A PASSION FOR WINE FROM HOW IT’S MADE TO HOW IT TASTES

Imbibe; sip; quaff; savour; consume. There are many ways to describe the act of drinking wine. But they should all mean only one thing: pure pleasure.  My approach to wine is exploring, experimenting and enjoying – from French classics to obscure Italian grapes to New World boutique wonders.

Corks from bottles of Concha Y Toro's Don Melchor icon Cabernet

The Don of Chilean Cabernet

"Our wines are made in the vineyard" is a winemaker trope. But none of them have taken me into a ditch to prove their point. Until I met the team behind Chilean icon Don Melchor.
Be Fair George logo

Wine Duty: Enough Is Enough

If you love wine, like I do, and you live in the UK, you should be feeling p****d off. Duty on wine has risen by 50% since 2008. And it looks like it's about to increase yet again...
Me, dressed up, holding a BAFTA in a hallway outside the Style Suits at the Savoy Hotel

And The BAFTA Goes To…

OR All Dressed Up (And Nowhere To Go). Where I get all dolled up as if I were about to troop down the red carpet at the EE British Academy Film Awards. In these shoes? I don't think so.
Close up of Seresin Sun & Moon Pinot Noir label

What Wine, What Film 2014

Right then. It's awards season. All the films over the past year vying for gongs. So, what film would you watch drinking this Pinot Noir? The clue's in the name. And the taste will send you into orbit...
A bike in front of vines

The Bicycle Diary

On yer bike, they said. Go and look at geese and flowers. So I did, and got a better understanding of how Cono Sur's sustainable approach is more than a gesture. And it all begins in the vineyard...
Sign on Carmenere vineyard in Chile

Keep Carmenere And Carry On

If life gives you a grape you weren't expecting, make wine anyway! That's what the Chileans did with Carmenere. It's now their signature grape. But does it deserve this mantle?
Tokaji grapes

Sweet Dreams Are Made This

When you look at a bunch of shrivelled, mouldy grapes it's hard to believe they can turn into a wine as divine as Tokaji. I spend 24 hours at Disznókő getting under the skin of the amber nectar.
Board on Marsala barrel

Marsala Wine: Blame The Brits

In the 1770s, we took a Sicilian way of making wine and altered it to our needs. It became highly fashionable. And now it isn't. Is there a role for Marsala in today's world?
Glass of Barraco Vignammare Grillo 2012 by the Western Sicilian sea

A Kind Of Magic

Take some afternoon golden Sicilian sun, a vineyard by the sea, a glass of wine made from the grapes grown there. Add plump prawns and sea urchins. Abracadabra. An unforgettable moment at Nino Barraco's Vignammare.
Label for an Italian sparkling wine by Nino Franco

To Be Or Not To Be Prosecco

That is the question for Nino Franco's Grave di Stecca. Whether 'tis nobler to be associated with your fun, fruity siblings or take arms against a sea of forgettable fizz.
Bruno Paillard 2002 Blanc de Blancs

Le Fizz, C’Est Chic

Back in the days of disco, Bruno Paillard dreamt of making the perfect Champagne. He now makes several rather good ones. I am *forced* to taste some, including the new 2002 Blanc de Blancs.
La Tupina, Bordeaux

You Won’t Get Bored In Bordeaux

The one where I go to Bordeaux expecting it to be a bit up itself. Classed growths and all that. And guess what? From what I saw, it's quite brilliantly anything but...

PaolaTich on Twitter

  • Wow. Do you do that wih your stock or was that just practice? (Of which I need a lot more.),
  • oh, OK. I'll stop growing mine then.,
  • you need to grow a beard,
  • Leeuwin Chardy always reminds me of Noosa. In the rain. Getting hammered. Not much else to do in wet Noosa. (Prelude, not Art.),
  • One of today's other WSET treats was Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay 08. Proper stuff, none of your lean machines.,
  • I know:),
  • enjoy!,
  • Ending this morning's WSET Spain session on a high ,
  • Shoulderblades still sore from rolling out sweet pastry yesterday. It was chilled, right? (And worth it.),