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Posts from the ‘Drink’ Category

Drink: Chalk and Cheese

People assume tCastello Boardhat all wine and cheeses work together, but actually some wine/cheese combinations are awful. Red wine is to blame for most unsuccessful pairings as cream, soft, goat and blue cheese simply don’t work with red wine and may work better with white, sweet or fortified wines or beers and ciders. Read more

Drink: Drinking outside the box?

We live in an age of extreme technology, yet some things remain surprisingly static. Think of the humble water closet. First patented by Joseph Bramah in 1778, it remains virtually unchanged to this day. And how about the wine we drink? Despite the progress we have made in quality and consistency, it would still be recognisable to the pioneer winemakers of Armenia, six thousand years ago. Read more

Drink: Au naturel: backwards to the future

The natural wine movement, which began in France in the 1970s, could be seen as retaliation to all the taste-free, insipid, mass produced brands that litter our shelves. Although it has taken some 40 years to gather momentum, today natural wine is the buzzword on the lips of most sommeliers. Natural wines are now produced all over the world, but Italy and France are particular hotbeds of activity. But what is unnatural wine?

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Drink: April Fool

I admit it. One swallow last week and I decided that summer was here! I feel a bit foolish now as the rain pours down, but I have started so…. We all have a summer wardrobe, but many of us forget to drink with the season. Put away those heavy Barolos and Chiantis and let the sunshine into your mouth. Summer wines should be young, unoaked and light. Also if you are drinking in the sun, wines lower in alcohol are far more quaffable and the responsible choice!

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Drink: Forgotten Wines

somewhere-over-the-rainbowGood on Waitrose for starting a forgotten cuts of meat campaign (see Release the Pressure below). Perhaps I need to start a Forgotten Wines campaign. Whilst the buying power of the supermarket giants (again Waitrose is the only place that makes an effort) should give us more choice what we actually get is a sterile range of alcoholic fruit juices. There are over 300 different grape varieties grown around the world producing countless styles. Then why can we only have our Shiraz smoked, our Chardonnay oaked, our Merlot, Sauvignon and Cabernet ….um and our individuality choked? Read more

Drink: £500k – what it cost to feed (and water) G20 leaders

G20Whilst the rest of us enjoy the recession (I was reduced to a bottle of red from Tesco last night – rant to follow) G20 leaders tuck in to great vintage Bordeaux (Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1986). Good on them is what I say! Read my comment on the full wine list at

Drink: Krug Clos Encounters – The best things come to those that wait

KrugIn the world of luxury absolutes are rare. What is the unquestionably the most luxurious hotel in the world? Which is irrefutably the most luxurious car? Which Savile Row tailor is without shadow of doubt the most luxurious? In Champagne there is no such ambiguity: Krug is unquestionably, irrefutably and without a shadow of doubt the most luxurious. Krug don’t produce Champagne – they produce Krug!
Unusually amongst the great houses, Krug (founded in 1843 by Johann-Joseph Krug) still has the original family at the heart of the business, though it was acquired by LVMH in 1999. I was met at their Reims head office by sixth generation Olivier Krug. As I took in the rather drab surroundings of his office he seemed to read my mind “At Krug we invest our profits in the wine” he said smiling as he poured me a welcome glass. [Read On]

Drink: Potocki Wodka: a taste of freedom

potockiWe all dream about breaking free from the daily grind, cashing in the big house, car and life insurance (on your partner!). But what next? Your pipe dream may be a little vineyard in Tuscany, Zebra farm in Kenya or dive school in Mexico (the perfect hunting ground for a new, improved better half). But how many of us are actually prepared to put our hard-earned on the line?
Not so Jan-Roman Potocki who gave up a successful career in banking to resurrect his family business and enter into the cut throat vodka sector – a world in which new vodka brands appear and disappear like Beckham’s haircuts. Is there a method to his madness? [Read More]