Author Archive

“Discover Wines with a Story” Event at Carluccio’s London

Did you know that Antonio Carluccio started out as a wine merchant before starting his much-loved Carluccio’s restaurants? Now I know, it doesn’t surprise me. One of the best value meals on the high street, I’ve spent many times after tastings having a plate of pasta and a glass of quality wine, because wines, such […]

2014 Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé at The Modern Pantry, London

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to have lunch with José Rallo, owner of the Sicilian winery, Donnafugata at The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell. We finished with one of the “grandi vini” of Italy: their sweet Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé and a dessert of popcorn pannacotta with brown bread ice cream and a […]

2010 Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy

If you put your ear up to the glass like a shell you can almost hear it say, 2010 style: “I am the greatest!” Maybe. Give it another few Olympics. But there is power in the 2010 vintage.

Trentino treat: Elisabetta Foradori Teroldego at Trullo

So happy to find Elisabetta Foradori’s Teroldego when at lunch today at Trullo in Islington. From Mezzolombardo in Trentino, Elisabetta has been producing red wine for the past 25 years from this one grape. The one grape. You could almost say she is Teroldego. Benchmark stuff. Energetic and purity of colour typical in the Dolomites. […]

Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino 2004

Last bottle of the 2004 vintage, carried around from house to house for the past 5 years or so. But it really needed that extra time – now, everything is so on point. From sour cherry to deep Tuscan plum. New leather and melting tannins. The winemaker, Piero Palmucci has now retired, and his organic […]

A visit to Lina Stores in Soho

Squid ink ravioli with brown crab meat for starters. Ace Fiano Greco blend from Basilicata – a fairly remote and volcanic area in Italy that is truly fascinating to me. It tastes like super fresh and cold pineapple while sitting in the sunshine beside a bright pool. Bright! Lina Stores in Soho London is like stepping […]

Don Chisciotte at The Remedy Bar in Fitzrovia, London

  A brilliant Fiano from Campania at The Remedy in Fitzrovia (Warren St tube). If I had to taste this blind, I would never know it was a Fiano. The herbal character and the remarkable texture get under your skin leaving you wanting more. Never the same vintage. A very unusual wine, a natural wine, and I love […]

Rosso di Montalcino 2013: Don’t call me baby!

  I’ve never liked the term “baby Brunello” when describing Rosso di Montalcino. It has its own DOC, and the better ones are considered separate wines from the more expensive Brunello. A few of them have every right to say as they do in Dirty Dancing, Nobody puts baby in the corner! Recently I went […]

Five star vintage for Brunello di Montalcino 2010

The 2010 Brunello di Montalicino vintage has received a standing ovation from winemakers and critics alike. But it is not easy to generalise about a vintage in Montalcino. It is rare to hear unanimous praise. 

A little Dolcetto at lunch

The Dolcetto d’Alba  Vignevillej from Brovia at Trullo restaurant in Islington. Dolcetto is a fantastic lunch wine, and a good one should be able to step in when the (Barolo) boss is away and do a decent job. This Dolcetto d’Alba Vignevillej from Brovia does this and more – it has all the easy satisfaction of a lunch wine and a […]