The wines of Sicilia/ Sicily

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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Valbuena 1985 twice: what’s the chance?

Two red wines showing some age are served side by side in a blind tasting.  As wine ages it become increasingly difficult to age it accurately. If it is genuinely old, say more than 20 years, you feel quite good if you get the right decade, unless you know your vintages extremely well.  The first

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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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Wines for summer

Caviste’s summer wines have been shown at a number of tastings, most memorably in the presence of a crested eagle – a Bateleur no less – at the Hawk Conservancy. The star of the show had to be woken for his early evening snooze in order to make his celebrity appearance but when he did

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Mission impossible

One of the quirky charms of Overton’s ‘Bring a Bottle Club’ is the practice – usually followed by one of the regular members – of bringing a joker bottle to be tasted blind, like all the wine.  There are not many other places where you could taste a 10-year old English rosé, a Maltese red

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Cremant de Jura

Pictorial BBC1

It has been a demanding week – work has been full on, Diploma viticulture and vinification exam on Wednesday evening, Christmas hovering closer.  So instead of lots of words, here is a list and a pictorial version of the ‘bring a bottle club’ for December.  Normal service will be resumed shortly! Don’t miss the picture of

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Blind tasting oddities?

Blind tasting of random wines again … I think the best thing is to group the wines by type, clarity after the event being so much easier to achieve than at the time. So off we go with a, er, peculiarity: It’s definitely red, it’s sparkling, it’s slightly sweet … it’s not Shiraz, it’s lighter

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Sweet dreams

For much of human history, wine was sweet. Winemakers didn’t have the knowledge to get wines to ferment out completely and so inevitably the result was sweet. And anyway, people like sweet things and, it could be said, some sweetness can cover up a number of faults. In the last twenty years, fashion has dictated

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Bocca di lupo – a friendly wolf

Central London has been fortunate with new wine-related venues recently.  Alongside the tremendous success of Terroirs, near Charing Cross, Bocca di lupo, a splendid restaurant with excellent Italian food and wine, is to be found in a side street near Piccadilly Circus.  With both venues booking is pretty much essential – which tells you how

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