Tasting notes by Ben Franks

Below you’ll find a record of all the wines I have tasted worth writing about. If you like the wines I like, hopefully you will discover something new to try! Cheers!

Menu
Red ~ White ~ Rosé ~ Sparkling ~ Sweet ~ Spirits ~ Cider/Beer

★☆☆ A Good Wine
★★☆ A Great Wine
★★★ An Outstanding Wine
★★★ Pick! An Unforgettable Wine

Wines are listed A-Z by country and then A-Z by winery, brewer or distillery.

Red Wine Tasting Notes

Explore my tasting notes on red wine here. Each wine will link to an article, or occasionally an individual tasting note. With my red wines I tend to like Pinot Noir, Gamay and Nebbiolo in lighter styles, and rich, bold Garnacha or Negroamaro in my full-bodied wines. Of course, picking your favourites can be a massive generalisation and there are certainly some surprises along the way.

Australia

Bulgaria

France

Georgia

Germany

Hungary

Italy

Japan

New Zealand

Portugal

Romania

South Africa

Spain

Scroll back to top…

White Wine Tasting Notes

Next up are my tasting notes on white wines. I like a whole host of white wine, but my all-time favourite is Riesling. Whether it’s sweet with searing freshness, or dry and rounded with layers of fruits and honey, I find that when Riesling is done well it’s endlessly appealing. I prefer white wine to red when pairing with food, so I do opt for the white more than most.

England

France

Georgia

Germany

Hungary

Italy

Japan

New Zealand

Portugal

Greece

South Africa

Spain

Scroll back to top…

Rosé Wine Tasting Notes

Drink pink! This is one thing I’m totally onboard with. I’ve tasted some pink wines that are every bit as classy, interesting and complex as their white wine friends. I’m sure if you try some of my top rosé picks, you’ll love it as much as I do.

France

Brazil

Scroll back to top…

Sparkling Wine Tasting Notes

Pop the fizz! Explore my sparkling wine tasting notes, including the realms of Champagne, Sekt, Cava, English bubbly and beyond. What better way to celebrate than with a glass of fizz? My favourite bubblies usually walk the rope between bright orchard fruits and lashings of creamy butter on toasted brioche.

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Brazil

England

France

Germany

Hungary

Italy

Japan

Portugal

South Africa

Spain

USA

Scroll back to top…

Sweet & Fortified Wine Tasting Notes

I love sweet wines. I have a sweet tooth in the food world, but I can’t get along with syrupy sweet wines. Luckily there’s a whole world of nectars out there that get the balance of acidity and sugar spot on. You’ll also find a few fortified dry or medium dry wines in here, which I probably don’t taste enough.

Fortified Port

Late Harvest & Noble Rot Dessert Wines

Masarla Wines

Sherry Wines

Scroll back to top…

Spirits Tasting Notes

Spirits grew on me. For every example – whisky, gin, tequila, palinka and so on – I began my experience not liking them, then playing around in mixers, to largely preferring most of them neat or with a dash of water. Perhaps with the hard stuff, it comes with experience. I love peat, or any smoky spirit, and I enjoy seeking out the spirits that have been exceptionally creative.

Non-Alcoholic

Scroll back to top…

Cider and Beer Tasting Notes

I started in the drinks world reviewing beers for Peppermint Bars’ website when I was still in sixth form and, later, for the internal magazine at Waitrose where I worked. So I do like a good beer now and again, and it’s usually a stout – or something rich and dark anyway. Cider was a revelation. I drank too much of it as a teen and spent years despising it, until I met Cider Is Wine in 2019 and discovered the brilliant quality on offer. Some of these ciders are absolutely marvellous.

Ciders

Scroll back to top…