The wines of Champagne

Line-up June 2019

My favourite wines

My favourite wines – for a special occasion, celebrating the end of MW exams

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Syrah spectacular

I have only recently come to realise how much I love Syrah as a wine. It has now joined my personal pantheon of Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese (and quite a few other tannic Italian varieties) and the very best examples of Chardonnay, roughly in that order.   These are the varieties I want to cellar

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Andover Wine Friends 10th anniversary tasting and dinner

In November 2007 Janet and I set up Andover Wine Friends with our very first public tasting at The Lights, Andover.  Five years on we had a happy party at which members all brought a bottle to share. For our tenth, we held a dinner for 26 in our house and a tasting on the

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La Trompette

Five courses, four groups of wines at La Trompette

Monday’s nights can be special nights.  This last Monday Janet and I joined eight others in a ‘Michelin madness’ dinner at which we all provided the wines while enjoying the very good cooking – and arresting artwork – at La Trompette in Chiswick.  Five fine courses, four groups of wines – Champagne, whites, reds and

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Cellar Tracker

Birthday bash

When do you drink those special bottles? Once you have built up a bit of a wine collection, the issue becomes when do you drink those special bottles?  You may only have one of each. Or a bottle you have stored may have become become ridiculously expensive in the meantime. Or a bottle represents a

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relabelled 1990

Champagne Castelnau relaunch

Champagne Castelnau, the substantial Rheims-based cooperative which produces 9m bottles a year, has just had a  brand-refresh. The new, clean, attractive labels have been updated. The refresh is intended to take the brand forward in the competitive market of the second decade of this century. Here is the old and the new:  The new design

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The line up

Bring a special bottle, 2016

Bring a Special Bottle Christmas 2016 celebration  Keen wine tasters in North West Hampshire meet in a range of formats – Andover Wine Friends, BBC (‘bring a bottle club’), TWITS (don’t ask), TWITS Diploma group and, of course, informally.  To these can now be added BSBC, bring a special bottle club.  This pays homage to

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Nyetimber 1

Nyetimber v Roederer

England rises … I recently ran a tasting for Andover Wine Friends which a decade ago would have been scarcely conceivable. In order to test the progress of the quality of English sparkling wine, it pitted the wines of Nyetimber, West Sussex against the grand marque Louis Roederer, historic Champagne house. On the face of

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Birthday dark party

Big birthday dinner

Big birthday dinner, an English evening outside  Just occasionally the English weather plays a hugely positive role in a special celebration.  For the last few weeks, we have been enjoying a warm, even hot, summer and the evening of my birthday was the last moment of this hot spell.  We planned to have the first

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Champagne still sparkles

The much anticipated, much postponed BBC (‘bring a bottle club’) on the theme of sparkling wine finally took place in September, having been chosen as a theme for birthdays in July and August.  It proved very instructive with one prejudice being confirmed and a couple of others weakened.  In terms of blind tasting it does

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