I contributed an article to the recent Decanter Rhône Special (July 2014 issue) on Crozes-Hermitage – they’ve since published it online, you can read it here.
I was also on the panel judging a hundred Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages in the same issue – one wine just squeaked into the ‘outstanding’ category: Domaine Les Grands Bois ‘Cuvée Maximilien’ [...]
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m beginning to miss the huge off-licence chains we had in the UK 10 years ago. Not that their ranges were that interesting, but I’m coming to realise they had a higher purpose. These thousands of wine shops across the land made [...]
A quick intro to the wines of St Péray…
Like a beauty pageant, the major wine regions of France try on many different styles in an attempt to please the masses. But they all have a weak spot. The reds of Alsace rarely excite; Burgundy seldom attempts sweet wines; and in the Rhône, it’s the [...]
The vineyards of Madiran are hidden away in the foothills of the Pyrenees in Gascony. They stretch along four jagged ridges that creep northwards from the mountains towards Bordeaux like a skeletal hand.
This is where the locals try to tame the Tannat. It’s a furiously energetic grape variety, so the winemakers need [...]
They wouldn’t have got past the elevator pitch in Dragons’ Den. “So you want to sell premium Austrian wines from a transport container in the East End of London?” summarises a puzzled Duncan Bannatyne; “I’m ooot.” But after just four months, Newcomer Wines is nearly breaking even already. What makes this all the [...]
A quick intro to the wines of Tavel…
Of all the colours of the rainbow, the colour pink has some unfortunate connotations. Often associated with cupcake icing and little girls’ toys, it’s a weak, frivolous colour. It’s rarely the sign of a serious wine either – how many truly great rosés [...]
If the majority of the press surrounding the 2013 vintage in Bordeaux is to be believed, most en primeur samples should have been gathered up, put in a sack and drowned in the Gironde like so many sickly, malformed kittens. Bordeaux is always the earliest serious wine [...]
A quick intro to the wines of Gascogne…
The Côtes de Gascogne, south of Bordeaux, is a sprawling region. There are no main roads, so it’s easy to get lost; this really is La France profonde. Driving from one winery to the next, I reach for the music selection, dithering between Beethoven’s Pastoral [...]
I always find it strange how fortified wines – Sherry, Port and Madeira – are so often portrayed as drinks for vicars and old ladies. The reality is these are drinks for hardcore hedonists. Not because they have (slightly) elevated levels of alcohol, but because the best possess an uncompromising intensity, a thrillingly [...]
A quick intro to Graves…
Every year, the two titans of Bordeaux – the Left Bank and Right Bank – lock swords in a battle for supremacy. Observing from the sidelines to the south is Graves, the gritty third wine region of Bordeaux, nonchalantly whittling a stick with its Swiss army knife. A less glamorous [...]
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year 2013
Off Licence News Top 25 Policy and Opinion Formers 2013
Winner of The Drinks Business Awards Communicator of the Year 2013
Winner of Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards Newcomer of the Year 2013
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year 2012
Matt Walls is part of a new generation of modern young wine writers who are more interested in mind-blowing flavour than etiquette. Having first got into wine working in off-licenses in Brighton, he has since worked for Bollinger Champagne and helped manage and buy wines for The Sampler, a wine shop in London where you can try the wines before you buy. He is a judge for three international wine competitions, and his first book has just been published by Quadrille – Drink Me! How to choose, taste and enjoy wine. He works as a freelance writer and consultant and is based in London.
From time to time I put on various types of wine events; some are free, otherwise cheap, mostly in London. If you want to be added to the mailing list just send an email to mw(at)mattwalls.co.uk. No wine knowledge or experience required - just a thirst for something interesting.
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