Mysterious Carmenere

If wine has a grape-shaped equivalent of Lord Lucan, Amelia Earhart or George Mallory, it's Carmenere. This grape was a familiar and well renowned part of the landscape in Bordeaux for centuries until phylloxera struck in the 19th century. Growers weren't keen to replant it because it...

Susie’s Christmas Bellini

So here it is: Susie's Christmas Bellini. As featured in this month's Waitrose Food magazine. You didn't ask for it. You may not even know you want it (yet). But it's delicious and thoroughly seasonal. It's a twist on the classic Bellini, which is Prosecco and peach....

Want good value Pinot Noir? Try Chile.

Most wine lovers have a soft spot for Pinot Noir. It's a masochistic tendency. Not only does good Pinot Noir tend to be expensive, it can also be very hit and miss. For a slightly elusive wine that inhabits a tantalising middle ground between white and red,...

On ageing Sauvignon Blanc in Decanter

So come on - where do you stand in the great Sauvignon Blanc debate? Some people hate it - saying it's too obvious, boring, short-lived or just too popular for its own good (in UK shops, it's now the best selling grape variety by some margin). But...

Susie interviewed in Glass of Bubbly

So what are Susie's favourite sparkling wines, which regions does she think are most under-rated, what are her top food and fizz combos, and what's her most memorable glass of bubbly? You can find the answers to all these tricky questions in this interview. [Susie Barrie MW...

Brazilian fruit face-off

So, a Brazilian fruit face-off. Not an article of mine, but one which I was sent after visiting Brazil and features some funny faces being pulled during a tasting of Brazilian fruits put on for us by Prazeres da Mesa magazine and Enocultura. I was in...

Maximum Chile

Something of a throwback article, this one - revisiting the top marks I gave to a glorious Chilean Chardonnay (Aristos Duquesa d'A 2008) in Decanter magazine's January 2012 edition. The reason for posting this now? Something of a hullabaloo about wine critic James Suckling giving a...

The Revenant

There is something gloriously ancient, mysterious and knotty about Carmenère. Its story brings together competing historical hypotheses, ampelographic hide-and-seek and remarkable powers of reinvention. It gets both winemakers and wine drinkers hot under the collar, with the power to dismay and delight in seemingly equal...

Great Whites of Chile

Imagine the scene. Steeply rolling hillsides, dark forests in the background, the foreground a hectic green sea of bush vines sprouting vigorously from rich terracotta soil. On a rickety table in the middle of the vineyard there is a glass of mysterious white wine. It...