Riesling – Misunderstood and much maligned!

As regular readers of my blogs know, I am a big Riesling fan, and if pushed to pick my favourite white grape variety, Riesling would be right up there at #1. Yet retail sales of Riesling continue to lag way behind other varieties here in the UK and it doesn’t come close to breaking into the top 10 most popular grape varieties. Why might you ask? I think there are a number of reasons:I blame the 1980s… It’s probably…

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The true value of a bottle of wine!

It struck me that with the enormous number of outlets selling wine and the incredible range of prices on offer that it might be an interesting exercise to look at what actually makes up the price of a bottle of wine.  Before I go on, I should say, this is by no means me trying to influence how much money you should spend on a bottle – there are plenty of perfectly serviceable wines out there from the discount…

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“Z” is for Zinfandel

Zinfandel or ‘Zin’ to its friends is a grape which is seen very much as an American variety.  The French have Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon (and many many more!) with Zinfandel proudly wearing the stars and stripes of America. But the hard truth of the matter is the grape isn’t American at all! DNA has proven that Zinfandel is in fact the same variety as Italy’s Primitivo and the rare ancient variety Crljenak Kastelanski (from Croatia). A quick history…

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“X” is for Xinomavro

First things first, I expect most readers are wondering how on earth you pronounce it? It is actually quite easy...phonetically it is pronounced as “See-no-mav-ro”. Second main point: Xinomavro is a grape not a wine. About the grape – Synonymous with Greece, in particular the northerly Naoussa region, this black grape is widely considered the finest of the Greek varieties. Literally translated as ‘sour black’ – not a hugely appealing translation on the face of it I admit! ....and…

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“U” is for Uruguay

When you think of South American wine, the two nations that come to mind are Argentina and Chile, and rightly so as these two are the well established ‘big players’ on the international wine scene.  However, Uruguay is coming up hot on their heels, not in terms of volume perhaps, but certainly in terms of quality potential. Before I go into the wines and producers to look for, I wanted to give a quick overview of the history and…

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