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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In praise of Pinot Noir

What's the deal with Pinot Noir & why is it expensive?

My recent wine blog post, A Quick Guide to New Zealand's Wines, made my mouth water for Pinot Noir so I thought I would pour myself a glass and write about this tricky grape and its amazing wines.

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Pinot Noir was a very unfashionable wine for many years when the market favoured

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Guest Blog Post from Paul Howard of Wine Alchemy

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To write well about wine, to engage with an audience and do that consistently over many years is no mean feat. These days, many aspire, but few are chosen. Hugh Johnson has been at it now for 55 years. His latest book, subtitled Good Bits from 55 years of Scribbling, does exactly what it says on the tin. Right from the start, he grasped that

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Guide to New Zealand Wines

Some facts about New Zealand Wine

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The New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ocean

There is more to New Zealand wine than Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and yet Sauvignon Blanc still accounted for 72%* of New Zealand wine grapes harvested in 2016 ; most of those came from Marlborough. Amazing especially when you consider that the grape was only planted in Marlborough in the 1970s.

So the

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Old World wines & New World wines

We've all heard these terms but  what do Old World and New World wine mean and are they still valid terms in the wine world?

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Old World and New World have been used for many years as descriptors and categories for wine. I have even hosted several wine tastings on the subject in the past. Although I hear the terms used less frequently these days

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10 tell-tale signs that you are a wine buff

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Regular readers of this wine blog post will have an interest in wine. Most of you will consider yourselves wine enthusiasts but  how many of you are wine buffs ? Here are  some tongue-in-cheek clues  that might suggest you are getting bitten a little too excessively by the wine bug.
  •   Your wine bill will increase  as you appreciate the difference between well-produced wine

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Natural, organic & bio-dynamic wine; what's the difference?

"Natural wine" is a term that has been bandied about over the last few years but it is open to very loose interpretation. 

It is regularly used as a substitu te for "organic" and / or "biodynamic", two terms which themselves are also often confused . Several other words are also freely used to embrace the three concepts of natural, organic and bio-dynamic - raw,

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