May 28, 2020 8:00 am
Today we will take a trip to the Loire Valley.
Once inhabited by Neanderthals it is now known as “the Cradle of the French” and “the Garden of France”, the latter because of its vineyards, fruit orchards and even asparagus farms.
May 22, 2020 8:00 am
Doing my best to get inspired from home and have had a look at what the hard-hit French are doing. After all, they have consumed more rosé wine than white for a few years now.
They have obviously not been in a mood to celebrate and in...
May 15, 2020 8:00 am
Just imagine. My first memory of being taken to a fine-dining restaurant was as a very small boy.
An American friend (we thought all Americans were rich) took my mother and I out for a rare treat and, as cars were few and far between then,...
May 8, 2020 8:00 am
Last week we featured wineries, that out of the hundreds of thousands worldwide, were selected to be among the top 50.
Taking first place overall was Catena, followed by Penfolds, Torres and 19 Crimes.
Today, I will share...
May 1, 2020 8:00 am
I have often been told that the wine trade was a fortunate choice as folks will not only have a glass to celebrate good times, but also if they need a little cheering up.
According to a Nielsen survey, the US wine market increased by 27.6...
Apr 24, 2020 8:00 am
Let’s finish the progression from a few weeks ago, where we started with very small production wines, to our most recent column when we featured some of our biggest brands.
This week I would like to tell you how a $5,000 loan grew into the...
Apr 3, 2020 8:00 am
A few weeks ago I wrote about very small production wines and so today I thought that we could read about the other end of the spectrum. I often refer to these major worldwide brands as “the wines that helped pay for our sons to get educated”.
Mar 20, 2020 8:00 am
It is difficult to get an up-to-date picture of wine imports to China, as their overall consumption grew by about 80 per cent between 2013 and 2018 and their own acres of vineyards are now firmly in second place worldwide. It is challenging to...
Mar 13, 2020 8:00 am
As I think back to that fateful day of March 15, 44BC and the demise of Julius Caesar, I can’t help but be concerned for the wellbeing of friends now in northern Italy. Today, I will tell you more of a people and place story and leave wines till...
Mar 6, 2020 8:00 am
The esteemed Château Lafite Rothschild makes 15,000 to 20,000 cases a year. Château Latour produces 18,000 cases, Château Haut- Brion 10,000 to 12,000, Château Margaux around 12,000 and Mouton Rothschild 20,000.
These are the great First...
Feb 21, 2020 8:00 am
I recently wrote about our new investment in South African wine and now I would like to share facts on a few more from Cederberg, DeMorgenzon, the Raat Family and Simonsig.
At Cederberg Private Cellar, winemaker David Nieuwoudt says that he...
Jan 31, 2020 8:00 am
It all started back in 1652 when the Dutch East India Company planted vines in South Africa. This was done so that grapes and wine could be given to sailors during their voyage along the Spice Route. The vitamin C in fresh fruit warded off...
Jan 10, 2020 8:00 am
I really enjoy opening an old bottle of wine and thinking of all that has taken place since the grapes were ripening on the vine.
For instance, I had strategically placed a double magnum of 1990 Cignale on our kitchen island before Neil...
Dec 27, 2019 8:00 am
Of the roughly 3,255,555,555 cases of wine produced each year in our world, 10 per cent is sparkling. Champagne and prosecco slug it out for top spot and, although the latter produced about 600 million bottles last year, it would seem that...
Dec 13, 2019 8:00 am
I am thinking party time as well as roast turkey and so would like to make a few suggestions that you may not have considered but first, let’s go for the obvious — champagne.
It can be wonderful as an aperitif.
Because of its acidity...
Nov 8, 2019 8:00 am
I am thinking so much of a charming town plaza with towering trees, restaurants, art galleries, antique stores, wine-tasting establishments and even a boutique for cats and dogs.
The town is Healdsburg in Sonoma wine country and, as I...
Oct 25, 2019 8:00 am
One of my office compatriots has suggested that I write about the relationship between music and wine as this is a particularly significant week in my life for sound in general.
I am testing a tiny microelectronic device that samples the...
Oct 18, 2019 8:00 am
This Friday past, I made a point of doing something that I try to do at least twice a season; I visited the lobster seller who sets up base on Fridays between the roundabouts in Paget, and I purchased two.
In order to protect my reputation,...
Oct 11, 2019 8:00 am
I remember a time long ago when it was suggested to a top Napa vintner that his wines were “French-like”.
I am sure that it was meant as a compliment, but his reply was: “I really don’t give a damn, as I am just making the best wine that I...
Sep 27, 2019 8:00 am
For some reason I seem to have wind on my mind today, so let me share with you the relationship between it and our favourite tipple.
If you are a grape grower in Provence or the Rhone Valley of France you will be thankful for the mistral...
Sep 20, 2019 8:00 am
Last week, I wrote of some of the factors that establish the price of a wine, today, I will add another most important one — an oak barrel.
It is easy to pay $1,800 or more for a French one, that holds the equivalent of 300 bottles of...
Sep 13, 2019 8:00 am
As much as we like to discuss that lovely bottle of brunello that we had a couple of weeks ago, the cold hard facts are that most of the time most of us are happy to find an enjoyable wine for under $20.
So, how are prices determined? In...
Sep 6, 2019 8:00 am
I have just printed off a detailed five-page vintage chart for our sales team and our stores.
It informs us that years with a 98-100 rating are classic, 94-97 are superb, 90-93 are excellent, 87-89 are very good, 83-86 are good and 80-82...
Aug 30, 2019 8:00 am
Cabernet sauvignon reigns supreme worldwide with 840,000 acres planted, which puts it well above second place merlot at 657,000.
It was not until 1996 that DNA evidence at the University of California at Davis proved conclusively that...
Aug 16, 2019 8:00 am
It was only when a communication from Australia came in that I realised that I would unfortunately miss a particularly important day to write about this month and to contemplate what our Queen, Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and even...
Aug 9, 2019 8:00 am
A few weeks ago, in an article about hail damage, I mentioned that we would shortly feature a few very fine Rhône wines in our stores and that were part of the package when we became involved with Discovery Wines.
I will give you three...
Jul 19, 2019 8:00 am
I first saw anti-hail nets while visiting Mendoza, Argentina. They were on frames that ran along the vine rows and could swing open, rather like an Andean condor spreading its 5ft wings (10ft span).
When not in use, they folded up...
Jul 12, 2019 8:00 am
As I have spent much of the past couple of weeks watching the Fifa Women’s World Cup, my wife suggested that I write about wines made by females.
Few women would argue with the statement that their sense of hearing is far more acute than...
Jul 5, 2019 8:00 am
Wikipedia tells us that “an extraordinary number of wines claim to be the first Super Tuscan” and I tend to agree, based on the claims of a few folks that I know.
Whoever it was, the fact is that back in the 1970s, wines started to emerge...
Jun 21, 2019 8:00 am
I call this a story about mavericks. I could have heeded my thesaurus and used nonconformists, eccentrics, individualists or even rebels, as I feel it fair to label the mentioned winemakers any of these. They are all forward-thinking, highly...
Jun 14, 2019 8:00 am
With the long weekend ahead of us I would suspect that pleasant, crowd-pleasing wines with enough body and flavour to stand up to outdoor grilling would be what many are looking for.
You may have heard of an innovative trend where certain...
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