Gaillac the Tortoise

Say the word ‘Gaillac’ and what does it conjure up? Not a lot. Florent Plageoles of leading estate Domaine Plageoles confirms “we have a big image problem”. It’s not that it has a poor image, it’s just it doesn’t have much of an image at all – not amongst most UK drinkers at least. But with its wealth of distinctive local varieties and unique wine styles, other winemaking regions would kill to…

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Champagne: the smallest stars shine the brightest

A brief introduction to the wines of Champagne... Most of us have a favourite Champagne, the label that raises a subtle smile when spotted in the lilting hand of our host. Champagne has a special place in the hearts of the British: we imported more than 34 million bottles last year, way more than any other country. Quite right too – when at its best, Champagne is still the greatest sparkling wine…

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Eleven Shades of Nebbiolo

To begin with I didn’t get it. Drinking Nebbiolo seemed like trying to swallow a cube, cut from a tree. It was hard, it was sharp, it was dry; and sometimes it tasted of wood. But the more I persevered I realised it was more like a beautiful but sadistic lover. It can be a rough ride, but still enjoyable; and sometimes it tastes of leather. Chiara Boschis, owner of the excellent Barolo estate E.…

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