Matching Christmas food & wine - starters

Tips for matching Christmas food with wine - and practical suggestions - Part 3

In this blog post I give some suggestions for wines that will complement seasonal starters and other foods typically served at Christmas. I cover in two separate blog posts a) main courses typically served at Christmas and suggestions for suitable wines and

b) guidance on wines to serve with desserts typically

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I wrote a blog post about ruby port after taking delivery of my first port, a beautiful Crusted Port from Churchill's Estates. I have now added a lovely tawny port from Quinta do Vallado to the portfolio so what better time to continue our journey on the Douro river to find out more about port and how tawny port (usually) differs from ruby port ?

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Reading Wine Labels: Old Vines

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Chances are you will have seen the term "Old Vine" or one of its foreign equivalent terms such as "Vieilles Vignes", "Alte Reben", "Viñas Viejas", "Vinhas Velhas" or "Antico Vitigno" on some wine labels. There is no requirement under any wine regulations that I know to mention the age of the vines used for wine grape production and yet old vine is a term that

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Albariño - crisp white aromatic wine: what's not to love?

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In honour of one of my best-selling white wines, Ferrum Albariño , let's take a look at the Albariño or Alvarinho grape and why Albariño wines are becoming increasingly popular . I latched on to this grape variety (pronounced phonetically as Alba-reen-yo) several years ago and have been slowly converting people over to its wines; in my opinion, Albariño, especially from the Rías Baixas DO,

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All you need to know about tannins in wine

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Is it just me or do you think that wines generally are becoming less tannic? I don't think my subconscious is pushing me away from more tannic wines when I taste and buy red wine. After all, in the right wine and when in balance with other elements of a wine, tannins are a good thing, providing character, structure, body and longevity ( see

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Wine Ratings; what's the score?

A critique of the wine critics

Woman-tasting-red-wine.jpg There are many people who review and score wine; I am often asked which of these wine critics I rate . So below are those wine critics at the top of my list and why - plus some information on the different ways they rate wine . I include what I think are the minimum scores that you should

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All you need to know about the wines of Priorat

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Some time ago one of my lovely newsletter subscribers asked me to cover the wines of Catalonia in one of my blog posts. It's a huge area with 10 recognised wine regions and difficult to generalise so I will split the subject of Catalan wines into more than one blog post. This first will focus on perhaps the best known wine region of Catalonia, Priorat,

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Lovely vegetarian summer recipe

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I am sometimes told that many wine bloggers and wine retailers don't give any thought to vegetarians when making food and wine pairing suggestions. I try to come up with some vegetarian dishes when I write suggested pairings for each of my wines but I guess, since I am not vegetarian, that I just don't have a sufficiently wide range of vegetarian dishes at the

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Why very hot weather is bad news for wine

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Looks positively glorious doesn't it? Beautiful clear skies, sunshine and heat, surely the perfect weather for wine grapes? But is it? Temperatures in Continental Europe in summer 2017 have been  regularly above 40° Celsius; the continental climate is known for being extreme, with very hot summers, but this year it seems that it is hotter than ever. The heat wave, nicknamed Lucifer, is wreaking havoc

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Detailed wine tasting notes - trick or treat?

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Do elaborate descriptions of wine make us think a wine tastes better?

I was drawn to an article in The Independent  which reported a study that concluded that elaborate descriptions of wine on labels can make us think that a wine tastes better - and make us spend more on wine. The article suggests therefore that this is a clever marketing trick.

Tasting Notes


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