Wine & beer

Sainsbury’s sparkling wine tasting

Thumbnail image for Sainsbury’s sparkling wine tasting January 18, 2013

  Sparkly wine – what’s not to like about it?  We drink it on the happiest of occasions:  to celebrate a new baby; a new bride and groom; a new degree; a new house; a new job; a new year.   The general perception, however, is that the really good stuff is stratospherically expensive and […]

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Japanese food and Bordeaux wines @ The London Foodie supper club

Thumbnail image for Japanese food and Bordeaux wines @ The London Foodie supper club October 8, 2012

Bordeaux is also one of those names in the world of wine that has become synonymous with a number of things: red wine, excellence, scarcity… and inflated prices. It’s a byword for quality wine, but it’s also a word that encourages annoyingly wine-snobby comments like “oh, yes I can pick up the hint of mint and a flutter of cassis on the nose, it must be from the left bank”.

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Jacob’s Creek wine dinner at No. 35 @ The Hempel

Thumbnail image for Jacob’s Creek wine dinner at No. 35 @ The Hempel August 31, 2012

One of the great things about living abroad is that it opens up a while new world of wine enjoyment. Living in a wine-producing country such as South Africa, I drank almost exclusively South African wine. And why not: it’s generally of a very high standard, and drinking the imported stuff is hilariously expensive – so it’s a no-brainer. After a few months in the UK, I decided to get to the bottom of what all the fuss was about with Chablis, Rioja and Bordeaux and so I started exploring the wines of other countries. It has been an interesting learning curve and a very pleasurable way to develop a taste yardstick by which to measure and place your own country’s wines in the larger family tree of world wine. But what I find most interesting of all is that even after 10 years of drinking wines from regions all over the Old World, my palate still shows a distinct preference for the fruit and accessibility of New World wines.

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Waterkloof winery, South Africa

Thumbnail image for Waterkloof winery, South Africa August 12, 2012

Isn’t it funny how nobody who does family research ever traces themselves back to Godfrey, son of Godfrey, mediaeval street-sweeper extraordinaire?  Oh no, it’s always “King Henry VIII was my third cousin’s nephew, twice removed!” or “We can trace our family all the way back to Copernicus” or similar. You’d swear that the poor and […]

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Corrigan’s Mayfair

Thumbnail image for Corrigan’s Mayfair May 11, 2012

  When is a wine not a real wine?  And no, this is not a “how long is a piece of string” type of nonsense question with no answer; nor is it a reference to the disturbing “wine-style beverages” that you sometimes find lurking in the dark corners of the supermarket wine aisles, that bear […]

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Gorgeous by Graham Beck – a bubbly bar in Cape Town

Thumbnail image for Gorgeous by Graham Beck – a bubbly bar in Cape Town May 6, 2012

  It had been one of those days. We had arrived in Cape Town early in the morning from London after a night of little sleep, non-functioning seat-back TVs and rather too much alcohol (refer to previous item regarding seat-back TVs!).  I had purchased a data bundle at the airport to load onto my South […]

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Crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms for the Chablis Challenge

Thumbnail image for Crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms for the Chablis Challenge March 7, 2012

  There are many advantages to having older parents, as I did.  But one of the downsides is that you are unlikely to have a long acquaintance with any of your grandparents.  At least two of my grandparents passed away before I was even born, and the other two lived pretty far away all my […]

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