Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 1: Are yield restrictions necessary to produce high-quality wine?

Fruit thinning, green harvest, restricted yield, whichever name it may go by there are few canards as distinctly pervasive as yield-restriction. Across Europe, the belief that yield restriction is directly correlated with amplified wine ‘quality’ is so widely held that one can almost predict the nature of questioning at any tasting, visit or seminar. Let’s stop for a second; just how accurate is this belief? Is yield restriction really a fundamental requirement of high-quality wine production or is this hypothesis flawed?

Visiting Chiara Boschis and Claudia Cigliuti: organic farming and blind tasting

Returning to Piedmont was inevitable, my first visit in October of 2019 lit an unquenchable flame. The region is captivating. For many of the same reasons as Burgundy, wine lovers are drawn like moths to a flame. Generations of history, innovation, stylistic turmoil and nuanced intricacies between vineyard sites. Piedmont is also home to some of the most influential women in the world of wine and I was lucky enough to meet two of them this week.

Microsoft Excel tasting note template

Protracted, confusing, challenging and intrusive. Writing tasting notes is not always an enjoyable experience. Whether you’re taking notes for personal record, independent learning, employment requirements or in order to teach others, I want to help you make the process more efficient, valuable and effective, giving you more time to enjoy the wine in hand. What started off as a personal project is now available to you all for FREE …

Bodies of water and their effect on viticulture

Where beautiful wine is produced it is often remarked that one will also find beautiful places. Rivers, lake, oceans and seas feature almost synonymously amongst many of the worlds best wine regions. The river Moselle, the Saône, the Rhône, the Douro, the Gironde, Margaret River, the Loire, Lake Garda and the North Pacific to name a few. These bodies of water are located at the very heart of the worlds most illustrious wine regions. However, they offer much more to our favourite wine than just a picturesque backdrop, they play a fundamental, and oft-overlooked role.

Burgundy Masterclass with Nicolas Potel at Tanners

Burgundy, oh Burgundy. There are few, if any, regions which are more desired, romanticised and fascinatingly complex as Burgundy. With a total of 100 AOCs, for me at least, it is the concept of terroir which most attracts wine lovers to Burgundy. Rich and enticing history, vast communal diversity, subtle intra-communal vineyard nuance, juxtaposition of winemaking styles and plenty of colourful characters are amongst a few of the reasons we wine lovers seem so drawn to Cote. Whether you’re at the very beginning of your wine journey or already someway down the rabbit hole, there really are very few people to better guide you through all things Burgundian than Nicolas Potel.

Rotundone: putting the pepper in shiraz

The aromas and flavours associated with particular grape varieties and regional specific wines are more often than not a result of large numbers of compounds, of varying origin, interacting with one another and forming various olfactory and gustatory qualities. There are however a number of compounds (in this case sesquiterpenes) which have an individual aromatic quality associated to them. The distinct aroma of pepper so often associated with cool climate Shiraz/Syrah is the result of one of these sesquiterpenes …

What makes a wine dry?

There is a somewhat small range of primary descriptors used by those in the industry which subsequently become the go to guidelines for a broad range of consumers. Whether a wine is dry or not is amongst the most popular characteristic used to judge whether one does or does not favour a wine. But what does it really mean? What makes a dry wine?

Grape focus: cabernet sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognised, enjoyed and planted red wine grape varieties and is grown in nearly every major wine producing region in the world including France, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Lebanon, Australia and many more. But what do you really know about this grape?