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Wine Guide

Wines to Avoid - A personal list of dislikes

Walking into an shop that has a huge array of wines on offer is intimidating. It's the volume of choices on offer today that does it: twenty years ago the choice was limited, so choosing was a lot easier. There are two ways you can approach this multiplicity of choices, you can stick to a couple of wines that you know or you can take a chance. More>>

Wine Tastings - Some of their peculiarities

Wine tastings are curious things, the more you do them the more you're struck by the peculiarities of the tasting process. I started thinking about this some time ago in Italy, when some friends of mine were saying that they'd only drink Champagne, never Italian sparkling whites. More>>

Wolf Blass - The man and his wines

It must be true to say that the best-known wine-maker in this country is Wolf Blass. It's possible that, like me, you didn't know that that's his name on the bottle - Wolf being a diminutive of Wolfgang. I met him recently in London, where he was hosting a dinner to celebrate his fourth win of the 'Jimmy Watson' trophy, one of Australia's most prestigious for a year-old red. I say 'his', but we have to be exact here. More>>

Zinfandel - The grape and its wines

The reason why we have such a multiplicity of choices when go to buy a bottle of wine is thanks to a millennia-old process of genetic selection. Botanists will tell you that in Europe the aboriginal vine is the vitis vinifera, which translates literally from the Latin as the vine that brings wine. In the wild, vines climb trees for support and left to their own devices produce a few clusters of inconsequential grapes. One of our ancestors in the dim recesses of time discovered that grapes weren't just good to eat, if you put the juice in a container something magical occurred - the juice fermented into wine and you could get drunk. The process caught on remarkably quickly and soon anywhere that was suited to the cultivation of the vine became a wine-maker's haven. More>>
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