The other day I was hosting a masterclass on orange wines and opted to commence proceedings with my favourite Niels Bohr quote to the effect that “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.” So too with orange and natural wines. If they don’t physically realign the molecular structure of your […]

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Continued from Part One… There ain’t no sanity clause? One of the problems with charters is the administrative burden that they levy on individuals. If they are to be worth a candle they have to be rigorously enforced – without fear or favour. The cost to the growers (who would presumably have to foot the […]

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Wine Labelling: The Argument in a Nutshell – Part One

June 15, 2018

The hoary chestnut roasting on today’s open fire is the thorny thicket of labelling. Part of me fantasises about serving the überinterventionist winemaker with the lengthiest of self-inflicted writs –that they must stick (or swathe) a gigantic label detailing their 100 plus additives on every bottle of wine and then discover whether people still want […]

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Doug decants: The Wines of Andreas Tscheppe

June 13, 2018

Of Dragonflies, Stagbeetles, Salamanders and Butterflies Andreas Tscheppe is part of the Styrian quintet of vignerons called Schmeck das Leben (taste of life). He has small vineyard parcels in a few locations and a corner of a cellar in his brother, Ewald’s house, where he makes his wine. He only makes white wines from Sauvignon, […]

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Doug Decants: Bruno Duchêne’s La Luna

June 7, 2018

One of our “fauve-rite” summer reds Bruno Duchêne hails from the Loire Valley, where his family had a thriving business selling farm machinery. Before starting his career as a winemaker, he was a wild mushroom distributor in the Loire Valley and Burgundy, which is when he became interested in wine; meticulously made, natural, non-interventionist wines in […]

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A Trip to Georgia: Day 3

May 31, 2018

Of chacha at the gallop, Crazy Pomegranate=crazy-good food, old Rkat and new pet nat. They say in Sighnaghi that if you drink wine and chacha all night long you start to see the snow-capped Caucasus mountains. This is because dawn has broken and even through blur-vision-eyes everything is still visible and twice as audible. Despite […]

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A Trip to Georgia: Day Two

May 31, 2018

Of healing cheese, #skintouch, bonny Saperavi, a qvevri academy and super Supra. “Truth is not found in other people’s grapes. You can’t call that your wine. Truth is in growing your own grapes.“ –Soliko Tsaishvili The morning after the night before is not necessarily a pretty one. A few of the hardier sponges had soaked up […]

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A Trip to Georgia: Day One

May 31, 2018

Two semi-supras, twenty-one score and five grape varieties, the other Iberian coffee, dodgy spice dealing and trying not to fall in qvevris After an overnight flight you’re bound to hit the ground in Georgia sleepwalking. Whilst an infusion of chacha (grog to counteract grogginess) would certainly invigorate the flagging spirits, Georgian Airlines barely stretches to […]

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Tutti i Giorni: Three light Italian reds for every day glugging

May 24, 2018

We experienced a tantalising flicker of high summer the other day, the kind of weather that moves the great British populace to invoke the inalienable peasant rite of “pulling a sickie”. The swards of Clapham Common were plastered with comely youths flaunting and slurping wines as pink as their unprotected flesh. If orange is the […]

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Doug decants: Franck Balthazar, Cornas

May 24, 2018

Illustrious Hermitage is spoken with a regal drawl, all languorous and timeless, Cote-Rotie, with its pleasing assonance and alliteration, trips authoritatively off the tongue, then there is Cornas. Not Corn-ah, mind you but the stubby peasant finalising of “ass.” This tiny rustic island of world-class Syrah floats at the southern end of the northern Rhone. […]

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