Christmas 2021 – a dozen delights

Paul Howard Articles, Biodynamic, Blog, Champagne, England and Wales, Food, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Organic, Spain, Sparkling Wine, Sustainability Leave a Comment

Happy Christmas 2021

Christmas 2021 – a dozen delights Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to you all! Thanks for reading, supporting and encouraging me during this incredibly challenging year. Here’s my present to you all – the pick of the wines for Christmas 2021, together with a Christmas Card. This year there are a dozen delights. All come highly recommended for …

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Off the beaten track – some lesser-known Italian wines

Paul Howard Articles, Biodynamic, Blog, Italy, Organic, Sustainability, Wine Tasting Leave a Comment

Nine Italian wines off the beaten track

Off the beaten track – some lesser-known Italian wines Despite the smaller harvests reported this year, Italy remains the biggest wine-producing country in the world. Many readers will know that this massive volume of wine is also incredibly diverse, whether in quality, price, style, terroir, business or winegrowing philosophies. The last time I looked, there were 569 grape varieties registered, …

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Bentu Luna is where the old ways are new again

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, Italy, Organic, Sustainability, Wine Business Leave a Comment

Bentu Luna Wine Range

Bentu Luna is where the old ways are new again. Bentu Luna is a new wine project located in the centre of Sardinia, based at Neoneli, in the Province of Oristano. It’s led by the Moratti family from Castello Cigognola in Lombardy and managed by CEO Gian Matteo Baldi, who grew up and worked in Sardinia. They have featured on these …

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Xinomavro – Celebrating International Xinomavro Day

Paul Howard Articles, Biodynamic, Blog, Greece Leave a Comment

Xinomavro JV Thymiopoulos

Xinomavro – Celebrating International Xinomavro Day Xinomavro is a Greek red grape variety that deserves celebration, and what better time than the annual International Xinomavro Day on 1 November. As a contribution, this article features a terrific example. Would you please welcome Jeunes Vignes from Thymiopoulos Vineyards? It’s an “entry-level” wine that offers remarkable quality and value, the perfect introduction. Xinomavro Xinomavro means …

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Gin the Ultimate Companion – New Book Review

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Gin the Ultimate Companion

Gin the Ultimate Companion – New Book Review Gin, the Ultimate Companion is a new book by Ian Buxton, published on 7 October 2021. The subtitle is “the essential guide to Gins, Flavours, Cocktails, Tonics and More”, and, as we shall see, it lives up to this description admirably. It may be the only book on gin that you’ll ever …

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Nas-cëtta, Part 2 – twelve Novello producers and their wines

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, Italy, Organic, Recipes, Sustainability, Wine Tasting Leave a Comment

Nas-cëtta

Nas-cëtta, Part 2 – twelve Novello producers and their wines Nascetta, Part 1, looked at the rediscovery of Nas-cëtta. Local producers rescued this semi-aromatic white grape variety, which survived only in Novello in Piemonte. In 2010, the Langhe DOC exclusively authorised the production of white wine in Novello using only 100% Nascetta grapes, creating a dedicated subzone called Langhe Nas-cëtta del Comune …

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Susumaniello by A. Mano – the Donkey of Puglia

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, Italy, Sustainability Leave a Comment

Susumaniello, aka The Donkey

Susumaniello by A. Mano – the Donkey of Puglia Susumaniello is a red grape native to Puglia, grown mainly around the major southern port of Brindisi, in the heel of Italy’s boot. Like some other Italian native grapes, Susumaniello became rediscovered in the late 1990s. Modern wine-growing has enabled it to make a significant comeback in this area, and it’s …

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Nascetta, Part 1 – Welcome to Novello

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Nascetta grape variety

Nascetta, Part 1 – Welcome to Novello Nascetta is a once-obscure white grape variety from Novello, a tiny hill-top village in Barolo. Once nearly extinct, Novello wineries rediscovered it and revealed its potential for exciting white wines. Now, in this prestigious area famous for red wine, Nascetta is garnering a reputation as “the White Barolo”. That’s some turnaround! There are …

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Tommasi: two terrific classics. Amarone and Ripasso

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Tommasi Cantina

Tommasi: two terrific classics. Amarone and Ripasso Back in July 2021, I wrote about Le Fornaci. a Lugana DOC white wine made by Tommasi. Tommasi is famous for two outstanding red wines from Valpolicella Classico, benchmarks of their contrasting styles. Their Amarone originated in 1959, while their Valpolicella Ripasso started in 1995. These red wines rely on drying the fresh grapes, …

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Sparkling alternatives to Champagne

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Sparkling wine bottles

Sparkling alternatives to Champagne Despite these challenging times, there are always reasons for celebration. Perhaps a new job, a promotion, a birthday, a wedding, an anniversary. Christmas, New Year, even a humble bank holiday. Bubbles carry with them a range of irresistible connotations. They can make us feel elegant, sophisticated, generous and carefree, so no wonder fizz is the first choice …

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