My Favourite Wines, Top Discoveries and Experiences of 2011

I feel like a respite from all the self indulgence that the Christmas holidays force upon me and feel my thoughts turning back to wine. As the New Year is coming up fast I thought that I would attempt to tell you about my wine highlights for the year.

Most of my top wines have been written up here on my Wine Page, but some have slipped through the net and are new today. Please always remember that this is an entirely personal list, but I hope you enjoy it and that it gives some food for thought.

Sparkling Wines

I was really spoiled for fizz this year, 2 Champagne tastings stand out in particular:


Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Non Vintage based on the 1953 vintage
This whole tasting was extraordinary and provided a wonderful insight into a type of Champagne that it is all too easy to take for granted – read about it here.

1995 Perrier Jouët Belle Époque
In February I was lucky enough to taste four different vintages of Belle Epoque out of jeroboams, the 1995 was the standout wine for me, but they were all superb – read about it here.

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Happy Christmas

Where on earth has 2011 gone? It feels like it has only just begun, but here we are staring another Christmas in the face.

I just want to thank you all for reading my Wine Page in 2011 and hope that with your support my blog will continue to go from strength to strength in 2012. Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year drink some good wines and enjoy yourselves. I have had lots of exciting wine experiences recently and I will tell you all about them soon. In the meantime here is a Christmas card for you all to enjoy:

How I love You Chardonnay*

Frequent visitors and the observant amongst you will notice that recently I have been writing less frequently than normal. This is simply because of the hectic pace of my work during the build up to Christmas – bah, humbug!

However I have had a good many wine experiences of late and will be writing about some of them as soon as I can.

In the meantime I thought that I would share a thought and a few wines with you.

Reappraising Chardonnay:

It saddens me that so many UK wine consumers limit what they drink to such a narrow range and what I mean is illustrated by a common reaction to Chardonnay. If I had £1 for every time someone told me that they used to enjoy Chardonnay, but now drink Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, then I could easily afford a new car! Some people start shaking their head at the mere mention of Chardonnay, as though to even consider it will make them liable to arrest by the taste-police.

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Taste Award Winning Wines in London

some of the judges hard at work at the West London Wine School

Forgive the plug, but I thought this may be of some interest if you live near London.

A month or so back I was a judge at the West London Wine School Wines of the Year Awards 2011.

We tasted all the best wines the School had tried throughout the year and rated those that are available to buy in the UK. We tasted some fabulous wines from across the globe and  in a wide array of styles.

It seemed a pity to waste all that hard work and so 2 walkaround tastings are being hosted at the West London Wine School in Fulham. They are on 14 and 15 December, so come along and try some wonderful wines, new things, old favourites and unexpected treasures.

You can book tickets by clicking here – they represent great value for a lot of fun – see you there…