• Harriet Tindal MW – At last!

    I’ve always been open about my ambitions to become a Master of Wine (MW). Five years ago these were rubbished over the chink of glasses and gentle banter swooshing round a crowded tasting room of MWs and students. “Three children….Ha, ha, ha, ha,”. The laughter clearly defining the disbelief of my fellow delegate at the IMW symposium in Florence. This person dismissed success on my mission like one would turn away a corked wine. Perhaps it was my dogged determination not to let family and friends down after such a long slog. Whatever it was, Friday 22nd February 2019 is

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  • “Not guilty”, the plea of SO2

    Ever felt like the world is against you, no one is on your side, you’re even doubting yourself? Try being the gaseous chemical compound Sulphur Dioxide. A useful if not vital part of wine preservation, centuries old and now outlawed by a younger wave of purists chasing the ‘vanilla’ wine… untouched, untreated and as a result, sometimes…. undrinkable. Contrary to popular belief, there is no wine in the world without a trace of Sulphur. Volatile sulphur compounds (Hydrogen sulphide and mercaptans) are naturally produced through the activities of yeast during fermentation. The effects of yeasts on a wine are endless,

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  • Wine education, a tool in your tasting.

    Our relationship with wine is a journey. A long windy road that seems to narrow as we progress, excluding simpler less interesting wines, seeking more serious scintillating sustenance.

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  • What’s in a title? Mother, wine merchant, educator?

    In hopeful anticipation of two of the most important initials in wine…

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  • Blue Stone Vineyard, Wicklow? Soils and wine.

    It is impossible to establish any correlation between quality of wine and the soil content of any nutritive element… if there were such a correlation it would be easy, with the appropriate chemical additives, to produce great wine anywhere.” Dr Gerard Seguin.

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  • Sustainable Vineyards: Beneficial what… wasps!

    What’s black and yellow, stings and transports yeast around the vineyard? A wasp. Sustainable, natural and part of our fragile ecosystem, but also an important part of pest management in vineyards.   What do they do? Mission A: Transporter; an effective, mobile and fast courier service for yeast. The wasp distributes valuable yeast populations around the vines, even over-wintering the strains in the digestive tracts of future generations. Mission B: Seek and destroy the eggs of moths: Tiny wasps (Trichogramma) lay their eggs amidst those of predators such as the light brown apple moth. Their larvae gorge on the future

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  • Wine yeasts, small but perfectly formed.

    Meet Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, an unassuming single celled fungi with the capability to change the sugar and water in grapes into wine! I can see you’re warming to this little microscopic cell already. So Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, SC for short has 16 other genera within the yeast species that can also turn water into wine. They share the same propensity for complicated names, but none share the stamina and success of SC. SC is always the last to leave the party, fermenting till dawn, enjoying the added pressure of increasing alcohol, lapping up the extra heat, while others such as Hanseniaspora, Pichia

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  • Bordeaux 2017 – Emerging en primeurs

    If you’re anyway interested in fine wine Bordeaux will be a heading bandied around many mails coming into your inbox this month. The 2017 en primeur campaign has started and the first Châteaux are gently releasing their prices. This will be an interesting campaign, not least because support for this vintage is (quite rightly) cautious thanks to late frosts decimating vineyards around the region. Members of the trade are looking for a reduction in prices of at least 20% to encourage take up of these wines, still sleeping in their oak barrels. One of the first to the post; Château Palmer

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  • Australia day(ish) in Dublin

    There’s a certain admiration I have for the Australians. They stick to their guns. Premium is the message and premium is the product. They ploughed on through a massive down turn in exports, not helped by the strong Aussie dollar and a global recession; coming out the other side with a stronger domestic market and a quality driven, pioneering wine industry ready to re-explore exports. Looking at the latest export report from Wine Australia; value is outstripping volume: it increased 15% to $2.56 billion versus an 8% rise in volume to 811 million litres. The average value of exports is also rising, sitting at $3.16 per litre; the

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  • Burgundy 2016

    A look at the 2016 Vintage in Burgundy upon release.

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  • So, what did we get up to in 2017? Our Christmas Newsletter.

    It’s Christmas time, Mistletoe and Wine…… It’s Christmaaaasssss…. Though all involved may well be frazzled and fried, exactly like a turkey on Christmas day, the big day is nearly here once more. Following that the arrival of a new year 2018; what will that bring? 2017 has been another year of ‘healthism’: This isn’t always a bad thing; I mean look at the athletes in our company: Damien Archer-Good our super salesman in the South completed his second Ironman, this time in Spain. An outstanding achievement for someone who likes to savour the succulence of a serious Sangiovese of an

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  • Really? The Rhône? Why?

    Rhône wine week. Will you ‘get your Rhône on’?!

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