Archive for 2012

New Street wine shop, old school ideas….

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Since the Olympics and Paralympics lit their last firework there’s been little reason for me to venture out east and it’s made me rather sad. So I was pleased to be invited to a preview night of a new London wine shop that’s opened up in Liverpool Street giving my Oyster card good reason to take me, and you, in an easterly direction once again. ………

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Riesling in wunderland….

Friday, September 14th, 2012

When the French release a wine there’s fan fair and dancing, price wars and road trips. Take Bordeaux’s annual en primeur campaign and Beaujolais Nouveau. Other wine producing countries have similar wine occasions too but often they go under the radar for their more modest approach. Take the Germans for example. Good at football, making cars and general efficiency but when it comes to wine they’ve struggled to reclaim the hearts of this nation that once couldn’t get enough of their wines and frequently fail to get the attention they deserve amongst the wine drinking masses.


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Tantrums and trophies….

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Three of the world’s largest international wine competitions are held in the UK and across the year the wine calendar is divided into a delirium of sample sending, extreme tasting, result announcing and the grand finale of award dinners where the ‘super’ trophies are revealed.

I was invited this week to one of the super trophy finales, the first in a series of three black tie dos. It was the turn of the youngest of the UK accolade collectives: the Decanter World Wine Awards run by Decanter magazine. As the only surviving consumer printed wine publication on our shores it’s a magazine I’m desperate to love but I’m guilty of chastising for its old school approach. It’s heavily dominated by Bordeaux and old world wine categories which isn’t necessarily a bad thing except for the fact that there isn’t an equivalent rival to balance the picture with new world wines. But behind the façade of a magazine designed for your Dad they’ve been quietly building what’s become the most visited wine website in the world creating meaningful content delivered in a modern medium.
Now I’m impressed. ………
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We’re all going on a summer holiday….

Monday, September 3rd, 2012
….no more worries for a week or two…..
Visions of Sir Paul McCartney at the Olympic velodrome encouraging the crowd to spontaneously burst into chorus after chorus of ‘Hey Jude‘ was painful to watch. It reminded me of Wimbledon before they fitted the roof on Centre Court and Sir Cliff Richard bursting into song to entertain the crowds during the rain.
The difference between the two caught my eye when Stella, Sir Paul’s daughter cringed openly at her dad’s charade, he was once, after all, very cool. Sir Cliff on the other hand has always been cheesy, even as a peck-laden 71 year old his squeaky clean misdemeanour and tirelessly smiling face ………
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In the pink…..

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

The sun is shining and my freckles are out so it can only mean one thing…. I’m not in the UK!! I’m on a short but well needed holiday in Portugal. It’s not all pleasure play I’m not far from Sir Cliff Richard’s winery and my curiosity couldn’t resist a pit stop, more on that later. For now though the sun is out, the fridge is stocked with rose and in the words of Sir Cliff “we’re all going on a summer holiday” so here are my top tips for drinking rose this summer, it’s better late than never: ………

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Inspiring imbibing….

Monday, August 13th, 2012

To this day my brother claims credit for starting the stone washed jeans look that came about in the 80’s. As a teenager growing up in suburbia a long time before mobiles, camera phones and social media it’s tricky to explain how his fashion sense trickled so powerfully into the wardrobes of some of the greatest rock and pop idols of the time. But we never question it, of course. Twenty years have passed and luckily stonewashed jeans have yet to make much of a resurgence, however my brother’s influence on people around him has gone from strength to strength.

When it comes to inspiring Britain to get on their bikes there’s no denying that Wiggo is the new Boris, but I’ve been cycling long distance way before Wiggo became a household name and before Barclays stumped up the cash for Boris’ bikes. The inspiration behind it? My brother.

My brother is a keen cyclist. He’s cycled round the world on some serious expeditions, none less than 400km a time. China, Eygpt, Kenya, Vietnam, Cambodia, Paris…. a great way to take a break and get fit, you might think, but he’s no normal athlete. ………

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