Blog


Neville’s Blog

An Interview with Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda

I presented Rick with his Groundbreaking Winemaker Award the other day, and here is the video of it. As a result of what he had to say, we will be updating his entry in the next edition of Wine behind the label, although members will have a sight of this before that edition goes to […]

Ronchi di Cialla – A Unique Estate

Ronchi di Cialla in the North-Eastern part of Fruili, just a kilometre from the Slovenian border, is one of those rare single estate DOC designated areas for wine production. DOC stands for Denominazione di origine controllata, an Italian level of wine classification that normally takes into account all the estates in a certain wine-growing area […]

An Interview with Jonathan Maltus

Jonathan Maltus was the first English wine producer to achieve a 100% score from legendary wine guru Robert Parker for one of his wines, in fact he might be the ONLY English wine producer to achieve this. Of course, he didn’t produce this wine in ENGLAND, but in the traditional home of good wine – […]

An Interview with Antonio from António Saramago Wines

I did say in my blog from Setúbal on May 1st that I would be sending more detail. Well, it’s taken a bit of time, mainly because I have had to edit down a very lengthy interview with Antonio Saramago, in my opinion, the best producer on show at the show, which you can see […]

Abi Duhr receives his award as one of the 9 Groundbreaking Winemakers for this 9th edition of Wine behind the label

I flew to Luxembourg the other day to give Abi Duhr his award as one of the 9 Groundbreaking Winemakers for this 9th edition of Wine behind the label. Here is a little interview with him about his winemaking philosophy.’

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 […]

LOWER ALCOHOL

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 […]

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 http://thejosephreport.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/big-can-be-beautiful-too-and-small-can.html 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 […]

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 […]

A historic gourmet evening in North Wales

On Friday, November 11, Bryan Webb, the chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Tyddyn Llan restaurant with rooms at Llandrillo, will be recreating six dishes at a gourmet dinner dedicated to his mentor, Sonia Blech, in whose kitchen Bryan took his very first step towards culinary excellence some 35 years ago at the Crown Inn (another restaurant […]

Wine Dinners – who’s kidding who?

I have received a plethora of invitations to wine dinners in my inbox recently (not as a freebie – I hasten to add!) – Ch. Angelus and Ch. Palmer at the Connaught at £390 and £480 a head (plus a “discretionary” service charge of 12.5%) – Thomas Keller’s pop up restaurasnt at Harrods is around […]

Michael Broadbent and The Lovely Ladies

Swung by Buxton on our way to Manchester to see the second (and last) performance of “Lovely Ladies” – a comic opera composed by Peter Cowdrey and written by Hamish Anderson with a definite wine theme. Set in a Christie’s warehouse – the synopsis is as follows:- “Two aspiring wines – Mas de Daumas Gassac […]

Putting some fizz into the La Spinetta empire

Last month La Spinetta’s Giorgio, Bruno, Carlo and Giovanna Rivetti and the rest of the family finally acquired the Contratto winery at Canelli in Piedmont for an undisclosed sum. The Contratto brand is a prestigious label that has produced legendary spumante wines such as ‘For England’, ‘Bacco d’Oro’ and ‘Miranda’. Contratto was founded in 1867 […]

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