Ever wondered why riesling is not as popular as chardonnay? Or why pinot grigio is as popular as it is? Could it be because a lot of people like character in their wine but not too much. Riesling is an acquired taste because its thrilling bite is more a challenge compared to the crowd-pleasing delights of chardonnay or pinot grigio.
I was propping up the bar at José’s eponymous tapas bar in Bermondsey when before you can say Rozinante, the barman offered me two red wines to taste, a bobal and a mencia. Not rioja please note but two relatively obscure yet delicious Spanish reds each with their own distinctive personality. I couldn’t resist a glass of Gramona, a cava that’s so refreshing it almost single-handedly redefines Spanish sparkling wine.
To invest or not to invest? That is a question often asked but less often
The turbulent, not to mention taxing, events of the past year seem so obvious with the benefit of a wing mirror. True we’d already seen wine sales starting to spiral downwards, but isolation from Europe coupled with yet another above inflation tax hike brought gloom if not quite doom to what was left of the high street. The new Oddbins and Wine Racks clung on. George Osborne riffled greedily through our pocket but failed to spot the gaping hole in it.
January 1. Exclusively for Wine Gang subscribers, Swarovski, the glass crystal manufacturer, designs a crystal ball that allows us to gaze into 2012. Seasoned with a liberal pinch of sea salt, this is what we now know will happen over the coming year: