The WSET Diploma – Epilogue

Hell

I was this close to letting my relationship with wine tip to the hate side of the love/hate equilibrium. Revising relentlessly for an exam for 6 months can do that to you. After 2 (panicked) deferrals, I finally buckled down, studied diligently as many weekends as possible over 5 months, and solidly crammed for the final month ahead of my June 2014, WSET Diploma Unit 3 Tasting and Theory exams.

Wine reference books enter the digital age

Oxford Companion

I can only imagine the day when I’ll have the World Atlas of Wine, the Oxford Companion to Wine, my textbooks and notes, all easily accessible on an iPad while sipping on Champagne in business class. Am I dreaming?

Had a Glass: LAM Pinotage 2011

LAMPinotage1

He says: “How can you tell a Pinotage in a blind tasting? Well, it smells like a riot: burning tires and smoke!”

She says: Not only do Lammershoek make good wine, they also have some incredibly eye-catching yet classy labels (no furry animals or cursing in sight).

The big and small of Champagne

Paul-Eteinne Saint Germain

An easy weekend from London, the Champagne region has countless welcoming cellars to visit, both big and small. We pottered our way through the picturesque grand cru villages of the Côte des Blancs, the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne. All three areas are unique both in terms of geography and the

Bollinger Madness

WCVR Champagne - 24

This New Year’s Eve, when you are looking for a bottle of bubbly to share with your loved ones, spend the couple of extra bucks and get a bottle of Bolly… you won’t be disappointed!

Cava – a crisis of identity

The height of Cava's brand image?

There is a crisis amongst Cava producers who have a unique story to tell, in a sector dominated by the marketing giants of Freixenet and Cordoniu who thrive on €2/bottle supermarket volume.

Had a Glass: 2002 Horst Sauer Escherndorfer Lump Spätlese Trocken

HorstSauer02-5

He says: One of the most bizarre wine bottles I’ve ever seen, with an equally bizarre full-form name.

She says: It is not often you find a 10 year old bottle of German Riesling for under £20.

Wine truths

“A hard drinker, being at the table, was offered grapes for dessert. 'Thank you,' said he, pushing the dish away from him, 'but I am not in the habit of taking my wine in pills.'”
by Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Wine Ratings

★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.