An open letter to Black Country Metalworks. Probably more than they bargained for when they had the bright idea to send me a wine rack to review.
"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.
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...
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.
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...
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...
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.