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Michael Robinson

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  • The Reds of Washington State
    Oct 11, 2019 8:00 am

    The Reds of Washington State

    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...

  • Time to try a Brunello
    Oct 7, 2019 9:47 am

    Time to try a Brunello

    Last weekend we had friends over for dinner and I opened a bottle of brunello.

    Its brilliance was a reminder of why I have spent so much of my life trying to understand the magic of wine.

    In 1865 the appellation of Brunello di...

  • The role of the wind in winemaking
    Sep 27, 2019 8:00 am

    The role of the wind in winemaking

    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...

  • More Monday to Thursday night wines
    Sep 20, 2019 8:00 am

    More Monday to Thursday night wines

    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...

  • A selection of Monday to Thursday night wines
    Sep 13, 2019 8:00 am

    A selection of Monday to Thursday night wines

    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...

  • For Bordeaux wines, Jonathan’s your man
    Sep 6, 2019 8:00 am

    For Bordeaux wines, Jonathan’s your man

    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...

  • The king of grapes for Labour Day
    Aug 30, 2019 8:00 am

    The king of grapes for Labour Day

    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...

  • Raise a glass with your left hand to toast mollydookers
    Aug 16, 2019 8:00 am

    Raise a glass with your left hand to toast mollydookers

    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...

  • Highly rated from the Rhône Valley
    Aug 9, 2019 8:00 am

    Highly rated from the Rhône Valley

    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...

  • Bottling a climate
    Jul 26, 2019 8:00 am

    Bottling a climate

    I should warn you, dear reader, that the article today will be more about a cause than details on the wines themselves.

    Wine is about 85 per cent water and we are told that our brain is composed of 73 per cent water; our lungs ring in at...

  • The modern answer to hail damage
    Jul 19, 2019 8:00 am

    The modern answer to hail damage

    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...

  • Breaking through the glass ceiling in oenology
    Jul 12, 2019 8:00 am

    Breaking through the glass ceiling in oenology

    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...

  • Italian rebels: the Super Tuscans
    Jul 5, 2019 8:00 am

    Italian rebels: the Super Tuscans

    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...

  • The underappreciated half bottle
    Jun 28, 2019 8:00 am

    The underappreciated half bottle

    This morning found me wandering around the office muttering to myself: “What am I going to write about this week?”

    The suggestion was offered that half bottles might be a good idea and, so, here we go.

    Magnums, bottles and...

  • Three St Emilion mavericks
    Jun 21, 2019 8:00 am

    Three St Emilion mavericks

    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...

  • Wines to complement grill fare
    Jun 14, 2019 8:00 am

    Wines to complement grill fare

    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...

  • Penfolds: a one in a million brand
    Jun 7, 2019 8:00 am

    Penfolds: a one in a million brand

    It is estimated that there are about one million wine producers and, for 2019, Penfolds has been awarded the most admired wine brand by Drinks International.

    This is no fly-by-night decision as the publication and their...

  • You say garnacha, I say grenache
    May 31, 2019 8:00 am

    You say garnacha, I say grenache

    Heraclitus of Ephesus made an insightful observation 2,500 years ago when he said: “Change is constant.”

    At the time, wine grapes had been harvested in his country for 4,000 years.

    Fast forward to the year of my birth and our species...

  • And the winner from New Zealand is ...
    May 17, 2019 8:00 am

    And the winner from New Zealand is ...

    Last week, I championed chardonnay, but freely admitted that sauvignon blanc is the top drop here. Most hail from New Zealand and even though this country only accounts for about 1 per cent of the world’s total wine production, I estimate that...

  • Environmentally friendly new arrivals for spring
    Mar 29, 2019 8:00 am

    Environmentally friendly new arrivals for spring

    Tomorrow, more than 7,000 cities in at least 187 countries will turn off their lights for one hour.

    I understand that Greenrock in Bermuda is encouraging us to do the same between 8.30pm and 9.30pm, to make folks aware of this annual Earth...

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