Perfectly formed: the art of the short restaurant wine list

Many wine lists start out like ornate market gardens, with everything neatly laid out in sections and easy to manage. But over time it can grow into an endless jungle: a daunting place, impossible to navigate except for the most intrepid wine nerd. Some of them even start out that way. But grab your machete; it’s time to hack back. Neil Bruce of Studio Alto is one of the judges for the Imbibe…

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Confessions of an English Condrieu drinker

A short introduction to Condrieu... There are few wines as wantonly hedonistic as Condrieu. It’s the combination of heady, floral perfume and rich, unctuous texture that gets you hooked. The grape used is the unmistakable Viognier, and this is its greatest expression. Languid flavours of sun-warmed peaches, scented with jasmine and honeysuckle, perked up with a spark of orange zest. And to think…

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Canada: you can’t build an industry on Icewine

I wonder how many people buy themselves a second bottle of sparkling Icewine. Fun to try once, but it can feel a little bit... gimmicky. Let’s face it, who even buys much normal Icewine? For better or worse, it’s the wine for which Canada is best known. But perhaps not for much longer. Norman Hardie has been making impressive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Ontario, in the east of Canada, since…

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We need to talk about sherry

Sherry butts. Wrong answer. Last year you wouldn’t be seen dead ordering a sherry. It was drunk exclusively by nuns. And they would only touch it at Christmas, by the thimbleful. Even they were faintly embarrassed. All of a sudden sherry is fashionable. How did that happen? Well the important thing is that it turns out that sherry is an amazing drink, incredibly good value and in all likelihood…

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