Seasonal Eating: soon time for Samphire

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Fresh Samphire

Seasonal Eating: Soon time for Samphire I consider myself blessed to have a Fishmonger that turns up every week at the local market. When in the season, he includes a couple of handfuls of emerald green samphire for free. In Britain, Samphire grows naturally in muddy salt-water marshes and estuaries around the coast. It’s a seasonal delicacy, at its best …

Campo alle Comete, Stupore. UK Exclusive!

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Campo alle Comete Stupore Bolgheri Rosso DOC 2015

Campo alle Comete, Stupore. UK Exclusive! The wines of the Bolgheri region, down on the Tuscan coast, excite me in a way few others can. Bolgheri has become a magnet for wine investment, and many famous Italian wine producers have expanded into the area. Bolgheri is primarily Bordeaux-blend land, where the Reds achieve a rare intensity and Sangiovese plays only …

Terre à Terre in Brighton – bohemian like me

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Terre à Terre

Terre à Terre in Brighton – bohemian like me Terre à Terre in Brighton is possibly the finest vegetarian restaurant in Britain. It was opened in 1993 by Amanda Powley and Philip Taylor. Since then, their vision of fine dining has become legendary, a celebration of the ethical and sustainable, without meat or fish. It’s been six years since I …

Recipe: Spaghetti alla Norma, a real taste of Sicily

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Spaghetti alla Norma, Sicily

Recipe: Spaghetti alla Norma, a real taste of Sicily A big bowl of Spaghetti alla Norma is truly the essence of Sicilian cuisine. I first ate it in Ragusa many years ago. It’s a tomato and aubergine pasta heaven that forms a regular part of my diet. Hearty and healthy, it’s so foolproof to make that even I can do …

Book Review: The Oxford Companion To Cheese

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Book Review: The Oxford Companion to Cheese

Book Review: The Oxford Companion To Cheese Imagine the world without cheese. I wonder if you can. For me, that’s a vision of hell. If you feel the same way, then you really should invest in the newly published The Oxford Companion to Cheese. Billed as “the first truly comprehensive reference work dedicated to how four basic ingredients – milk, …

Sunday Lunch at The White Swan, Wighill

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Sunday Lunch at The White Swan, Wighill

Sunday Lunch at The White Swan, Wighill Sunday lunch is the great British Food tradition for friends and family, regularly voted as one of the things that most define Britishness. We went to The White Swan at Wighill in North Yorkshire recently to see whether they could serve a Sunday lunch that could rival the essence of home-made cookery. The …

València – where ancient meets modern

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València - ancient meets modern

València – where ancient meets modern This article is the third and final instalment in my Levantine trilogy. Having covered Utiel-Requena and Alicante, this time it’s about the city of València and the DO wine region of the same name. They blend ancient and modern Spanish cultures into something unique. It makes both of them places of contrast and essential …

Chateau Musar, Legend of Lebanon

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Chateau Musar Red, Lebanon

Chateau Musar, Legend of Lebanon They say that any self-respecting wine writer should have an article on Chateau Musar, the legendary wine from Lebanon. So here’s mine. Wine making in the Lebanon possibly started as far back as 7,000 BC, in the Biblical countries of Canaan and Phoenicia, lands of milk and honey. Phoenicians traded Lebanese wines around the Mediterranean, and …

I Veroni Chianti Rùfina Riserva – verticale

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I Veroni Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG

I Veroni Chianti Rùfina Riserva – verticale Chianti has seven subzones besides Chianti Classico, the best-known region. Chianti Rùfina, (pronounced, in my best London accent,  Roo-fina) is the best of these. It’s a small enclave of 1,000 hectares at most, and probably accounts for only about 3% of all Chianti production. Perhaps it’s the only Chianti subzone to rival Classico …

Utiel-Requena: searching for the heart of Bobal

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PDO Utiel-Requena / Bobal Requena rooftops

Utiel-Requena: searching for the heart of Bobal Utiel-Requena is one of the appellations in the València Region, alongside Alicante and València itself. It’s the largest and furthest inland of these, about 60 km west of València, home to an indigenous red grape called Bobal. Neither appellation or grape are exactly household names. But now times are changing. The climate is …