Wine, Food & Drink Articles

Submit Your Article

“1983… (a Vintage Port I Should Turn To Be)”? Jimi Hendrix And 1983 Taylor

by Stuart George

My office at 50 Brook Street is just up the road from 23 Brook Street, where Jimi Hendrix lived from June 1968 to March 1969. It is well worth a visit to admire the meticulous recreation of the flat as it was when Hendrix lived there. “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)” is a song recorded in 1968 for the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third album "Electric Ladyland". Speaking of 1983 in Brook Street… We have a few bottles of Taylor’s Vintage Port. Overall, it was a very good Port vintage. The resulting wines were built to last, with ebullient tannins that have melted away over the years like the snow in Pinhão. The dilapidated labels of my bottles evidence long-term storage in a cool, damp cellar… Perfect! In the meantime, don’t overdo it with the “Bu...

Read Article


1966 Was A Good Year For English Football... And Pol Roger

by Stuart George

An Italian friend likes to remind me that England has won the FIFA World Cup only once, 55 years’ ago in 1966, and at home – as opposed to Italy’s four wins, three of which were overseas, and most recently in 2006… ☹️ In the year that England won the World Cup, it was an up and down viticultural year in Champagne. There was a vine-killing frost in the New Year of 1966; hailstorms during the summer months; and problems with mildew during a wet August. But the weather improved in September and October and some very nice wines were made (though probably not quite as good as 1964). This beautiful bottle of 1966 Pol Roger came from a private cellar in South East England. It’s been well-looked after during its 55-year lifespan. (Probably in better condition than a...

Read Article


1922 Fonseca Vintage Port | “april Is The Cruellest Month…”

by Stuart George

Famously (for Honours graduates of English Literature like me, anyway), 1922 is the year zero of 20th century literature – the year that saw the publication of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and James Joyce’s "Ulysses". It was also a fine Port vintage that was declared by most shippers. The 1922 Port wines were soigné, similar to those produced in 1917. This impenetrably dark (and impossibly rare) bottle of 1922 Fonseca Vintage Port was mouth-blown and hand-made (rather than machine-made). The neck (which had been wrapped to protect it in transit) has “stretch marks” – twists caused by the irregularity of mouth-blown glass. The bottle’s surface is gnarled rather than smooth. The punt (indented base) of the bottle has a conspicuous pontil “scar”, where the...

Read Article


The Final Evaluation- How To Tell If A Wine Is "good"

by Jennifer Evans

Alas! We have reached the final article in our wine tasting series. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a more in-depth look at each of the steps in wine tasting, from seeing to sniffing to sipping. Now that you’ve spent some time with the wine, it’s time to make a final decision: was it good or bad? That’s a pretty simple question for most people, because it’s all about you. If you liked it, it was good. If not, bad. It’s a little more complicated when you’re making a recommendation for someone else or when your job is to critique wine. You want to be as objective as possible, which can be challenging because wine tasting is so subjective. It can also be helpful to know what you liked or disliked about a wine when you’re looking for something new to try. Generally, wine is...

Read Article


2021 London Wine Competition Winners Announced

by Sophie Mellor

2015 Anubis Cabernet Sauvignon made by Levrier Wines in Australia won the superlative ‘Wine of the Year’ award. The results of the 2021 London Wine Competition are out. This is a competition where wines are judged for end consumers. Wines are rated with three main criteria in mind: quality, value and package. To be a medal winner, wines must show an overall rating in all three factors. This year’s competition saw entries from more than 36 countries. 135 different types of grape varietals were entered with the top three being Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The top countries to enter were Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, United States and Moldova. The biggest increase in wines was seen from Moldova. 2015 Anubis Cabernet Sauvignon made by Levrier Wines...

Read Article



Tasting- What It’s All About

by Jennifer Evans

We have finally arrived at the best part of the wine tasting series- TASTING! If you’ve been following the wine tasting series, we’ve had an overview, discussed appearance, and reviewed aroma. We’ve finally reached the part that most people think of when they think about wine tasting. As we talked about last week, the aroma of the wine is actually an important part of fully tasting the wine, but this week we’re going to talk about what all you perceive when you take that first sip or two. There’s actually a lot more going on than just the flavor of the wine! We’ll break this into two categories: structural characteristics, and flavor. Structure There are four different structural characteristics to consider. All of these contribute to how the wine both tastes and feels...

Read Article


All About Aroma

by Jennifer Evans

The Sugar Vine's wine tasting series is back this week and we are covering wine aroma today. As with any other food or drink, the smell of wine is an important part of the tasting experience. Don’t believe me? Try it. Hold your nose and take a sip or bite of something flavored. Before you swallow, let go of your nose. The flavors will seem much brighter than when you held your nose because your senses of smell and taste are very closely connected. You may also hear aroma referred to as nose or bouquet. While there are slight differences in how these are used, for the most part they are interchangeable and we’ll usually use the term aroma. The best way to smell wine is to swirl the wine around and then put your nose into the glass. Every time you take a sniff, you should re-swirl ...

Read Article


6 Changes To Wine Tourism In 2021 And Beyond

by Marla Durben Hirsch

Wine tourism, which had been growing steadily, is expected to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic within the next one to two years. But there will be changes to wine tourism moving forward. It won’t look quite the same as it used to – and we consumers are going to benefit. I recently had the opportunity to attend Wine Future 2021, one of the wine industry’s premier conferences. The conference, held over several days in February, featured more than 80 expert speakers from around the world, as well as keynote speeches from Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, and movie director/wine producer Francis Ford Coppola, among others. According to a recent worldwide survey of wineries, almost a third (31%) intend to increase their investment in wine tourism. Another 32% will at...

Read Article


Wine Appearance, Aka What’s That I See?

by Jennifer Evans

The 2nd installment of the introduction to wine tasting series is here and we are talking all about wine appearance. Some people define appearance as just the intensity of the wine, but we’re including everything you can see when you look at a glass of wine- color, intensity, and viscosity. To accurately evaluate the appearance of wine, it’s important to be in a well-lit space without harsh lights shining directly at you and to have a white background (a solid white piece of paper will work). Ready? Let’s go. Why does it matter? Now, you might be asking yourself what’s the point of worrying about appearance? Everyone knows that the smell and taste are important, but who cares what the wine looks like? It may not be too important if you’re casually wine tasting with frien...

Read Article


Introduction To Wine Tasting

by Jennifer Evans

One of the most common things I hear when I talk to people about wine is that they want to drink it but they don’t know how. You know what I say? You drink wine the same way you drink anything else- put it in a glass and take a sip. That really is true to an extent, but what these people are really saying is that they don’t know how to do a wine tasting to deepen their understanding and appreciation of wine. The good news is that anyone can learn to do a “proper” wine tasting and it really will help you appreciate wine better and learn more about why you like certain wines, as well as guide you in choosing new ones. Glasses The first thing to consider is your glassware. Don’t feel like you have to go out and get special wine glasses. If you don’t have any wine glasses at ...

Read Article