Why I have been so quiet

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Grapeful HQ for now.

I’m not sure if anyone has observed that I’ve been a bit inattentive to my blog over the last month. If you have indeed noted my authoring negligence and are concerned about my whereabouts (like my darling mother often is), rest assured I am sitting at the same desk working away at being a winepreneur.

So what on earth has kept me so busy? Continue reading

6 wines every man should have at home

Inspired by a tweet I spotted earlier this evening, I created a Buzzfeed article outlining the six wines every man should keep stocked at home.

You can read it here. 

Which wine came out top as the manliest? It had to be Argentinian Malbec. If wine were a sport, Argentinian Malbec would be wrestling. It can knock anyone out in seconds. Full body? Hell yeah. Tannins? Bring them on. A manly wine.

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Happy half birthday (yes that’s a thing now)

900x900px-LL-141d33ec_gallery8881651346771405When I was a child, I was obsessed with birthdays. Cake, presents, parties, attention, more cake – what’s not to love?

I often reflected on the inexorable downside to this magical occasion: its infrequency. It felt cruel to subjected to a wait of 364 days (365 days when the Gregorian calendar wanted to test my patience a little bit more) for the next one. It is for that reason that one day, in retaliation against conventionality, I made the executive decision to begin celebrating my half-birthday each year. When I informed my parents of this adjudication, they laughed endearingly before telling me to stop being silly and get back to learning my seven times tables.

Fortunately I have grown up a bit since then and I no longer regard my half birthday to be a consequential or cake-worthy event. Today, however, is different. Continue reading

France vs. Germany: battle of the rieslings

My memory of GCSE history is pretty hazy, but I do remember one thing: France and Germany just did not seem to get along. In the 19th and 20th centuries, their relationship was marred by conflict: we’re talking invasions, the Franco-Prussian War, some bloodshed, World War 1, some more bloodshed, World War 2, a few more invasions… the list is quite extensive and a little bit repetitive. The good news is that these two European powers are friends now.

Until today.

This evening, France and Germany will battle it out on the pitch in Rio for a coveted place in the World Cup semi-finals. The prize is up for grabs and at this point it truly is anyone’s game. Continue reading

Chin up, England

We’re all feeling a bit sore after last night’s England match against Uruguay. Millions of hopeful fans (myself included) piled into pubs, bars and living rooms across the England to watch our beloved national team suffer at the hands of a country with a population the size of central London’s.

(I’m not making it up – Uruguay’s population is around one-twentieth of England’s. At just 3.4 million, it is miniscule compared to England’s 53 million. But I should move swiftly on before I reveal too much of my demography nerdiness).
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Last night’s debacle forced me to reflect on England’s skill set as a nation. We are pretty hopeless at international football, summer sunshine and EU politics. I’m going to wave my flag at this point by pointing out that we’re pretty good at queuing, drinking tea and hosting international sporting events (the Olympics two years ago was great and Wimbledon is always brilliant – in spite of the aforementioned lack of sunshine).

Wine production doesn’t tend to spring to mind as one of England’s strong points. In fact, many people are not even aware that England produces wine to begin with. Continue reading

Introducing… the Wine World Cup

You may have noticed that the FIFA World Cup is firmly underway. It seems to have instilled a certain amount of “World Cup fever” in everyone; most people are uncharacteristically patriotic during this gripping event. That’s why we have decided to host a Wine World Cup – while the footballers battle it out on the pitch, we are challenging their nation’s winemakers to thrill us.ImageSo… what exactly are you talking about? Good question – let us explain. Continue reading

The “real” Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio has acquired a bad name over the last few years – the popularity and mass commercialisation of the grape has resulted in the production of an alarming amount of of cheap, overly simplistic wines. These mass-produced wines, exported in bulk all over the world, fail to tap into the true potential of the grape.

Pinot Grigio (which, by the way, is the same grape as Pinot Gris) has so much more to offer. Continue reading

The Italian wine bug

Last week, I blogged about a fiesty Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This week, as I was opening a bottle of Chianti Classico, I realised I may have been bitten (once again) by the Italian wine bug. This delicious 2010 Fontodi Chianti Classico from Slurp.co.uk is a wine to take seriously – it is powerful, concentrated and offers an explosion of flavours – but would benefit from a little bit more time. It requires a little bit of patience: yes, you can drink it now, but the enhancements to the flavours and aromas in a year (or two) will be worth it. Trust us. Continue reading