Tasting Carmenere

This panel tasting for Decanter magazine focused on Carmenere - a repeat of the exercise from 2017 yet with hardly more conclusive results. Carmenere is a Chilean USP and makes some fine wines there but you can't help but feel the best is yet to come....

The Special Ones…

In which Peter pens a profile of François Massoc, a most unusual Chilean winemaker of French extraction and with a passion for making ambitious, sometimes extravagant, always engaging wines. The piece features profiles of five winemakers by different writers: Fernando Mora MW (Bodegas Frontonio, Aragón) by...

Our favourite wine destinations

When The Sunday Times Travel asked us to do a piece on our favourite wine destinations, our first thought was: hope they're going to give us lots of space. As it happened, they cruelly made us choose only six - three each. Peter plumped for Chile (Casablanca...

Interview: Paul Hobbs

Space. That's where Paul Hobbs wanted to go, as an astronaut. Wine is where he ended up. Described by Forbes as, 'the Steve Jobs of wine', Hobbs is one of the best known international wine consultants, with the likes of Mondavi, Simi and Opus One on...

Recommending English still wines

Pinot Noir in Essex?! Pinotage in Sussex?! It's all happening in English still wine at the moment. The sparkling wines of the UK go from strength to strength - and now they are being joined by a raft of still wines rapidly gaining critical mass and...

Susie’s The Food Programme on English wine

It was a fascinating experience putting together my recent BBC Radio 4 documentary The Wine Detectives, on how wine fraud is affecting (and being combatted by) top wine producers and buyers. Radio is such a brilliant medium for wine. So personal and evocative - almost meditative,...

Age and top South American reds

Is old wine better than young wine? It’s a common question. And the answer is, as ever, a qualified one: it depends. Largely, it depends on your preferences. Which do you prefer? The freshness and firmness of youth? Or the smoothness and so-called secondary or tertiary characters...

Decanter Retailer Awards 2018

‘May you be in heaven a half hour – before the devil knows you’re dead!’ So runs the famous Irish toast, which I quoted at a gathering of Britain’s finest retailing talent at the Decanter Retailer Awards on 20th September 2018. My chairman's speech was a similar...

Chilean Sauvignon Blanc on the Rack

Was this the worst Decanter panel tasting ever? Maybe that's over-stating things a bit. It certainly was heroically underwhelming. Dispiriting, even. Of 62 Chilean Sauvignon Blancs from £8-30, only 10 wines broached the 90-point threshold. More than half scored a lacklustre 85 points or less. No 'Exceptional' wines....

Viticultural Paradise Lost

'A viticultural paradise.' That was how some people used to refer to Chile. A country whose vineyards were refreshed by pure Andean melt-water, free from pests and diseases that afflicted other less wholesome nations, and where all vintages were bountiful and even. These days, reality is catching...