The wines of Puglia/ Apulia

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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Longparish’s Italian tour

I love writing pieces for this website but just occasionally it is good to have another voice, somebody else takes on a tasting. So here is the view of Tim Pierce, owner of GrapeExpectations, on the giro d’Italia which I led with his wines. It was a real pleasure to be in Longparish, just outside

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The Italian road less travelled

Recently, because of studying for wine exams, I have had to concentrate on tasting mainstream, commercial wines.  If it isn’t ‘widely available and commercially important’   sadly it isn’t high on my current list of priorities.  This is a complete volte-face for me.  Normally, I would seek out the local varieties and ignore the Cabernets, Chardonnays

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Things can only get better

May’s BBC 1 – bring any quality bottle or the odd joker and taste them blind  – threw up a distinctly mixed bag.  The whites in general,, unusually, did not shine, the one sparkling wine met a distinctly mixed reception and the evening was saved by good company and a high standard in the reds. 

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Puglia – the quality revolution

Andover Wine Friends’ January tasting gave the opportunity to review the stirrings of a quiet revolution going on in the heel of Italy. Puglia’s recent history – to add to the waves of foreign overloads going back to Greek times – has been of a reduction of the huge production, overproduction, of the 1980s (13

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Real Italy

When we think of Italian wine, we have established regions in mind – Valpolicella, Soave or Sicily if we are stood in front of a supermarket shelf, Barolo, Montalcino or Montepulciano, perhaps,  if we are talking to a specialist wine merchant.  In these contexts it is inevitably the regions which produce high volume at low

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Random wines

The May meeting of the blind tasting group was a great evening out … if more chaotic than usual.  It wasn’t obvious why. We had the same format: everyone brings a good/interesting bottle, we taste them blind, we get the wrong answer (mainly), we have a fine meal courtesy of the Red Lion, Overton, everyone

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Hotel Kellina arch

Arriving in Puglia

At the beginning of a trip, there is always the travel day – the early start, the wait at the airport, the anxiety of the unknown.  But then there is the arriving in which Puglia did us proud.  We touched down at 12.30 pm and by the time we had got through the simple passport

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Five top Italians … and a bonus

Some wine tastings are large and very mixed in quality: the fun is keeping your wits about you enough to find the best or the interesting in the midst of the ordinary.  Put a lot of wines in a small room and event might buzz – but it’s difficult to concentrate or even reach the

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Puglia comes to Hampshire

One table at Grape Expectations Christmas Wine fair really stood out for me.  This wasn’t just because it was Italian but because it featured wines mainly from one region, Puglia, usually known as the heel of Italy.  It’s always a bonus to be able to compare local styles side by side and to taste less

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