Author: Catherine Fielden

  1. Hello Darkness, my Old Friend…

    Hello Darkness, my Old Friend… There are some occasions when only a deep, dark brooding wine will suffice.  And one of the darkest (almost inky-black) wines is made from the thick-skinned Tannat grape.  Its thick skins mean that the resulting wines can have very high tannin levels. So high that, in the grape’s Southern French birthplace of Madiran, they use the Read more...
  2. How to open a bottle of fizz with finesse

    How to open a bottle of fizz with finesse Is there anything more satisfying than the pop of a Champagne cork to signal that your favourite fizz is about to be served?  However, cracking open a bottle of sparkling wine can be a dangerous affair.  This is because built up pressure can force the cork out of bottle at a speed of almost 25 miles per hour!   Be honest:  Have Read more...
  3. Celebrate International Women’s Day by Raising a Glass to Wine’s Female Trailblazers

    Celebrate International Women’s Day by Raising a Glass to Wine’s Female Trailblazers What better day is there than International Women’s Day to raise a toast to the inspirational women in wine who have helped shape, what has traditionally been, a male-dominated industry? There have been so many trailblazers that it is impossible to put together a comprehensive list.  However, here are three dynamic women who have broken down Read more...
  4. Txakoli: The Basque Country’s Spritzy Secret

    Txakoli: The Basque Country’s Spritzy Secret If you’ve been lucky enough to visit the charming seaside city of San Sebastián in Spain’s fiercely independent Basque Country or wander through the dark crooked streets of Bilbao’s old town, you are probably familiar with the region’s very own style of tapas – pintxos.  What you may not realise is these small pieces of bread – Read more...
  5. Sherry is becoming chic again

    Sherry is becoming chic again Sherry is possibly the most misunderstood and under-rated style of wine in the UK, with many consumers still perceiving it as a sticky sweet tipple for grandmas at Christmas or a key ingredient in a boozy trifle.  Either way, we have been missing a trick because the sherry that cultured Spaniards are sipping in Seville’s trendy tapas bars Read more...
  6. The Many Faces of Chardonnay

    The Many Faces of Chardonnay I have lost count of the number of times that someone has told me that they dislike Chardonnay but love Chablis - or sometimes, the reverse.  However, in order for a wine to use the designation of Chablis on its label, it must be made from 100% Chardonnay grapes.  So how can it be that someone who professes to adore Chablis be so opposed Read more...
  7. Indulgent French Wines to Impress your Valentine

    Indulgent French Wines to Impress your Valentine St. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner but this year we won’t be able to indulge our loved ones with an intimate meal at our favourite restaurant or an impromptu European city break.  Instead, we will need to find other ways to make the 14th February extra special, in the comfort of our own homes.  So, as France has the Read more...
  8. Malbec: Catapulted from Humble French Roots to Global Super-Stardom

    Malbec: Catapulted from Humble French Roots to Global Super-Stardom If you ask people to name a wine from Argentina, their initial response is usually “Malbec” and with good reason.  In the past few decades, the country’s most widely planted red grape variety has become as synonymous with Argentina as tango and gauchos.  Currently, Argentina accounts for around 75% of Malbec production and interest Read more...
  9. The Lowdown on Alcohol-Free and Low-Alcohol Drinks

    The Lowdown on Alcohol-Free and Low-Alcohol Drinks If you have decided to go booze-free this January, you are not on your own.  According to research by British Charity Alcohol Change UK, 6.5 million people were planning to take on Dry January this year.  Initially launched back in 2013, the initiative attracted just 4000 participants. However, it has fast become an annual event on the Read more...
  10. CAN SALA – Raising a Glass to the Best Bubbly of 2020

    CAN SALA – Raising a Glass to the Best Bubbly of 2020 Would you be surprised to hear that the best sparkling wine in the world is not Champagne but Cava?   This may seem unlikely given Champagne’s reputation but, after spending two days assessing sparkling wines from across the globe, judges with some of the finest palates in the world selected Can Sala Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2008 Read more...

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