Not much insecticide

I first tried this at the London wine and spirit trade fair. I thought it seemed a nice enough drink. It is an adequate, but slightly dull, aperitif. Riesling 2004, Plantagenet This has but hints of fly-spray on the nose, a common problem, I find, with Australian Riesling. It is obviously ripe, but has some […]


First of a set

I used to travel from Oxford to London just to buy Rockford’s Basket Press Shiraz. If only I hadn’t wasted my time and money ageing them. This wine is a bit more junior in Rockford’s range than the Shiraz. It is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Shiraz. Barossa Valley Rod and Spur 2002, Rockford Wines A […]


In the dim and distant past…

When I first got into wine as an enthusiastic youth I used to have a bit of a thing for Australian wines. I would hate to classify all Australian wines as ‘beginner’s wines’ but at the prices I could afford they tended to be well made and fun. As I grew older and my budget […]


One year of drinking

It suddenly occurs to me that I’ve been keeping this blog for a year. I’ve had some great wines during this time and pleasingly few nasty ones. Long may this trend continue!


Five wines from around the web #7

Everybody needs some Pol Roger 1996 in their cellar. Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2001, Château de Chambolle-Musigny/J et F Mugnier: One of the star performers in the 2001 vintage, this is a really refined and elegant Bonnes-Mares. £73 from Howard Ripley. Champagne Pol Roger 1996: This is a brilliant, tightly-bound Champagne of great intensity. Quite lovely […]


What doesn’t qualify

As part of the humorous ‘taste crap wines’ weekend that included the quite worryingly disgusting we also purchased a bottle of Frascati. It was quite an expensive bottle of Frascati as far as the supermarket’s selection went: a whole fiver. It had some fruit, a degree of bitter-almonds character and alcohol. It wasn’t bad, but […]


Not my style, nor should it be anybody’s

Dugat-Py are quite well thought of, on my occasional tastings of their wines I have often wondered why they are so popular and so expensive. They are not really beautiful, lovely Burgundies. Gevrey-Chambertin Tres Vieilles Vignes Coeur de Roy 2000, Bernard Dugat-Py This is a very dark wine. It smells more like an oaky Syrah […]


Blue Nun is vile and so is the wine

I was unfortunate not to have avoided drinking this

Purchased for a laugh, to remind ageing memories of what wine used to be like. All I can say is: By arse, this is disgusting. Blue Nun Original 2005, H. Sichel Söhne Has some odd, confected, artificial fruit on the nose. It also reeks of wet animal hair. In the name of all that is […]


They are ex-breakfasts, they have ceased to be

Guest columnist Peter Palmer laments the passing of a good breakfast at English bed and breakfast establishments. Remember the days when a stay at an English Bed and Breakfast meant a morning feast that would leave you patting your belly with satisfaction, a smile on your face and thoughts of how to work it off […]


Now this is the kind of thing I like

I am a big fan of the wines of Jean-Marc Roulot; they are elegant, refined and beautiful. They are also very easy to drink. We brought this back from our cellar in Burgundy Meursault Les Tillets 2001, Domaine Roulot This has a restrained nose of flowers and minerality. It smells very elegant and polished. The […]