The entrance to Theo Randall’s restaurant in the Intercontinental Hotel, bang in the centre of London, may be discreet but within we discovered good food matched with lovely wine, which celebrates Randall’s seasonal delights.
Every so often the charming and gracious head sommelier Vittorio Gentile hosts a small dinner at the sommelier table. Tucked in one side of the restaurant amid the wine fridges, the high table accomodates just six people making for an intimate event. The raised table also means that the sommelier is not talking down to you…
Entitled Sommelier Table Experience the menu and the wines were matched to celebrate the unique style of the predominantly Italian wine list, which is arranged not by region nor type but by season. Continue reading →
The weather was bright and warm, the vines were budding, the views were magnificent and, of course, the wines were delicious! We had been invited to Savoie to learn more about the walk in the vineyards of Chignin, La Balade Gourmande de Chignin, which will be held over the weekend of 23rd and 24th July 2016.
St-Anselme tower, one of several ruined towers which are a dramatic feature in the Chignin vineyards
Another tower and a handsome house in the vineyards with a backdrop of the Belledonne mountain range in the south west. In July the vineyards will be verdant green but there may just be some snow on the mountain tops in the distance.
Now in its eighth year this event has always been popular and this year will be held over two days. Each day there will be an eight kilometre walk in the vineyards, punctuated by stops where the hikers can enjoy the local wine as well as Savoie food. It is a lovely way to explore wine country and get the feel of a particular region. Continue reading →
On 19th April there was an interesting event at Vintners Hall, London – a tasting of Indian wines, celebrating the book launch of The Wines of India, a Concise Guide, written by Peter Csizmadia-Honigh MW, winner of the 2014 Geoffrey Roberts Award.
The Geoffrey Roberts Award is an international wine-related bursary of £4,000, given each year to someone who can demonstrate to the judging panel a genuine commitment to New World wines. Peter Csizmadia-Honigh was a worthy winner of the award in 2014, enabling him to publish this interesting book about a country that has started to produce wine as recently as the early 1980s.
Named ‘A Concise Guide’, it is actually a lengthy, but worthy tome, of 452 pages which starts with detailed information about the history of contemporary Indian wine, subtropical winegrowing, grape varieties and wine styles. Modern winemaking began with Indians who had enjoyed wine on their travels abroad, in particular successful entrepreneurs and businessmen. There were already established vineyards in India, but for table grapes, so some realised growing grapes for wine wouldn’t present a problem. Continue reading →
In 2009 I was lucky to be selected to stand on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in the heart of London as one of 2,400 participants representing every region of the UK who spent an hour alone on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square during the 100 days and nights of the live artwork by sculptor Antony Gormley, One & Other.
It gave me the opportunity to talk about two things close to my heart: raising awareness of prostate cancer and the enjoyment of wine. I was even more excited when the Prostate UK charity suggested I wear gold pants and gold cape – just the garb to brighten up an early autumn evening up high in the heart of London…
A few years have passed since then until One and Another Beast took the stand, encouraging a selection of animals to stand on the Fourth Plinth.
Unfortunately the tragedy on the Fourth Plinth happened when the Horse replaced the Lion, who took umbrage and allowed no-one to approach the installation, not even to feed the poor beast.