Why very hot weather is bad news for wine


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 on many crops including

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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.

Wine Tasting Notes

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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

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 very crisp, gooseberry, grassy style of Sauvignon

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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?  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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Natural wine vs organic & bio-dynamic wine

Natural wine by Wines With Attitude

"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 substitute for organic wine and / or biodynamic wine, 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, authentic

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Guide to high, medium & low alcohol wines

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Following my blogpost about the alcohol content of wine  READING WINE LABELS : THE ABV OF WINE I have produced the infographics below as a guide to high, medium and low alcohol wines.

As there are many elements that can affect the alcoholic content of a wine it is a general guide: but you may find some surprises on there.

Firstly the BIG wines:

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Guide to the ABV or alcohol level of wine

After the popularity of my two wine blogs, sulphites in wine  and wine provenance , I've been asked to take a look at other wine label information. So in this blog I'll look at the "ABV" percentage - what is that all about?

What does ABV on a wine label mean?

I'm sure you are aware that ABV relates to the alcoholic strength of

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In praise of the Semillon grape

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Here I take a look at the Semillon or Sémillon grape and why it is, in my opinion, hugely under-rated.

What's the big deal with Semillon?

Admittedly it is not going to appeal to people who prefer their white wines to be very light in colour and body but it has a lot going for it, not least the fact that it is so versatile.

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Wine faults - or wine characteristics?

One person's meat is another person's poison


In my previous blogs on wine faults I looked at the one true wine fault - corked wine - and at some of the minor flaws that you might experience in wine , often remedied by a quick swirl of the glass or by decanting. There are also a number of faults that fall into a grey

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