Articles

Del Boy in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ showed himself to be a complete plonk plonker. He ordered a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau … ‘the 79’ vintage. The vexing question of ‘vintage’ confuses consumers – particularly with Sparkling wines – so here’s how to avoid combobulation. The word ‘vintage’ is the anglicization of the word ‘vendage’ […]
Articles

Is Vintage fizz better?

Del Boy in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ showed himself to be a complete plonk plonker. He ordered a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau ... ‘the 79’ vintage. The vexing question of ‘vintage’ confuses consumers – particularly with Sparkling wines - so here's how to avoid...

Articles

Should Champagne abandon tradition?

Every now and again, a rebel challenges tradition and demands change. It reminds me of Topol in the ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ asserting confidently ‘Tradition! That’s how we keep our balance’, just before his daughters fall in love with all the wrong men and their...

Articles

My word! its James Bond – what does a spy sip?

The name is Bond, James Bond - but what's his poison? The world's most famous spy , the style icon James Bond, inspires many aspirational drinks orders.  Marketing men target him ruthlessly with a view to making a killing. He's just so much more influential than...

Articles

TIPSY-TONGUED

The English language is surprisingly rich in the language of inebriation. If someone is a little ‘tipsy' – in the sense of slightly drunk and unsteady, rather than tipsy in the sense of askew or tilted (although they could be that too) – then there are many words to describe them.

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Toast

First of all, why is a toast is called a toast? Apparently it was the Romans who first dropped burnt bread – known as ‘tostus’ meaning roasted or parched in latin – into their wine. The charcoal of burnt toast would soak up some of the acidity in inferior wine and make it more palatable.

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FILLING YOUR BOOTS

 Why do people glug fizz from footwear? Originally for good luck. Apparently this bizarre tradition dates back to the Middle Ages. Before battle some sort of alcohol would be drunk from the military commander’s boot to ensure courage and good luck. There was yet...

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MAGNIFICENT MAGNUMS

We all know that size matters and – in the wine world - a magnum is the size that matters most. A guest who spots a magnum on arrival knows fun is sure to follow. Clearly the host has a sense of theatre, great taste and is magnanimous. A magnum is a great...

Ambriel Magnum of classic cuvee bottle
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HOW TO TASTE IT

So now that your Sparkling wine has been expertly stored and poured (see previous posts) its time to sip. This is my favourite bit. THE MECHANICS What does it look like? Pick your glass up by the stem so that your hand does not warm the wine. Admire the clarity and...

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HOW TO SERVE IT

Sparkling wine is spectacular. Some Fizzerati have elevated the service of fizz to performance art: sabrage and champagne fountains show brio and verve. However, most of the time when simply sharing a bottle with friends, a more low key service is approriate....

Articles

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: STORE YOUR FIZZ PROPERLY

Now that you’ve brought your cherished bottles of fizz home – assuming that you are not going to drink it all at once - how do you store it? First, pick the right spot. If you’re lucky enough to have a wine cellar or a wine fridge, that’s perfect, put it there. If...