Standing in his sun-drenched hallway, my friend and I stood before the newly-hung painting that he bought not long ago. “With a bit of luck, it might even go up in value,” he said, with an arched eyebrow. I couldn’t help but think of the altogether stranger investment of my wine collection.
It’s not […]
There’s so much to enjoy when you visit a restaurant: a friendly welcome, the convivial atmosphere, catching up with friends… then some smiling bastard hands you the wine list. Pages and pages of wines you’ve never heard of, at prices you’d baulk at in any shop, and it’s your job to pick one […]
Jean-Louis Chave makes some of the greatest wines in the Rhône. The Hermitage and Saint-Joseph he produces from his family estate are among the best of their respective appellations. Naturally this level of quality doesn’t come cheap, so they are a rare treat even to committed Rhône lovers like me.
Although he doesn’t […]
Which comes first: the celebrity chef’s animated persona or their success in television? Martin Lam has largely eschewed the media over his 45 years in the restaurant business. Perhaps it’s how he’s remained so down-to-earth; at 62, he has the affable but astute demeanour of a QC on his day off. Another consequence, however, […]
When I listen to electro I crave Riesling. The precise polished perfection of the sound somehow recalls the technicolour citrus acidity of the wine. Châteauneuf-du-Pape however suggests the gothic aesthetic, excess and volume of hard rock and early metal – Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Uriah Heep. Châteauneuf has never been a retiring […]
In 1984, a man called Dr Alan Limmer was doing some work at a government viticultural research station on North Island, New Zealand. One day he heard it was about to be closed down due to lack of funds and the vineyards bulldozed. He raced over there to see what he could salvage. He […]
Orange wine. Grower Champagne. Biodynamics. Trends come and go in wine like anything else. Some are clearly gimmicks (blue wine, anyone?) Others, like Natural wine, feel more significant. One global trend in red wines has taken hold over the past ten years with all the inevitability of a rebellious teenager. Power and […]
Sunday 29th January
New Zealand is a friendly place. Before I’d even landed in Auckland, a guy in the passport queue had taken my details and promised to send me a list of his favourite Syrahs. And within ten minutes of finding a wine bar the owner had poured me a generous taster […]
It’s hard to beat Syrah from the greatest sites in the Rhône, but I’ve tasted a few from New Zealand recently that have been really impressive. I’m on my way over there tomorrow for a couple of weeks for a closer look – my first visit, so I’m hugely excited. I’ll be tweeting as […]
Is there a quicker way to get to know someone than by flicking through their music collection or browsing their bookshelves? Both feel like a little glimpse into their soul. For wine lovers, rifling through someone’s cellar can be equally enlightening. I’ve spoken to some of the best wine writers in the UK; they […]
Shortlisted for The Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards 2017 Food and Wine Writer of the Year
Shortlisted for the Born Digital Wine Awards 2016 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2016 Online Drink Writer
Winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2015 Blogger of the Year
Shortlisted for The Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards 2015 Online Communicator
Runner Up in the Born Digital Wine Awards 2015 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Harpers Wine & Spirit French Wine Awards 2014 Best French Wine Writer/Critic
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014 Blogger of the Year
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013 Blogger of the Year
Off Licence News Top 25 Policy and Opinion Formers 2013
Winner of The Drinks Business Awards 2013 Communicator of the Year
Winner of Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2013 Newcomer of the Year
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2012 Blogger of the Year
Matt Walls first got into wine working in an off-licence in Brighton. He has since worked for Bollinger Champagne and helped manage and buy wines for The Sampler, one of London's best wine shops. He now spends half his time writing about wine and the other half collaborating on various wine-related projects. His first book, Drink Me!, was recently published by Quadrille and has sold over 10,000 copies.
- Buy my book!
- Guy Farge Saint-Joseph Blanc 'Vania' 2016, Northern Rhône, France
Just 6% of Rhône Valley wine is white, but it’s well worth exploring. This Saint-Joseph was a stand-out during my recent masterclass on white Rhône at the London Wine Fair. Guy Farge is a fourth-generation winemaker at his family estate and is making some stunning wines. This has aromas of honeysuckle, apricot, toasted almonds and lemon pith. It’s full-bodied, but there's a wonderful tension in the wine, and a balance coming not just from acidity, but also subtle bitterness and a saline streak that I often find in wines grown on granite. Not hugely complex right now, but energetic and textural, with a long finish. Hugely drinkable, deeply satisfying. It’s not cheap but it is fairly priced for this level of quality at £23.99. The 2016 hasn’t quite reached the UK yet, but Bybo have the 2014 (click through).
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