Steady As She Goes Louis Jadot

France, Uncategorized

Just checking I've spelled Louis Jadot correctly

Louis Jadot is a Burgundy wine behemoth.  Producing wines in over a quarter of the region’s 600 appellations, they really are one of the biggest players in Eastern France’s long and winding wine heartland.  Recently I met Fred Barnier, the man charged to continue the traditions of this 150 year old business, with a brief to do absolutely nothing!  Well, kind of…

Becoming A Class Act in Southern Burgundy

France, Uncategorized

Pouilly Fuisse 2

Down in Maçon, in Southern Burgundy, there are a few producers who deserve a bit of respect. Or at least more so than they think they’re getting. I had the immense pleasure of having dinner recently with Audrey Braccini, head winemaker at Domaine Ferret in Fuissé, and this topic was a hot one for her.

Did You Know Blowers Has His Own Wine?

France, Reds, Uncategorized, Whites


Unless you’re into cricket, you won’t know who Blowers is. Henry Calthorpe Blofeld is arguably the most famous cricket commentator in the UK, and is famed for his very eloquent, Old Etonian style of taking us through the summer’s cricket for Test Match Special, an absolute institution on British radio. In fact I’ve just been listening to it this morning and heard Michael Vaughn and Jonathan Agnew talking about last night’s knees up round Blowers’ place, and nailing back his own label wine. How have I not tried Blowers’ wine?

Making You Want To Make The Trip

France, Uncategorized, Wine Industry


A fella called Rudi got in touch a couple of weeks back and he’s had a go at making a film about Burgundy. I say “had a go”, this is a pretty full on and impressive production. But I mean, where do you even start with that? Do you concentrate on it from a touristy view? From a winemaking view? Or from a boozing point of view? Wine and winemaking means so many different things to so many different people that it’s a ridiculously open ended project. I got sent the trailer to look at, and ok it’s not the entire film, but the signs are there that he’s done a good job.

Avoiding Getting Your Eyes Ripped Out!

20h33, Uncategorized, Wine Tours


I still remember it to this day. The first time I visited Bordeaux was with my Dad, and we headed into the centre of Saint Émilion on our first day to have a look around. Well, you would, wouldn’t you? A couple of visitors centres and local caves later and we had an impression that we might, just might, have paid a bit over the odds for some bottles. Skip forward 24 hours, we met JB of 20h33 for the first time, and he (trying not to laugh) informed us we’d paid nearly double. As a penny pinching northerner, there are few worse feelings!

Christmas Wine Week – The Whites

Australia, France, Whites


I think turkey gets a bad reputation, mostly cos it’s a big bird and it’s hard to cook properly. Ever since someone bought my mum “Nigella at Christmas” then we’ve been having a great time of it. It’s also an incredibly good meat for promoting the production of serotonin (the happy hormone), so one to look out for all year round if you can!

The Lidl Winter Wine Highlights – The Whites

Whites, wine tasting

Lidl Whites

So last week I headed off to the Lidl winter wine tasting down in Angel in London. They absolutely pinged the venue, I really liked it. It was this thing called A-Space which gets rented out for all kinds of things like corporate events, or modeling shoots, or closed gigs. Just had a very easy going atmosphere in there, which helps you get you head on the wine better I think.

Anyway, I made it through the wines and beers and here are my top 3 whites to keep your eye out for…

#MWWC14 – We’ve all got our traditions!

France, MWWC, Reds, Whites


For this month’s Wine Writing Challenge the theme is “Tradition”. Given the fact we’ve just been through arguably the busiest time of year when it comes to family-meet-ups, some of the things we all do when we’re together are still fresh in the memory.

#NWTW Week 23: The First Pinot Noir of the Year

New Wine This Week, New Zealand, Reds


I had to do a double take this week when I realized that we’re nearly half way through the year and this is the first Pinot Noir in New Wine This Week. Seems a bit funny I guess given that it’s without doubt one of the most iconic grapes going, what’s called a true “international” variety.

The Best of Burgundy #5: On Yer Bike, Son!

France, Info For Beginners, Info For More Seasoned Winos, Reds, Whites

Burgundy is really one of those places that is great to use to explain a few more general things. Last post I was saying about terroir and how everywhere in the world has it and is affected by it, but Burgundy’s one of those places where it’s easy to highlight the big differences it makes.

I decided to use the last post in this intro to Burgundy series for another of these topics. That’s the fact that when you think of a wine region, like Burgundy (or Piemonte in Italy, or Barossa in Australia, or Finger Lakes in the US, etc) i guess you have this thing in your head that you think “right I’ve had a Pinot Noir from there before, i know what this is going to be like”. But to be massively annoying, it’s just not like that

Thing is, these regions can be pretty big areas of land covering some really different areas of a country. We’ve spoken before about how things like hills and valleys, soils and stones, and obviously the weather and climate have massive effect on how a wine, from grape to glass (can’t remember where i nicked that from?!). Well Burgundy has the lot, somewhere within the border.

A very official looking map of Burgundy

A very official looking map of Burgundy

Burgundy’s over of the eastern side of France, pretty landlocked. It starts up close to the Champagne area, with the Yonne Valley going south to the Côte de Nuits, then onto the Côte de Beaune, and finishing down by the Beaujolias region with the Côte Chalonnaise and the Maçonnais.

Up north in the Yonne region (where Chablis is) it’s hilly and frosty. You’re right up by a town called Auxerre and that’s only a couple of hours drive from the north of France. Then down south by Lyon (a couple of hours from Nice and Monaco) you’ve got the Maçonnais. It’s a lot flatter, much warmer, and vines spend their time vying for space with cows and corn on the valley floor. I’m not going to bang on about the differences in every different sub-region here, I think you get the point.

The generalisation comes from the grapes and, to a large extent, the way the wine is made. It’s a branding exercise in itself. You can make a sweeping statement about the chances of a white wine from Burgundy being chardonnay, or that centuries old Burgundian winemaking techniques are in full swing up and down the region. But it stops there, as it does for wines from Napa in California or Walker Bay in South Africa.

The best bits about this are that you have an excuse to try more of it and that if you ever get a chance to go to one of these places, it’s a great holiday. If you enjoy your wine and your cycling or hiking you’d be like a pig in poo round here.

There's always room for a little rest here and there

There’s always room for a little rest here and there

So wherever you end up for a wine holiday dust off the bike clips and saddle up, or get the walking boots from the back of the cupboard and load up on blister plasters. It’s time to get moving. And if you’re in Burgundy, well hopefully you know roughly where you’re going now!