The chef that writes wine lists

by Matt Walls
Which comes first: the celebrity chef’s animated persona or their success in television? Martin Lam has largely eschewed the media over his 45 years in the restaurant business. Perhaps it’s...

Rock n’ roll excess

by Matt Walls
When I listen to electro I crave Riesling. The precise polished perfection of the sound somehow recalls the technicolour citrus acidity of the wine. Châteauneuf-du-Pape however suggests the gothic aesthetic,...

New Zealand’s hothouse Syrah

by Matt Walls
In 1984, a man called Dr Alan Limmer was doing some work at a government viticultural research station on North Island, New Zealand. One day he heard it was about...

Coming of age

by Matt Walls
Orange wine. Grower Champagne. Biodynamics. Trends come and go in wine like anything else. Some are clearly gimmicks (blue wine, anyone?) Others, like Natural wine, feel more significant. One global...

How the other half drinks

by Matt Walls
Is there a quicker way to get to know someone than by flicking through their music collection or browsing their bookshelves? Both feel like a little glimpse into their soul....

2015 Rhône Special Report

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This is an independent guide for wine lovers who want to know what to buy from the outstanding 2015 Rhône vintage that will bring them pleasure now, next year, and...

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Lost in translation

by Matt Walls
What fabulous nectar does the following tasting note conjure up? “…notes of tangerine, candied orange, cooked peach, stone fruits and hint of lavender on the back of palate.” A sweet...

The Gold Standard

by Matt Walls
On the first day of the Hunter Valley Wine Show, Major Al Lynch, in full military fatigues, explained to the wine judges what was expected of them: “if you are...

Ventoux: wild wild East

by Matt Walls
“Bonjour!” beamed the skinny young monk as he hurried past me down the steep dirt path, his brown habit flapping behind him. It turns out the local monastery had only...

Some like it cool

by Matt Walls
At the first wine course I ever took the tutor explained that Syrah and Shiraz are actually the same grape but under different names. It felt like an illuminating nugget...