Team Blogs

Team Blogs



Soupe de Poissons accompanied by Côtes de Provence Les Clans

Just over a week since the lovely Easter Weekend and a simple yet delicious lunch on the Saturday. Soupe de Poissons with Rouille accompanied by a bottle of Côtes de Provence Les Clans which took me back to delicious dinners in Port Grimaud, La Napoule and Nice to name three memories of visits to the […]

Tasting a selection of Jackson Family Wines

I recently attended a tasting of Barbara R. Banke’s selection of Jackson Family Wines, the Californian producer of premium wines. Had I not already known their status even before the actual tasting, two other factors would have told me. First of all, the tasting was held at Claridge’s; and secondly, one description referred to what […]

Vineyards to visit in Surrey and Berkshire

Greyfriars Vineyard (Surrey) Telephone:   +44 (0) 1483 813712  Email:   Producer profile from 11th Edition Michael and Hilary Wagstaff, who met at Oxford, took over this fine vineyard in 2010 known for the quality of its grapes since its inception in 1989. Mike, with a further Masters from Imperial in marine engineering was […]

Fourcas Dupré bought by a Breton entrepreneur.

On July 31, 2019, Gérard Jicquel acquired Château Fourcas Dupré in Listrac-Medoc. This French entrepreneur is a co-founder and partner (with Christian Roulleau who acquired Château Dauzac in Margaux at the beginning of the year) from the group SAMSIC, leader of integrated services to companies and sponsor of the Arkéa-Samsic cycling team. This very discreet […]

Visit one of the UK’s oldest vineyards (Worcs) or sleep amongst the vines (Glos)

Astley Vineyards (Worcestershire) Telephone:  01299 822907 Email: Producer profile from 11th Edition – Updated  Once the most northerly vineyard in the world, Astley Vineyard was established in the Severn Valley 10 miles north of Worcester in 1971. The original founders, the Bache Family were visionaries, planting varieties such as Madeleine Angeline and Siegerrebe […]

Heading South West ? Visit a vineyard in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall

Langham Wine Estate (Dorset) Telephone:   +44(0)1258 839095 Email: Producer profile from the 11th edition – updated In the heart of Dorset, a jewel of Hardy Country, the Langham Estate sits next to the magnificent Bingham’s Melcombe manor house, Grade 1 listed, and little changed since the reign of Edward VI. The Langham vineyard […]

Visit and taste at some of the English wineries featured in our 11th Edition – HAMPSHIRE

As summer beckons do your thoughts turn to a long, languorous summer visiting beautiful vineyards; perhaps in France in or Italy; Champagne or Tuscany? In these uncertain times we hope to tempt you with wonderful opportunities closer to home. In our latest 11th edition of Wine behind the label we cover 25 English wine producers […]

Champagne Ayala

For all our readers we will now be bringing you two regular weekly full profiles from the 11 & and upcoming 12th editions of Wine behind the label with our ratings. This should give you an excellent idea of what you can enjoy when purchasing a full guide. Here Michael Edwards profiles Ayala in Champagne. […]

Barboursville Vineyards

For all our readers we will now be bringing you two regular weekly full profiles from the 11 & and upcoming 12th editions of Wine behind the label with our ratings. This should give you an excellent idea of what you can enjoy when purchasing a full guide. Here Kathleen Burk assesses the Barboursville Vineyards […]

Vincent Delaporte – a full profile

For all our readers we will now be bringing you two regular weekly full profiles from the 11 & and upcoming 12th editions of Wine behind the label with our ratings. This should give you an excellent idea of what you can enjoy when purchasing a full guide. On this occasion Jim Budd reviews the […]

Burgundy en primeur 2017

Once the 2017 was safely in, growers in Burgundy were in holiday, relaxed mood. With good reason, for ‘17 brought much kinder weather, an even and steady ripening and – at last – good quantity for everyone along the Côte d’Or. Very good news after the traumas of frost and hail, three years in a […]

Les Jardins d’Anaïs

  If you ever find yourselves in Luxembourg (and we often do to meet some relatives and friends), you should dine at a beautiful restaurant called LES JARDINS D’ANAÏS set in a huge conservatory with tables in a beautiful garden near a canal. It is also a boutique hotel, situated in the Grund, the old […]


AZERBAIJAN: THE LAND OF FIRE We chose Azerbaijan as a destination for a week’s holiday for no reason: pure curiosity – that it had hosted the Formula One, Saha Hadid had designed one of the most modern and psychedelic cultural museum in Baku, that it was or had been the centre meeting point for the […]

Coteaux du Giennois celebrates 20 years as an appellation

Appellation Coteaux du Giennois is celebrating its first 20 years this year. In 1998 it was promoted from VDQS to full appellation contrôlée status. The VDQS category was created in 1949 and was intended as an in-between status between vin de pays and full appellation. Giennois became a VDQS in 1954. VDQS came to end […]

The Loire Central Vineyards – expansion and renaissance

The last 27 years has seen very considerably changes in the Central Loire Vineyards. With one sole exception it has been a tale of success and expansion. It is fascinating to compare the area planted in each of the Central Loire appellation in 1990 with the area planted in 2017.  An overall increase of 2451 […]

Weingut Ernst Triebaumer, Rust, Burgenland, Austria

The first Triebaumer, a Lutheran fleeing from the Catholic Counter-Reformation, arrived in Rust in 1691, married the daughter of a local winemaker, and set the family on its course for the following three-and-a-quarter centuries. Rust is the centre of the production of Ruster Ausbruch botrytis wines, amongst the greatest sweet wines in the world, and […]

Andrew Jefford on Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé – all things are not equal

There is a very good post (Sancerre and friends) by Andrew Jefford published on on Monday 18th December 2017. Not a surprise that Andrew’s article is good. No the surprise is that this was the first time that such a long established wine writer has visited Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and the other Central Loire appellations. […]

The largely hidden threat of esca: including a conversation with Christophe Mesliard

Esca is a vine fungal disease that usually over time kills the infected vine. It is becoming an increasing threat to the vineyards of France and other parts of Europe. Dying vine Reports on vintages tend to concentrate on how a particular year’s climate has impacted on the quality and quantity of wine made in […]

Jordanian Wines, Ancient And Modern

Not long ago, my husband and I spent eight days in Jordan as part of an historical and archaeological tour. Naturally I was looking forward to drinking Jordanian wines, about which I knew virtually nothing. What I had not anticipated was that I would also see two ancient wineries. Thanks to the knowledge of our […]

Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Cru Vallet

November 12th 2017 saw the official launch of Cru Vallet, the latest Muscadet Cru to seek recognition by the INAO and the French Government. Cru Vallet would be the 10th Muscadet Cru Communaux assuming that all goes to plan and that it gains recognition. It is also the potentially largest in terms of area planted […]

Weingut Rainer Wess

The father-daughter combination of Rainer and Christina Wess work in tandem in both the vineyards and the winery – deciding when to pick, what yeast to use, and when to bottle. Whilst Rainer appears to do more of the clambering around the tanks, Christina takes the lead in marketing. It’s a successful combination, with Weingut […]

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 […]

2017 Loire Vintage now underway

The last week of August has seen the start of the 2017 vintage in the Loire. The Ban des Vendanges for Muscadet (the official start of the harvest) was on 30th August, while picking in Anjou-Saumur for sparkling wine started a couple of days earlier. Langlois-Chateau started picking their Pinot Noir on 28th August. Although […]

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 […]

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 Kent […]

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, […]

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