Great British Beer Festival 2022

By Adrian | 12/08/2022

It was great to see the GBBF, organised by CAMRA, return to Olympia. There were hundreds of beers available plus gins, wines and many food stands. The stand out beers for me were: Blackedge Dark Mild (3.9%) – from a brewery based in Greater Manchester, a rich dark mild with loads of flavour from a…

Wines of the Eastern Mediterranean

By Adrian | 17/07/2022

We organised this tasting recently and it proved very popular. The wines provided were Chateau Musar Jeune White – Lebanon Musar Jeune White is an unoaked blend of Viognier, Vermentino, Chardonnay from youthful Bekaa Valley vines. Crisp and aromatic, this eclectic blend of French and Italian varieties has its own distinct personality – passionfruit, apples,…

London Wine Fair 2022

By Adrian | 17/07/2022

I was fortunate enough to attend LWF in June this year – it was great to see it back as a live event. Unfortunately there seemed to be fewer country stands than in previous years; however there were plenty of interesting people to speak to, and a lot of great presentations including Valpolicella, vermouth, Central…

PDO for Sussex Sparkling Wine (and Kent’s sour grapes)

By Adrian | 19/06/2022

Sussex Sparkling Wine has been granted official Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, which is the equivalent of Appellation Controlee in France or DOC in Italy. A PDO, once granted, identifies products that are produced, processed and prepared in a specific geographical area, using the recognised expertise of local producers and ingredients from the region…

WSET Level 3 Exam Tips

By Adrian | 18/05/2022

Tasting If you believe a wine is simple make sure you write the word “simple” in both the nose and palate sections, it’s worth a mark Ensure you comment on all aspects of palate – sweetness, acidity, alcohol, body, finish and flavour characteristics; create a mnemonic to ensure you remember them all SAABFF so you…

de Bortoli VAT 5 Botrytis Semillon 2017 – Wine of the Month January 2022

By Adrian | 06/03/2022

It’s amazing how often people say they are not keen on sweet wines yet whenever I include one in a tasting it generally gets well received. This wine was a favourite at a recent tasting and shows you don’t have to pay Sauternes prices to get a good one. A tasting note with aromas of…

Russian Vodka

By Adrian | 01/03/2022

Ok so we don’t normally do politics, nor do we do spirits; however these are exceptional times. The Drinks Business recently posted an article on this subject, some of which is worth reproducing here. Amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a movement to boycott Russian vodka in bars and shops has risen. The issues many…

Bordeaux: Up For Discussion

By Adrian | 25/02/2022

The wines for this tasting were provided by L’Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux. If you are ever in the city I recommend their courses, many of which are held in English. The wines tasted were as follows: Cuvee Clemence 2020 – aromas of lemon and pineapple with some oak on the palate, although less on…

Harper’s Top 50 Independent Wine Merchants

By Adrian | 11/09/2021

Congratulations to the following Sussex wine merchants who appeared in the Harper’s Top 50 Indies, together with the judges’ comments: THE BUTLERS WINE CELLAR This two-store merchant is as independently minded as they come. The Butlers team buy what they like, when they like, currently with a strong focus on Portugal and California, and sell…

Oatley Leonora’s 2020 – Wine of the Month July 2021

By Adrian | 09/08/2021

This vineyard was a new one for me, and a new grape variety, discovered on a recent trip to Somerset. I agree with their description of the wine: Crisp, fresh, elegant, balanced.  Aromatic and fruity. English rose-garden scent, dry Riesling style. Great with seafood, salads and spicy dishes. 100% Kernling grape. Kernling is a Riesling crossing…