Erraziriz

Last century saw major upheavals in the Chilean way of life, especially during the Allende and Pinochet regimes. There has, however, also been a quieter – but much more agreeable – revolution among its winemakers. Take, for instance, Eduardo Chadwick, president of the now familiar Vina Errazuriz family business. Despite his country’s troubles, he was determined …

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Seal of Approval

The red carpet has been rolled out and the trophies are waiting on the stage. All is now ready for this quarter’s Spectrum Seal of Approval awards. The theme this time is tempranillo – Spain’s most widely planted red grape variety – and, with one exception, flying solo rather than as part of a blend. …

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Sweet Wines

Despite – or, perhaps, because of – our parents’ generation’s love affair with sweetness, dessert wines attract depressingly little interest these days. Far from being passé and unsophisticated, however, they are brilliant partners to a sumptuous dessert or, as a contrast, to foie gras. Indeed, many restaurants now provide 125ml glasses of pudding wine to …

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Wine Info Sources

For something closely linked with pleasure, it is amazing just how much anxiety wine decisions can generate. Will I, for example, look (literally) a plonker in front of friends, guests or a sommelier? Relax, guys, if things are that intense you are probably in the wrong place – or with the wrong people! Nevertheless, acquiring …

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Seal of Approval

It’s time folks for more Spectrum Seal of Approval awards; my quarterly quest for High Street wines that punch significantly above their price point. My focus this time is the relatively small but keenly priced ranges of the UK’s premium discounters – Aldi and Lidl. Since both have wines that often win awards, let’s see …

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Warwick Estate

Although the basic 80 per cent of winemaking is undoubtedly science – art and artistry is, surely, the sherpa for the final ascent from good to great. Or so I thought – but I recently met a man who proved me wrong! Mike Ratcliffe, managing director of South Africa’s Warwick Estate, applies science to most …

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Portugal

Judging by the example set by its wine producers, it was no surprise to see Portugal shaking free from its international financial bailout last month. Admittedly, the Portuguese economic recovery remains work in progress but then so, too, is its wine industry. The momentum producers have already created, however, is astonishing. Not so many years …

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About

WHEN Innis & Gunn released its first beer in 2003, the rich vanilla and toffee flavours it had derived from oak ageing had an immediate – and very positive – impact. That was an excellent start – given that this was a beer never intended to be drunk! William Grant & Sons, the distiller behind …

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