Vegetarian Haggis – It’s not so Offal

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Vegetarian Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

Vegetarian Haggis – It’s not so Offal Vegetarian Haggis? A contradiction in terms. Hold on, not so fast. In the early 1990s, while staying in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh, we happened by chance on Macsween’s butcher’s shop. It was there that the late John Macsween built his reputation as a premier Haggis maker. On entering, we discovered his Vegetarian …

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Francone – comparing two big Italian red classics

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Francone Barbaresco & Barbera

Francone – comparing two big Italian red classics “The best way to arrive in Neive is to skirt the magnificent rows of Nebbiolo lining the road that leaves Alba and passes through Tre Stelle, then Barbaresco.” So wrote the founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, in 1999. He went on to say, “Towards the end of summer, there is a stupendous array of …

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Derthona – Solving a Cult Wine Puzzle

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Derthona Timorasso, Vigneti Massa

Derthona – Solving a Cult Wine Puzzle This unprepossessing bottle of white wine hides away a genuinely remarkable story worth telling. It has an attractive label, yet that gives away little as to the contents, where it’s from, or just how good it is. In the UK, Italian rare-grape geeks are most likely to recognise it. In Italy, it’s become …

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Lightstrike – Richard of York Gave Battle In Vain

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Lightstrike Prism Spectrum

Lightstrike – Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain Incidences of lightstrike seem to be becoming an increasingly commonplace wine fault. At least, that’s my experience over the past couple of years. Whether at home, in restaurants, at tastings and even when wine judging. You may have noticed it too, as it’s foul-smelling. Curiously, it’s also a fault that’s less …

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Pasión de Bobal Rosado – Last of the Summer Wine

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Pasión de Bobal Rosado

Pasión de Bobal Rosado – Last of the Summer Wine The late August Bank Holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is held on the last Monday of the August. It represents the last gasp of the Summer holidays*.  After this comes the Great Return; whether to work, to college or school. Who hasn’t had cause to dread that dreary prospect? And …

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Peter Zemmer Riesling and Pinot Noir

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Zemmer Rolhüt Pinot Noir

Peter Zemmer Riesling and Pinot Noir A recent Wine Alchemy article introduced Weingut Peter Zemmer, from the Alto Adige (Südtirol) region of Italy. It featured his “cru” Pinot Grigio Riserva called Giatl. Rather than reprise that piece here, suffice to say that the Peter Zemmer operation is a family-owned winery in the south of the region, at Cortina ssdv. As is typical …

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Louis Pommery England – English Sparkler, French Twist

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Louis Pommery England

Louis Pommery England – English Sparkler, French twist Champagne Houses have kept a watchful eye on English Sparkling Wine ever since it started making waves a few years back. What began as rumour became fact when they bought land in Britain for sparkling wine production. Two Champagne Houses well-known for this are Vranken-Pommery Monopole* and Taittinger.  Meanwhile, English Sparkling wine is …

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Litorale Vermentino – Val Delle Rose, Famiglia Cecchi

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Litorale Vermentino

Litorale Vermentino – Val Delle Rose, Famiglia Cecchi I recently joined a great online wine tasting presented by Andrea Cecchi. His family wine roots date back to 1893, and they bought their first property in the sixties, which was Villa Cerna in Castellina, Tuscany. However, Cecchi’s enterprise has grown significantly. They now have three other Tuscan estates (another in Chianti …

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Nadsat and Newspeak – Words for Wine

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Nadsat and Newspeak

Nadsat and Newspeak – Words for Wine Are you self-isolating in Airstrip One, watching our dystopias unfold? Choose from climate emergency, the covid-19 pandemic, surveillance society, social media hate-crimes, fake news, or 1001 other worrisome issues (add your own here).  Our world can sometimes seem like it’s becoming a combination of two classic books: George Orwell’s 1984 and Anthony Burgess’s …

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Peter Zemmer, “Giatl” – a unique Pinot Grigio Riserva

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Peter Zemmer, Giatl Pinot Grigio Riserva AA DOC

Peter Zemmer, “Giatl” – a unique Pinot Grigio Riserva Heading north on the A22 (Autostrada del Brennero), you’ll arrive in the Alto Adige (Südtirol) region of NE Italy. In this southernmost part, fruit trees and vines flank the motorway. Here lies the pretty and tranquil village of Cortina ssdv, or Cortina sulla Strada del Vino. It’s the smallest village on …

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