Fruits, herbs and spices are fairly common, but can you detect minerals in a wine? Certain individuals pick up aromas associated with rocks like struck flint or chalk dust; others, the smell of seashells. Some drinkers perceive a kind of saltiness on the tongue. It appears to be a more widespread phenomenon [...]
What do you feel like drinking tonight? Red or white? Still or sparkling? Dry or sweet? With an endless number of wines in countless styles to choose from, it’s necessary to segment this unwieldy mass to help yourself (or someone else) make a choice. But as the world of [...]
After drinking it and writing about it, my next favourite wine-based pursuit is producing wine lists. Cafe Below is a restaurant in the crypt of St Mary-le-Bow Church in the heart of the City. Apparently if you’re born within earshot of the church bells, that means you’re a true Cockney, and when the building was [...]
The classic seaside town of Bandol, 20 miles to the east of Marseille, is a peaceful if touristy destination. But the terraced vineyards on the wooded hillsides behind the town are home to some fearsome beasts. When certain local grape varieties are grown in this crucible under the scorching Mediterranean sun [...]
Decanter asked me to write a piece on London wine bars, it’s in the current issue (November 2014), available now. It lists the ten bars that define the contemporary scene (and five excellent bars from the rest of the UK). You can download it using the link below.
There is a hierarchy within the family of villages that makes up the Southern Rhône. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is famous the world over, and achieves heights of excellence that make it the pride of the region. This firstborn son is prone to take itself a little seriously however, and sometimes its bullish behaviour can go [...]
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 [...]
Shortlisted for Harpers Wine & Spirit French Wine Awards Best French Wine Writer/Critic 2014
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year 2014
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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