Vinosity: latest news and events from the world of wine

South Africa Beware

25 February, 2021

Photo credit: wosa.co.za On February 2nd 1990, the 331st anniversary – to the day – of the first grape harvest in South Africa, President F W de Klerk announced the imminent release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years in prison. …

Helping us through Lockdown

28 January, 2021

The best headline I have seen so far (and indeed, they are in short supply this month) captions a letter to The Daily Telegraph. It is headed ‘Dry – like Sherry’ and reads: ‘Sir, Visiting my local bottle bank, the …

’Tis the Season for Cream Sherry!

10 December, 2020

If you run a Google search for ‘crème de la crème’ you are met with three delicious options, crème brulée, crème fraiche and crème caramel. But if you Google ‘cream sherry’, you will be bewildered beyond measure. I was. (I …

Barolo Vignarionda is a Whole Other Story

9 December, 2020

Vignarionda or Vigna Rionda, or Arionda, or Rotonda. The shape of this cru explains the many variations of its name that have graced bottle labels over the decades: the Rionda Vineyard, is so-named because ‘rionda’ derives from the word rotonda, …

The Wine Trade 1964–2020

3 December, 2020

How has the wine trade changed in the 56 years since I joined Christopher’s (London’s oldest wine merchant) in February 1964 to the day I submitted my ‘Goodbye’ column for Decanter magazine in May 2020? It has transformed in pretty …

Bordeaux for Lunch

19 November, 2020

A lunchtime claret. I can’t think of another wine that is associated with a meal in quite the same way. It says something both about the wine, the meal and the diner, who is almost certainly of a certain age …

From Sherry Cobbler to Rebujito

28 October, 2020

In common with many drinks that enjoy international fame, sherry has, in its history, formed the basis for cocktail or aperitif type drinks. The two most famous are the Sherry Cobbler and the Rebujito. In May 2007, I published an …

The Judgement of Berlin, 23rd January 2004

15 October, 2020

Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi Photo credit: Sena Winery When I received an invitation from Eduardo Chadwick to attend a tasting of vintages from his three flagship wines – Dom Maximiano, Seña and Viñedo Chadwick – to be held in …

Sherry: Raise a glass together

14 October, 2020

As we move seamlessly from fino and manzanilla into autumn’s call of amontillado and palo cortado, do our minds turn south to Jerez where today’s temperature is 30˚C as opposed to the UK where it is 15˚C? Do we yearn …

The Judgement of Paris, The Historic 1976 Tasting that Revolutionized Wine

4 September, 2020

The judges’ table at the Judgement of Paris, which took place in Paris on 24th May 1976 Such was the title of George M Taber’s book, published in 2005 by Scribner and never out of print. It features California and …

The New Life of Chenin Blanc

3 September, 2020

Alheit Vineyards It is doubtful that there has been a greater transformation – in terms of quality, reputation and price – in any wine-producing country in the past three decades than in Cape Chenin Blanc. In 1990 it was the …

Important Reminders

3 September, 2020

That most readable of wine wordsmiths, Johnny Ray of the Spectator, caught my eye (again) last month. Empty wine bottles were the subject. Recycling was the context. Putting on a different spin, as it were, I used to jettison the …