A bottle and glass of raspberry wine from Shady Lane Estate Winery

Fruit Wines Worthy of the Name

Shady Lane Estate Winery “This tastes too much like wine…” That was what my wife said. But when that is the only criticism there is for a bottle of fruit wine that you happen to be drinking, then things could be worse. Fruit wines have a well-earned reputation for being sweet and simple. In fact, […]

The colour of Ciliegiolo

Ciliegiolo: Jewel of the Maremma

Ciliegiolo, Jewel of the Maremma For all my talk – and writing – about little-known or forgotten native grapes, there is another category that is no less worthy of closer examination. Not forgotten, perhaps, but overlooked. An ensemble player – often in the scene playing a supporting role, but seldom in the spotlight: the blending […]

Pitigliano in Tuscany

Maremma, Che Vini!

Maremma, Tuscany’s Underestimated Corner Driving south from Siena, I enjoyed experiencing the landscape and climate of Tuscany undergo nuanced changes. The vegetation became more spaced, the fields wider. The hills became more rolling. It was palpably warmer. Below the vines, the grains and the cypress trees the soils, which I obviously was not able to […]

Six wine glasses of different shapes and saizes

Wine Glasses: What Do You Need?

Glasses What glass is best for your wine? This remains a hot topic, and one that isn’t completely clear (forgive a terrible pun). This is really quite needless, since the point of a wine glass is simply to be a vessel to enjoy a drop. So allow me to answer the basic, burning question quickly […]

Old vines at Domaine Tempier

Wine Myths #3: Old Vines Make Better Wine

Wine Myths, Misconceptions and Misinformation #3: Old Vines Make Better Wine Nearly everybody knows that “old vines” make better wine. If you didn’t know that before, you heard it here first. But is it true? The answer is, unfortunately, a very qualified “yes and no”. Come now, if it had been a straightforward answer you […]

Monte Amiata

Montecucco: Sangiovese’s best-kept secret

What is Montecucco? We are in the warm south of Tuscany. Here, sandwiched between two well-known denominations specialising in Sangiovese, you will discover a third – much newer and very much less well-known – that benefits from similar advantages to its well-heeled neighbours, and which is producing some very characteristic, Sangiovese-based wines of high quality. […]