Category Archives: Articles

Napa Valley wines… and earthquake!

Notwithstanding its influence on the world wine market, Napa Valley is quite small, stretching less than 50 kilometers from cooler Carneros in the south to the much warmer Castiloga in the north. Yet there is astonishing variety here: nearly 150 … Continue reading

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Tasting for Handbook for the modern wine lover

Together, wine writers Harold Hamersma and Nicolaas Klei have sold more than one million books in the Netherlands. On May 9th, they launched a new book they have co-authored: Handboek voor de moderne wijnliefhebber (Handbook for the modern wine lover) … Continue reading

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Sherry, the least understood wine?

Sherry has an image problem in the Netherlands. It’s largely remembered as something grandma used to sip in the evening, or put in her trifle. Is it joining Madeira and Marsala, respectable fortified wines now largely denigrated to wines you … Continue reading

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Slovakian wines!

Being Canadian, when I think of Slovakia I think of ice hockey players. The Šťastný brothers. Marián Hossa. Zdeno Chára. Miroslav Šatan. But the fact is, Slovakia also makes some pretty fine wines. The reason you haven’t tried any is … Continue reading

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Domaine Anne Gros / Jean-Paul Tollot: two Burgundians in the Languedoc

What better an endorsement can the Languedoc get than to have one of the top winemakers in Burgundy, a producer of such grand crus as Richebourg, Echezeaux and Clos Vougeot, come to the region, recognize a great terroir when they … Continue reading

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Burgundy vs Bordeaux vs Languedoc

Comparing Burgundy to Bordeaux to Languedoc wines is like comparing apples to oranges to bananas I suppose, yet it seemed like a novel idea for a tasting, so David Bolomey, Jan van Roekel and myself met recently to open some … Continue reading

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Winemaking Apprenticeship, Mas des Dames 2011, part 2

To continue from my last posting, which had more to do with the viticulturalist aspect of winemaking, I will now turn to the actual making of wine, which begins with the process of adding yeast to the grape juice, the … Continue reading

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Winemaking Apprenticeship, Mas des Dames 2011, part 1

It seems only natural to me that anyone seriously involved with wine would want to do a winemaking apprenticeship. It’s an idea I’ve had for some years now. Since I work in wine, I spend most of my waking hours … Continue reading

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Winefield`s 20th auction in Amsterdam

Winefield’s Auctioneers completed their twentieth wine auction in Amsterdam on Sunday, October 2nd at a new location, the Diamantslijperij. It was once again a very successful day, with over 88% in value being sold. This is an encouraging result, considering … Continue reading

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“We will sell no wine before its time”

If you are old enough and from North America, you may remember the wines of Paul Masson, and the TV commercials from the 1970s featuring Orson Welles. These were some of the first wines I remember drinking, but strangely the … Continue reading

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Elk Run Vineyards, Maryland

It’s a simple fact, most people here equate American wine with Californian wine. There’s California, and then there’s Oregon and Washington state. Some quality wines are also made in New York state, in the Finger Lakes region (where Château de … Continue reading

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Visit to Paul Mas, Part 2

To continue from my last posting, on visiting Domaine Paul Mas near Pézénas in the Languedoc, the red wines were presented by Cédric Deniset, European Sales Manager. We first tasted the Vignes de Nicole Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2009 (€8.50). A very … Continue reading

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Visit to Paul Mas, Part 1

I sell a lot of Paul Mas wines, as these are very well made Languedocers ranging in price from €5 to €9, which come in a broad range of varieties and styles. It is not uncommon to see a full … Continue reading

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Understanding Fine Wines: Frank Smulders

Frank Smulders MW received his degree in 1992 and is to this day Holland’s only Master of Wine. I was his student while doing my WSET Advanced course, and I’ve also made a posting on this blog about a memorable … Continue reading

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Chateau de la Negly and Robert Parker

Possibly the best known of the 10 Grand Crus of the Languedoc, La Clape nonetheless remained a recent discovery for me–but what a discovery! At a recent tasting held by Winefield’s Auctioneers where such luminaries as Château Giscours 1975 and … Continue reading

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Lidewij van Wilgen, Mas des Dames

It’s a fascinating dream, and who hasn’t thought of it at least once: wouldn’t it be nice to buy a vineyard in France and begin a life as a winemaker? Some people actually do, and just sometimes, it turns out … Continue reading

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In defence of the Languedoc: musings from Roquebrun

I’m house sitting in the Languedoc, and I can’t help but feel a bit jealous. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this for myself – a four bedroom villa with a heated swimming pool and a garden with olive and … Continue reading

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Winefields’ Five Year Anniversary Auction

Winefields Auctioneers’ first auction of 2011 was held on Sunday April 3rd in the Oranjekerk in Amsterdam. Started exactly five years ago by Milan Veld and Martin Derksen, Winefields has grown into Amsterdam’s second largest wine auction house, regularly holding … Continue reading

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Alicante Wines and Carnaval

Like anyone, my taste in wine is shaped by what is available to me. I’ve taken numerous trips to Malaga, Valencia and now Alicante over the last few years, and I have to wonder: why don’t we see more from … Continue reading

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Wine Professional 2011: Madeira, Vinhos Barbeita

When I saw that Horizon Wines was hosting a master class on Madeira, Vinhos Barbeito at Wine Professional, I knew I couldn’t miss it. This was for me the highlight of the three-day long wine exhibition, the largest in the … Continue reading

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