Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Steve Grindlay: Sydenham and Forest Hill Through Time

The Kirkdale Bookshop and Gallery in Sydenham, London 

 Steve busy signing copies 

Yesterday local historian (London SE26 and SE23) launched his new book – Sydenham & Forest Hill through time (£14.99 from Amberley Publishing) – at the long established Kirkdale Bookshop. Part of a series called Through Time, which already includes similar books on East Dulwich and Beckenham, it contrasts old photographs from sites around Sydenham and Forest Hill with the same views taken today. For instance Cobbs Corner pictured in 1926 is compared to the Corner taken this year. It is fascinating to see what changes and what doesn't.   

 Window display of Steve Grindlay's new book

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Totally confused! Can I see a difference between Prosecco and Veuve Clicquot?

Veuve Clicquot on the top shelf – Valdo one down 
– 2nd label of Veuve Clicquot or a Prosecco?

Dear Veuve Clicquot Legal Eagles Team,

I trust you won't object to me writing to you but I am totally confused. I had thought that through your indefatigable and rigorous efforts a yellowy orange label on a bottle of sparkling wine indicated that this would unquestionably be Veuve Clicquot Champagne.

Imagine my surprise when I visited my local J.Sainsbury (Forest Hill, London SE23) this afternoon that confusion reigns supreme. There are a profusion of yellow/orange labels on bottles of sparkling wine. Some of these appear to be Prosecco and others Veuve Clicquot – presumably Champagne unless you have diversified into Prosecco. Sainsbury's appears to have a penchant for yellow/orange sparkling wines! 

Your fearless pursuit around a year ago of the small Italian producer – Ciro – or earlier Stefano Lubiana in Tasmania in 2001 appears to have been entirely ineffective – possibly counter-productive. Neither of these producers' wines are ever likely to grace the Sainsbury's shelves in Forest Hill, instead we have lots of attractive yellow/orange labels from sparkling brands like Canti and Valdo.

I trust you will use your well-established legal muscle to sort out this dreadful confusion. I hope you will assert Veuve Clicquot's sole right to yellow/orange labels for sparkling wines against all these other brands taking advantage of your reputation – treat it as Christmas coming early!

Consumers will surely be grateful!   

Which one is the Champagne please? 

Thoroughly confused: same colour so is the 
Canti Prosecco also a Veuve Clicquot Champagne? 

A tale of two labels: Veuve Clicquot and the offending ciropicariello 

The Cadoro label is more orange so I'm guessing 
it's Italian – so no confusion? 

Quite orange – both Proseccos?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Château de Minière (Ingrandes de Touraine, AC Bourgueil) Portes Ouvertes: 6th-7th December

Château de Minière 

Minière: Cabernet Franc 2014

Les samedi 6 décembre et dimanche 7 dimanche 2014


Programme :
De 14h00 à 18h00
Dégustation des vins du domaine

Animations et ateliers pour les enfants : « Je fabrique mon hôtel à insectes pour l’hiver » en compagnie d’Agnès Robineau, maraichères bio.

A 15h00 précises
Arrivée de Saint-Nicolas qui amènera des surprises pour les petits enfants qui ont été bien sages. Soyez à l’heure !

Selon la tradition nous servirons quelques gourmandises belges : chocolats, spéculoos, bonbons, …

Ce sera également l’occasion de visiter le domaine et notre boutique où vous trouverez plein d’idées cadeaux pour les fêtes de fin d’année.

Merci d’avance de confirmer votre présence avec le nombre d’enfants pour les ateliers : ou tél. 02 47 96 94 30

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Portes Ouvertes 6th-7th December: Domaine Flamand Délétang (Montlouis) + Vincent Careme (Vouvray)

Portes Ouvertes Domaine Flamand Délétang@Saint Martin le Beau 6th and 7th December.

Olivier Flamand: June 2014

Old vintages in the Flamand Délétang cellars

The same weekend – just across the Loire in Vernou (AC Vouvray) Tania and Vincent Carême also has their Portes Ouvertes.

Vincent Carême: October 2014

 Domaine Vincent Carême, Vernou

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Circle of Wine Writers: Alsace tasting with Olivier Humbrecht MW/Christophe Ehrhart

Beyond terroir  – exploring the influences on Alsace wines  
Today the Circle of Wine Writers held an excellent Alsace tasting in central London at the Naval Club with a fascinating presentation by Olivier Humbrecht MW (Domaine Zind Humbrecht, president of Alsace Grand Cru) and Christian Ehrhart (Josmeyer and vice-president of Alsace Grand Cru).  

Flight 1
1.    Emile Boeckel, Alsace Grand Cru Zotzenberg, Sylvaner 2012
Residual Sugar 4.00 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 6.95 g/l, 13.5° Alcohol, Marl-limestone, Conversion

2.    Muré - Domaine du Clos Saint Landelin, Alsace Grand Cru Vorbourg, Riesling 2012
Residual Sugar 2.45 g/l, Tartaric Acidity7.95 g/l,  Alcohol 13.5°, Clay-limestone, Biodynamic

3.    Domaine André Ostertag, Alsace Grand Cru Muenchberg, Riesling 2012
Residual Sugar 7.00 g/l,Tartaric Acidity 6.00 g/l,  Alcohol 13.5°, Sandstone-volcanic, Biodynamic

Flight 2
4.    Domaine Paul Blanck, Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg, Riesling 2010
Residual Sugar 20.00 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 6.29 g/l, Alcohol 12.44°, Granite

5.    Gustave Lorentz, Alsace Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim, Riesling 2008
Residual Sugar 7.60 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 7.80 g/l, Alcohol 12.5°, Clay-marly-sandstone

6.    Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Alsace Grand Cru Goldert, Muscat 2012
Residual Sugar 6.5 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 5.10 g/l, Alcohol 14.00°, Olithic calcareous, Biodynamic

Flight 3
7.    Josmeyer, Alsace Grand Cru Brand, Pinot Gris 2010
Residual Sugar 7.5 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 6.60 g/l, Alcohol 14.00°, Granite, Biodynamic

8.    Cave Vinicole de Pfaffenheim, Alsace Grand Cur Steinert, Pinot Gris 2011
Residual Sugar 30.00 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 5.5 g/l, Alcohol 13.6°, Limestone and clay-limestone

9.    Domaine Marcel Deiss, Alsace Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim, Complantation 2009
Residual Sugar 70.00 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 4.99 g/l, Alcohol 12.00°, Marly-limestone-sandstone, Biodynamic

Flight 4

10. Domaine Weinbach, Alsace Grand Cru Furstentum, Gewurtzraminer 2011
Residual Sugar 48.00 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 4.77 g/l, Alcohol13.5°, Marly-limestone-sandstone, Biodynamic

11. Hugel & Fils, Alsace – Vendange Tardive, Gewurztraminer 2007
Residual Sugar 96.00 g/l, Tartaric Acidity 5.06 g/l, Alcohol 12.7°, Clay-marl

 Olivier Humbrecht MW
(above and below)

Christophe Ehrhart

 Angela Reddin, CWW tastings organiser

Brian St. Pierre

Natasha Hughes MW
– one of the newest MWs

As an MW you have to be serious...!

 Richard James

Kathy Burk

 John Downes MW and Charles Metcalfe

 Charles Metcalfe

 Christine Austin

 Alison Mann

 Andrea Warren pouring
 Julian Jeffs: whose 6th edition of 
his classic book on Sherry has just been published.
The 1st edition appeared in 1961

 Carolyn Bosworth-Davies

Rounding up Alsace