Kathleen’s Blog


Kathleen’s Blog

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 History and Culture of wine

So who first invented wine?  It is probably more to the point to ask, who first discovered wine?  It is not difficult to make it.  On the outside skin of the grape is the yeast and on the inside is the sweet juice:  mix them together, leave it for a few days for the yeast […]

GAILLAC, AN AREA OF HISTORIC GRAPES AND UNUSUAL WINES

            The wine area of Gaillac in South-West France surrounds the cathedral city of Albi, east of Toulouse and north of Carcassone. Cut through by the Tarn River valley, it is a landscape of rolling hills and plateaux. As befits an area which saw extensive warfare during the Albigensian Crusade […]

A Small but Focused German Tasting

I’m responsible for the German section of WBTL, and its recent publication was a signal to begin work on the next. My first duty is to take a close look at the 2014 vintage, but I also wanted to look at some producers which are not yet discussed in the guide. Because the organising principle […]

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