Sweet wine

Tasting French wine – Loire Chenin Blanc

Tasting French wine – Loire Chenin Blanc

Always refreshing and hugely versatile, it’s surprising that Chenin Blanc wines with their aromas of apples and pears and honey are so under-appreciated. Apparently this variety used to be planted in many parts of the world. However it’s an obligingly easy-to-grow variety that, if left unchecked, produces masses of rather dilute grapes lacking in aromas and flavours. Many…

Tasting French wine – Bordeaux and SW France

Tasting French wine – Bordeaux and SW France

So what has the start of 2017 been like for you? For me it’s been pretty full-on, with round-the-clock translation projects, dog health crises and several intensive weeks studying French wine. All against a backdrop of anxiety about world events; we’re certainly living in interesting times. Well, whatever happens, it’s good to know we…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  It’s that manic, end-of-year period when we’re all running ourselves ragged finishing up work, cleaning the house, buying gifts and stocking up on food and drink like we’re expecting a siege …If you could do with a few last-minute ideas for wines for the festive season, feel free to check out the following articles or send me…

Sweet wines 4 – Wines with botrytis or noble rot

Sweet wines 4 – Wines with botrytis or noble rot

In the last three posts, we’ve looked at some of the ways of making sweet wines, particularly by using extra-sweet grapes. There is one other type of very sweet grapes, which are used to make some of the world’s most sophisticated, complex and expensive wines. These are grapes affected by botrytis or noble rot. Botrytis cinerea is…

Sweet wines 2 – Late Harvest Wines

Sweet wines 2 – Late Harvest Wines

In the last post we looked at how sophisticated and versatile sweet wines can be, combining with different types of food and making for a delicious aperitif or after-dinner drink. Many sweet wines are made with grapes that are much sweeter than normal. In fact, they are so sweet that the fermentation stops naturally before…

Sweet wines – sophisticated and versatile

Sweet wines – sophisticated and versatile

If you’re looking for a drink with a difference, look no further! Sweet wines may not be the first thing that springs to mind but trust me, some of these wines are the height of sophistication and a whole lot more versatile than you might imagine.  So varied is this category of wines, I have…