“I love discovering new wines. There’s nothing better than sipping something you know you’re never going to forget.”
The finest wines have packs of history, charm – even seduction, at their best. The best wines are made by winemakers who love what they do.
Sometimes we need a little help choosing a good bottle. What do you do when you’re feeling a little adventurous? Pick a random bottle? Surf the internet for goldmines of information about that particular wine you’ve heard everyone’s been trying? Sure, you might discover something wonderful. But I think there’s a better way: match your palette with some of the great tasters of our day. Follow their journey – hey, follow my journey – and discover wine as a team.
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Did you know we consume more red wine in the south west than anywhere else in the UK? I love the versatility you can find in red wines today. Whether they’re rich and full bodied or delicate and elegant, red wine can be very exciting to explore. My favourite reds will be balanced with fruit and tertiary flavours.
2016, Fox Gordon Nero d’Avola ★★★★★★★★☆☆
2013, Sant’Ilia Cabernet Sauvignon ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
2011, Cantine di Negrar Amarone della Valpolicella ★★★★★★★★☆☆
2012, Grati Villa di Vetrice Chianti Rufina Riserva 97/100 GOLD
2015, Caves Vidigal Porta 6 Lisboa ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
2001, Jose Maria da Fonseca FSF ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
2014, Quinto do Crasto Douro Superior ★★★★★★★★★☆
2013, Quinta do Passadouro Tinto ★★★★★★★★☆☆
2013, Vadio Bairrada Tinto ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
2016, Waitrose Romanian Pinot Noir ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆
2014, Lismore Estate Syrah ★★★★★★★★★☆
I drink a lot of white wine. My favourite styles tend to be dry, although my favourite white wine variety is Riesling and some of the finest examples of Riesling I’ve tasted have been sweet. The important thing is that there is balance between sweetness, acidity and flavour intensity. I also like a wine that makes the mouth water!
I’m a big fan of sparkling wines. I have tasted widely in the field to explore all sorts of styles of bubbly. Personally, I love sparkling wines with a finely textured mousse and a balance of autolysis and fruit character. As such you may see me falling more for the traditional method styles of sparkling, but by no means all of the time!
NV, Chandon Rosé Brut ★★★☆☆
NV, Aimery Crémant de Limoux Brut ★★★☆☆
2005, Charles Heidseick Brut Millésime 99/100 PICK
NV, Dopff au Maulin Cremant d’Alsace Cuvee Julien ★★★★☆
2004, Joseph Perrier Royale ★★★★☆
NV, Lombard & Cie 1er Cru Rosé ★★☆☆☆
NV, Montlouis-sur-Loire Domaine des Liards Mousseaux Brut ★☆☆☆☆
NV, Dr Loosen Sekt Riesling Extra Dry ★★★★☆
2011, Klein Constantia Cap Classique ★★☆☆☆
NV, Roederer Estate Quartet Brut ★★★★★
Rose, Dessert & Fortified
Rose has never been more exciting and everyone who knows me will know how much I love sherry. I’ve also got a proper sweet tooth, so dessert wine and port have a soft spot for me. I’m trying to taste lots more varieties so hopefully over the next few months you’ll see a lot more tasting notes in this category!
Late Harvest & Noble Rot Dessert Wines
2013, Kardos Tundermese Fairytale (Tokaj) ★★★★★
NV, Cantine de Vita Marsala Dolce ★★☆☆☆