Sparkling wine

Line-up June 2019

My favourite wines

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

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Ruffino trio

Ruffino’s top wines

Ruffino is a large wine company with an annual turnover of €100m. It was founded in Pontassieve, the gateway to the Chianti sub-region of Rúfina, in 1877 and has since gone from strength to strength.  The Riserva Ducale (‘reserved for the Duke’) line is named in honour of the Duke of Aosta. Back in 1890

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Tank fermented wines

Italian bubbles

Last night’s tasting with Andover Wine Friends reviewed Italy’s sparkling wines – the everyday bottles (basically tank-fermented) and the special occasion bottles (traditional method with classic varieties). Here is the line up for tank fermented: Passerina (example of a local variety, here from the Marche), Lambrusco, top quality Prosecco Superiore and delightful, inexpensive Asti.    

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Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck

Best wines of the S Africa trip

In the course of fifteen days in the Western Cape, more than half of them on a formal visit organised by Wines of South Africa, I think I received a pretty good snapshot of the current state of the wine lands. As elsewhere in the world, the emphasis was on fruit freshness, balancing acidity and

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single pole training, Olifantsberg

A week of wine in the Western Cape

Janet and I have spent an amazing, experience-packed week in South Africa’s Western Cape. The wine itinerary has been excellently organised by Wines of South Africa.   On some days we have already visited two estates by 10.30 in the morning. Other visits have been to bodies like the Chenin Blanc Association, the Stellenbosch University wine

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Neb day jpeg 2

Nebbiolo day!

We are all used now to days which celebrate or draw our attention to something important or special.  Apparently this is National School Meals awareness week and Men’s health awareness month. (Are men that stupid that they need a whole month to get to grips with things that might trouble them – well, probably.) But

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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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Taking the temperature of Italian wine

Taking the temperature of Italian wine: VinoVIP July 2017 Recently I was a guest of the Italian wine magazine, Civiltà del Bere (English website here), at VinoVIP 2017, held in spectacular Cortina d’Ampezzo, high in the Dolomites.   You can see my pictures of Cortina here.  I contributed to a session on Communicating Complexity (of

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