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Michael Robinson

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  • A taste from Down Under
    Sep 18, 2020 8:00 am

    A taste from Down Under

    Topping the list of our world’s most planted wine grapes is cabernet sauvignon with 840,000 acres.

    Merlot takes the second spot with 657,300 and the popular pinot noir is well behind with 285,000. By far the winner in white is chardonnay,...

  • Toast summer with Marilyn’s favourite bubbly
    Sep 11, 2020 8:00 am

    Toast summer with Marilyn’s favourite bubbly

    Although these are strange times to judge which way our market is going, the decision has been made to reduce, for a limited time, the price of a few wines in our stores — with, of course, the desire to reduce stocks.

    From a purely retail...

  • Know your bubbles...
    Sep 4, 2020 8:00 am

    Know your bubbles...

    Let me start with discussing a few statistics as possibly a quick scan of those recently released may have led to the wrong conclusion.

    I read last week that car sales were down 99 per cent, clothes and apparel minus 97.1 per cent, but...

  • Just what is in a colour description?
    Aug 28, 2020 8:00 am

    Just what is in a colour description?

    August 4 of each year is designated “World White Wine Day”, and although I am a little slow off the mark, I would like to suggest a few off the beaten path today.

    First I must confess that even after 45 years in this trade I am still...

  • Celebrate wines made from historic pinot noir
    Aug 14, 2020 8:00 am

    Celebrate wines made from historic pinot noir

    Last week I wrote of pinot noir and how August 18 is set aside each year to celebrate the wines made from this historic, cool-climate-loving grape.

    We ended with Drouhin Cuvée Laurène Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette...

  • Pinot noir, the holy grail of grapes
    Aug 7, 2020 8:00 am

    Pinot noir, the holy grail of grapes

    The term holy grail is, at times, used to refer to an elusive object or goal.

    I use it in the way that many winemakers do as they strive to make a fine wine from a most difficult grape to work with.

    August 18 is designated as the...

  • Light, fruity and refreshing or big and rich? Try both
    Jul 24, 2020 8:00 am

    Light, fruity and refreshing or big and rich? Try both

    For this very warm summer weekend I was trying to decide whether to write about light, fruity, refreshing reds that can be served a little chilled, or big, rich reds to marry with grilled steaks, ribs and so on.

    Then the light came on — I...

  • Portugal’s wines are great value
    Jul 17, 2020 8:00 am

    Portugal’s wines are great value

    When I think of Portugal my mind goes straight to port, but in this summer weather some of their table wines are very pleasant, inexpensive and easy to enjoy.

    For instance Casal de Ventozela is a family business created in 1983 and...

  • A few new arrivals
    Jul 10, 2020 8:00 am

    A few new arrivals

    The Catena family of Argentina pioneered high-altitude vineyards that are known for their bright and direct sunlight day after day as well as their very cool nights. This wide diurnal temperature variation is so important for developing complex...

  • Chardonnay back in demand on island
    Jul 3, 2020 8:00 am

    Chardonnay back in demand on island

    This week, I had a chat with two of the staff at our store on Harbour Road in Paget because I wanted to get a feel for any changes in wine-buying patterns.

    One of them told me that chardonnay has been more in demand, starting about six...

  • Enjoying wines of a certain age
    Jun 26, 2020 8:00 am

    Enjoying wines of a certain age

    I wrote last week about wineonline.bm being back up and running and shared some of the wines in its “monthly specials” section.

    There are more, including ones that offer the opportunity of experiencing the effects of age.

    You may...

  • A great feature to our new website: specials
    Jun 19, 2020 8:00 am

    A great feature to our new website: specials

    Last year Burrows Lightbourn Ltd introduced a new data-processing system and decided to re-plan its online store, wineonline.bm.

    The site is now up and running and one of the features that you can click on is “monthly specials”, where you...

  • Drink a toast to National Rosé Day
    Jun 12, 2020 8:00 am

    Drink a toast to National Rosé Day

    In 2014, National Rosé Day was established to celebrate what is probably our world’s oldest known type of wine.

    It’s now done every year on the second Saturday in June, which just happens to be tomorrow.

    Although I wrote about rosé a...

  • Grass, gooseberry and lemon peel
    Jun 5, 2020 8:00 am

    Grass, gooseberry and lemon peel

    If I were to say grass, gooseberry, lemon peel, asparagus, acacia, geranium, chamomile, grapefruit, lime and even smoke (hence fumé blanc in California and pouilly fumé in France) you might develop a thirst for a glass of sauvignon blanc.

  • The Loire Valley: a magical place for winemaking
    May 28, 2020 8:00 am

    The Loire Valley: a magical place for winemaking

    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.

    This...

  • It’s time to enjoy a bottle of the pink stuff
    May 22, 2020 8:00 am

    It’s time to enjoy a bottle of the pink stuff

    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...

  • Some tasty recommendations to try
    May 15, 2020 8:00 am

    Some tasty recommendations to try

    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,...

  • More top wineries to appreciate during lockdown
    May 8, 2020 8:00 am

    More top wineries to appreciate during lockdown

    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...

  • Snoop Dogg wine coming to you soon
    May 1, 2020 8:00 am

    Snoop Dogg wine coming to you soon

    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...

  • A very large wine company
    Apr 24, 2020 8:00 am

    A very large wine company

    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...

  • The wines that are always in demand
    Apr 3, 2020 8:00 am

    The wines that are always in demand

    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”.

  • A new and emerging wine market
    Mar 20, 2020 8:00 am

    A new and emerging wine market

    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...

  • Going Italian will lead you to some tasty wines
    Mar 13, 2020 8:00 am

    Going Italian will lead you to some tasty wines

    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...

  • Small is beautiful: tiny production picks
    Mar 6, 2020 8:00 am

    Small is beautiful: tiny production picks

    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...

  • Grab a taste of the high life
    Feb 21, 2020 8:00 am

    Grab a taste of the high life

    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...

  • It’s 100% cabernet sauvignon
    Feb 7, 2020 8:00 am

    It’s 100% cabernet sauvignon

    Let me share some information on the favourite grape in our home.

    We are not alone as it is the most planted worldwide even though, historically, it is rather the new kid on the block.

    It all happened in the seventeenth century when,...

  • Wines from South Africa
    Jan 31, 2020 8:00 am

    Wines from South Africa

    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...

  • Petite sirah on a winter evening
    Jan 17, 2020 8:00 am

    Petite sirah on a winter evening

    Petite sirah is one of the world’s least planted grapes, and there is probably more in California than anywhere else.

    First created in France about one hundred and fifty years ago from a cross between syrah and the almost extinct...

  • Uncork memories with a glass or two from an old bottle
    Jan 10, 2020 8:00 am

    Uncork memories with a glass or two from an old bottle

    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...

  • Bubbles from around the world
    Dec 27, 2019 8:00 am

    Bubbles from around the world

    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...

  • A few suggestions for holiday wines
    Dec 13, 2019 8:00 am

    A few suggestions for holiday wines

    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...

  • Everyone should get to taste a great port
    Nov 29, 2019 8:00 am

    Everyone should get to taste a great port

    A few rules. I start with a quote from the first wine book I ever owned, The Signet Encyclopedia of Wine: “Every mortal should taste at least one great port on this earth before they come to die — no matter what it...

  • A compelling top 100 season
    Nov 22, 2019 8:00 am

    A compelling top 100 season

    Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast Magazine are now releasing their annual lists of wines that they feel deserve special attention. As I write on November 12, Spectator has just named their...

  • Bad Boy equals delightful wines
    Nov 15, 2019 8:00 am

    Bad Boy equals delightful wines

    As a boy, he moved from Algeria to France with his family and attended ?a private school that he dropped out of at age 15.

    He still maintains that he does not know a word of English, as he is “not smart enough for that”.

    Some years...

  • Thinking of Healdsburg, California
    Nov 8, 2019 8:00 am

    Thinking of Healdsburg, California

    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...

  • Music and wine: ideal partners
    Oct 25, 2019 8:00 am

    Music and wine: ideal partners

    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...

  • Bermuda lobster and wine
    Oct 18, 2019 8:00 am

    Bermuda lobster and wine

    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,...

  • 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...

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