Anthony Rose writes a column about wine for The Independent.
05 January 2013 12:00 AM
Crystal ball-gazing, as astrologers will tell you, involves interpreting yesterday's runes, call them what you will, and fashioning them into tomorrow's near-certainties. Bordeaux's new trade pact with Pu'er tea suggests that it can work as well with wine as tea leaves. So if the previous year's harvest is a major clue as to how the world's wines will turn out this year, it's not going to take Einstein to work out that for the second year running, Bordeaux is likely to suffer at the hands of Burgundy.
22 December 2012 12:00 AM
It doesn't seem that long ago that I first visited The Sampler and tried out its pioneering dispenser, the Enomatic. For next to no cost, you could taste a range of wines by sticking your Oyster-style card in a machine which dispensed a tasting glassful of the wine in question. It was such a no-brainer that many other excellent wine merchants followed suit, among them Vagabond Wines at Fulham Broadway, Bottle Apostle in north London and the extraordinary new temple to fine wine, Hedonism Wines in Mayfair.
15 December 2012 12:00 AM
Food and wine matching is neither an art nor a science and much of the time it can be taken with a decent pinch of salt. It was brought home to me having recently returned from China where restaurant customers knocked back wines that Western sommeliers would demand marriages for in heaven. No one dish resembles another. Our own likes and dislikes apart, the quality of the raw materials, the seasoning, saucing and spicing, are simply too varied to suit a one-wine-fits-all formula.
08 December 2012 12:00 AM
A taste of wine is worth 100 ads. So it proved with the wine walks which are consistently one of the most popular features of the Wine Gang's Christmas tastings in London, Edinburgh and Bath. Groups of 10 wine consumers go walkabout with a member of the Wine Gang, stopping at different exhibitors to taste and talk about a wine. The interaction gives everyone the chance to taste wines normally outside their comfort or shopping zones and it gives the five members of the Wine Gang invaluable feedback as to consumer preferences.
01 December 2012 12:00 AM
I was chatting to a wine industry luminary last month and they told me they'd accepted the presidency of the International Wine & Spirit Competition thinking that it was the International Wine Challenge. IWSC? IWC? A simple enough mistake to make and a reminder that even those in the know can get confused now that medals are scattered like confetti and wine competitions two a penny.
17 November 2012 12:00 AM
BEST PARTY RED
03 November 2012 12:00 AM
It's a measure of how far the company has come since Tony Laithwaite hawked his wares in a Ford van that Laithwaites felt bold enough to put a selection of fine wines into its autumn wine tasting. Starting out as Bordeaux Direct, Laithwaites is part of the Direct Wines empire that includes the Sunday Times Wine Club, Avery's and virginwines.com. It must have been a tricky decision because 'fine wine' can be a no-no for value seekers. And along with exclusive labels, Laithwaites prides itself on value for money.
20 October 2012 12:00 AM
After Nacho Manzano's divine beetroot gazpacho soup at Ibérica in Marylebone, I was excited to see what David Muñoz, the chef of two-Michelin star DiverXO in Madrid, could do. Muñoz was invited as Manzano's guest to cook dinner at the new Ibérica in Canary Wharf.
Anthony Rose: 'Patrick Sandeman helped transform Lea & Sandeman into one of London's most impressive retailers'
13 October 2012 12:00 AM
Chatting to Patrick Sandeman at The Bunch's autumn press tasting, it was beyond anyone's worst nightmare that this most talented and popular of wine merchants would lose his life in a horrific skydiving accident a week later. A fixture of the London wine scene, Patrick, with his partner Charles Lea, transformed Lea & Sandeman's single Fulham shop into one of London's most impressive retailers.
06 October 2012 12:00 AM
It’s an ill wind as they say and the economic climate of recent years has blown benignly for the big German discounters Aldi and Lidl. With over 1,000 stores in the UK between them, Aldi (461) and Lidl (600) have both seized on a gap in the market for attracting new customers to their everyday low-price models. As cogs in the wheels of two bigger leviathans, they’re in a great position to pare overheads, and consequently prices, to the bone. The prize is the number of ABC1 yummy mummies sashaying into their car parks in their 4x4s.
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