A Shock to my System

Sometimes I feel left out and sometimes I just feel annoyed – about Pinot Grigio.

I just don’t get Pinot Grigio, I sort of understand why it sells – it usually doesn’t taste of anything, so the focus of your evening remains the conversation, the wine stays in the background to lubricate your palate.

I need acidity in a white wine though, so the slight bitterness on the finish of virtually every Pinot Grigio is unpleasant to me.

It is fair to say that, with the exception of some rich Friulian examples, I avoid Pinot Grigio if I possibly can. Pinot Gris however can be a very different thing, and I enjoy the occasional taste of that from Alsace or even New Zealand – Pinot Gris seems to me to generally have more depth, honesty and concentration but even then I really want more acidity. Continue reading

The Napa Valley – a world class wine region

I have long had a fascination for wines from California and as Napa Valley is the most famous wine region in California I was honoured to be invited to attend the Master Napa Valley Course 2009.

This was an intensive course spread over three days visiting wineries and vineyards as well as hearing from wine makers and leading wine industry figures. It was especially interesting as only the week before I had attended something similar in Burgundy and was thus able to compare many aspects of these two seemingly different wine regions. Continue reading

The Araujo Estate – a Napa legend

The Napa Valley showing the Araujo Estate

The Napa Valley showing the Araujo Estate

Ever since working for the late Geoffrey Roberts in the mid 1980’s I have loved good California wines. I have found it irritating, therefore that the types of California wine that most people drink bear no relation to the greatest examples. The trouble is that they are shockingly expensive to most of us and so they get relegated to special occasion wine status, or never get tasted at all and consumers go around thinking that all wine from California is like Blossom Hill. Continue reading