Demystifying Rioja - Part 1

Someone once said to me that you can't go wrong with Rioja and I often recommend it as a wine to pour at parties, mainly because it is one of the UK's favourite red wines . Although white Rioja is growing in popularity it is still only a fraction of the red wine produced in the Rioja region so this blog focuses on the reds.

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Cabernet Franc: Time for the bridesmaid to step up to the altar


Despite being in the top 20 most planted grapes in the world, Cabernet Franc  may not necessarily be one of those grapes that you seek out when looking for wine. It tends to keep a low profile - more of a bridesmaid than the bride. But, for years overlooked, Cabernet Franc is reckoned to be on the upward trend .

The Cabernet Franc grape characteristics

Black grape

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2016: what's hot and what's not


On the wane

arrow down black.jpg Alcohol : Hats off to all those undertaking Dry January. There are certainly benefits to our health with lower alcohol consumption although I suspect the UK governent's new weekly limits will be debated for some time.

My mantra at Wines With Attitude remains 'Drink less but drink better' ; there is a good reason why I focus on wines in the £12 to £50

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To decant or not to decant? That is the question...

Often regarded as an old-fashioned, even somewhat pretentious practice, decanting wine has its fair share of doubters. Is it simply done for show or does it serve a useful purpose? If so, which wines should be decanted and how long before serving?

Why decant wine?

The main reason historically for decanting wine is to remove it from its naturally-occurring sediment which can taste bitter and,

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A day in the life of a wine judge

Judging wine

Dunsfold Park rotated copy.jpg

An unlikely setting for a wine competition you might think ... this is Dunsfold Park in Surrey – where the IWSC holds its judging sessions, Top Gear apparently films programmes (though never when I have been there) and aircraft come and go on the private airfield – I am reliably informed that the plane on the right is a Dakota and was there

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Aperol Spritz - the perfect summer cocktail

Popular in Italy as an aperitif, Aperol Spritz is a perfect cocktail for the summer months. You can find Aperol in most UK supermarkets; it is made by Campari and is a similar blend o f herbs, aromatic plants and fruit but it is orange-flavoured,  much less bitter and a perfect complement to  Prosecco .
The   recommended recipe is:

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Food and Wine Matching - some guidelines

Top tips on food and wine pairing



Food and wine matching can be a minefield. There is nothing wrong with ignoring the "rules" and just sticking to your preferred wines but sometimes wines can seem flat and lose their fruit flavours when served with certain foods and some meals can be enhanced by serving complementary wines. So it is useful to give some thought in

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The Fronsac & Canon-Fronsac appellations

Fronsac & Canon-Fronsac, Right Bank Bordeaux wines

Right Bank Bordeaux refers to wines from the vineyards on the North bank of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers. The wines are characterised by the dominance of Merlot in the blend of grapes used.


Left Bank Bordeaux wines, generally from much larger estates in the Médoc region with appellations such as Margaux, St Julien and Pauillac and in

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Wine Competitions & Awards - are they all hype?


Should you buy a wine based on a wine competition medal?

Gold Medal wines from Wines With Attitude.jpg I have to confess my position upfront - since 2014 I have been acting as a Judge at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (the IWSC), qualifying to do so because of my studying for (and passing in 2011) the Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

It is always an interesting experience to see how

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