Sake from the Frozen North - Day 2, Yonetsuru and The Snow Monsters

POSTED ON 29/03/2015

Checking out of our hotel on the dot of at 8.20am (well, this is Japan), we took the one-hour drive to Yonetsuru Brewery in Takahata on a chartered bus.
 We had to arrive by 9.30 am because that’s when the rice-steaming starts and rice-steaming waits for no-one.

Yoichiro Umetsu at YonetsuruYoichiro Umetsu at Yonetsuru

Sake from The Frozen North - Day 1, Heading North to Yonezawa

POSTED ON 28/03/2015

Sake Brewery Tours set the scene but could the summary of what to expect live up to expectations?

She Gets a Kick from Champagne

POSTED ON 17/12/2014

Is this the fizz you ordered?Is this the fizz you ordered?

The CIVC, the official body that represents Champagne worldwide, is taking Rachel Jayne Powell, aka @ChampagneJayne, to court in Melbourne for tarnishing the good name of Champagne. It points the finger at misleading / deceptive conduct in using the name Champagne Jayne while also promoting other sparkling wines. Quelle horreur. It also suggests that by using the name Champagne Jayne, she has presented herself as an approved representative of the Champagne industry. Quel chutzpah.

Oh, What a Night, for the Tapas Bar Guide

POSTED ON 04/10/2014

In front of a packed gathering of the luminaries of the tapas bar world at Ibérica Marylebone, London, Wednesday night, Anthony Rose and Isabel Cuevas launched the much-awaited Tapas Bar Guide.

Executive chef César García of Ibérica, designed a fabulous menu of tapas and pinchos for the occasion, washed down with Mahou beer and wines from Torres, González Byass and Codorníu.

Be My Valentine? Wine & Song

POSTED ON 13/02/2014

I know, I know….I committed myself at the end of my last piece to recommending some fizz for V Day. Why? I’m not St.Valentine’s greatest fan. Time was when I could – did - wax lyrical about a Beaujolais Saint Amour, or a Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses.

But there’s only so much St. Amour a man can hold down. As for Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses, whatever the erotic story behind the wine, when was the last time you could afford one of the most expensive premier cru red Burgundies going?

Five go Mad in Madiran

POSTED ON 31/08/2013

In Spring, we five intrepid wine journalists who make up www.thewinegang.com visited South West France to make the most mouthwatering selection of wine favourites we could put together. We flew to Pau and drove the 120 kilometres to Irouléguy which is so far west it practically falls off the Pyrenees into the Atlantic. If the sprawling South West remains part of France’s route less travelled, then the same can be said, only more so, of Irouléguy.

Bordeaux 2012 - To Buy or Not to Buy

POSTED ON 13/05/2013

After a topsy-turvy year in the vineyard, the question exercising the mind of Bordeaux and its customers is whether the 2012 vintage is a silk purse crafted from a sow’s ear. On two counts. Firstly was the weather good enough to make 2012 saleable en primeur, i.e. right now, before the wines are bottled in two years time? And if so, are prices attractive enough to have us reaching for our silk purses?

Red Obsession

POSTED ON 22/04/2013

The exorbitant price rises for the great 2009 Bordeaux vintage focused global attention on Bordeaux as an investment vehicle as never before. In search of such a vehicle to place their newfound riches, the Chinese new wealthy fell for Bordeaux in general and Château Lafite in particular as the ultimate must-have luxury goods collectible.

A Tale of Two Cities - The 60th Anniversary Oxford and Cambridge Blind Tasting Match

POSTED ON 28/02/2013

It is not often that you spot the gentlemen of the wine press attired as if about to start their first day at public school, but smart suits and ties were the order of the day on a freezing cold February morning in the heart of London clubland.

A friend (Jancis Robinson MW) Michael Schuster can phoneA friend (Jancis Robinson MW) Michael Schuster can phone

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