AOC Fiefs Vendéens (or My Nan’s local vin)

When my grandparents said they were moving to the Vendée several years ago the first thing we all did was say ‘where?’ and quickly look it up on Google. The first visit was a shock to the system as they live in a very rural area; there were stars at night, no sound of trucks…

Inside Moët & Chandon

Woop woop, I’ve finally completed all my assignments for my MA Food and Wine Culture. That means I finally have a life again, well until I start on the dissertation. It also means I can finally catch up with my blog, and how about a glass of Champagne to celebrate? Last month my husband was…

The art of Pommery

Like Dijon, Reims has always been a stop-over destination for us when we head down to Italy. We usually arrived late at night and left first thing in the morning. Now, thanks to my wine studies, I have been lucky enough to spend more time in these beautiful cities and take in more of their…

Introducing Corton

When last years MA Food and Wine Culture cohort visited Dijon it was 20°c and they enjoyed picnics in Beaujolais and walking through the vineyards. This year it was a bit different. Most days the temperatures were in minus figures and snow was not uncommon. So after a day spent in a very warm classroom we reluctantly headed out into the…

Marathon du Médoc – the party marathon

Back in February when I said to my husband, ‘Do you fancy running a marathon,’ I had no concept of how life changing training for a marathon would be. Fast forward to September, I’ve lost 23lbs and many inches, tried various horrible tasting power gels, ran hundreds of miles and become best friend’s with the Nike…

Barone Ricasoli, Tuscany

The Ricasoli family have owned the Castello di Brolio since 1141 and claim amongst their clan the Iron Baron, Bettino Ricasoli, former Prime Minister of Italy and wine experimenter.  So on another very hot day in the Siena countryside we headed up to the castle (no thanks to sat nav!) to learn about the wine,…

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

On a very hot day in July we left the air-conditioned comfort of our car and, along with several coach loads of tourists, struggled up a big hill to the town of San Gimignano perched on the top.  The town is famous for its towers, of which there used to be many, but now only…

Denbies Wine Estate

On a very miserable Bank holiday weekend what better thing to do than head to a vineyard in Surrey and drink wine.  So we headed to Denbies in Dorking and did just that and I was quite surprised when we arrived, not just at the size of the estate, but also by the amount of…

The English Whisky Company

Whisky you may say, but this is a blog about wine surely?  Well yes it is but as I am doing the Wine and SPIRIT Education Trust diploma, there is a certain amount of spirit tasting involved.  And unfortunately I’m really not a fan of spirits, in particular whisky – it all goes back to…

My sense of smell

I had always thought that I had a pretty poor sense of smell.  People around would say, ‘wow can you smell that, it smells amazing (or awful),’ and I would sniff at the air and there would be nothing, or a little of something but nothing that I could identify.  I just presumed that’s how…

O Chateau, Paris

Quite simply Paris is my favourite city.  I love the history, the art, the food, the people and now I love O Chateau.  I first read about this restaurant/wine tasting venue on David Lebovitz’s blog http://www.davidlebovitz.com – a brilliant foodies guide to Paris and filled with delicious recipes; and decided we had to go there…

Three Choirs Vineyards – my introduction to English wine

With the increasing popularity of English wines (particularly the sparkling kind), Three Choirs Vineyards are leading the way in choice, expertise and quality. On a crisp November afternoon I visited the vineyard in Newent, Gloucestershire, and was surprised by the scale of the enterprise. Alongside the vineyard, there is also a restaurant, tasting facilities and luxury…