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Fairview sparkling wine

Charles Back’s South African winery Fairview has recently released the first bottling of a new Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wine. It was made by winemaker Stephanie Betts and was inspired by a 6 week internship at Nyetimber in the English winelands in 2010. Unusually for a South African bubbly, the wine is a blend of Viognier (36%), Grenache Noir (34%) and Grenache Blanc (30%). Charles Back has... read more

Returning corked wine to Waitrose

Two years ago I got in touch with Sainsburys and Tesco regarding their policies on returning corked wine. You can read their responses here. I did the same with Waitrose this week and this was their response. Thank you for your email. When ordering wine with us online through Waitrose Direct, we offer a 28 day return policy on corked or damaged wines. We arrange for the wine to be collected, and the order... read more

Two good value Marlborough wines from Majestic

My favourite two wines from our casual wine club last week were both from Marlborough in New Zealand. The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and Brancott Estate Pinot Noir 2011.

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Guaranteed Old World Wine?

Interesting little flash on this Vin de Pays label from Château de Flaugergues. The wine is called Le vin de l’Uncle Charles and it’s label is pretty 1990′s new world, considering the use of font, colour and the fact that the grape variety is on the front label. But the flash proudly pronounces “Guaranteed old world wine”. Okay.... read more

Spice Route Wines moving forward

Chatting to Spice Route Wines winemaker Charl du Plessis at the London Wine Trade Fair it sounds like there are some good things happening for a top quality Swartland producer that tends to stay inexplicably under the radar.

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PIWOSA vs Tim Atkin’s Cape Wine Classification

With Tim Atkin’s Cape Classification causing some healthy and lively debate on social networks I thought it would be interesting to compare his list to the membership card of the Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA).

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Wise words for wine communicators

I don’t know if this is her own phrase or not, but Helen McGinn of the Knackered Mothers’ Wine Club said something so simple and so true during her chat this morning at the London Wine Fair…

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Fruit wines at Marks and Spencer

I am not sure how long these have been on the shelf, but I was interested to see these two bottles in my local M&S yesterday. Labelled as Sauvignon Blanc with Apples and Tempranillo Rose with Strawberries they are in the wine section but don’t use the word wine anywhere on the packaging. Fruit wines are nothing new but the way that these products are positioned is interesting. They are marketed... read more

Showrooming for wine?

Showrooming has emerged over the last few years as a common trend affecting high street retailers. More and more consumers shop online and without the costs of maintaining a physical store the online retailers can often provide better deals and flash discounts. If you haven’t heard of it, showrooming is basically when you visit a bricks-and-mortar retailer to try on, test or find a product that you... read more

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