Category Archives: Grape&Grain

Tamdhu: 50 years in the making

PETER RANSCOMBE WHAT was happening in the world back in 1963? In America, president John Kennedy was assassinated. In Liverpool, The Beatles released their first album. And, in a quiet corner of Speyside, on 2 November, a batch of spirit was distilled at Tamdhu. That new-make spirit was placed into a first-fill European oak sherryContinue Reading

Unfamiliar wines in familiar places

PETER RANSCOMBE MENTION the word “Sancerre” and most wine drinkers will immediately think of a dry white wine, then slip the name “Beaujolais” into conversation and they’ll picture a light and fruity red. We’re all guilty of it – we taste a wine we enjoy from a specific region and it becomes fixed in our mind,Continue Reading

Going beyond bubbles

PETER RANSCOMBE FLICKING through the pages of a wine textbook sometimes feels like looking back at an old photo album. There on the pages are all the old friends – from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir through to Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and that cheeky wee Sauvignon Blanc. Then you reach the pages about EnglandContinue Reading

Alternatives to Chablis

PETER RANSCOMBE CHABLIS will always hold a special place in my heart. As a red drinker, it was the white that opened the door for me to a whole world of elegant and exciting wines, eventually leading to delights such as riesling and gruner veltliner. That’s why last year’s news sent a shiver down my spineContinue Reading

California Part 1: Finding a sense of place

PETER RANSCOMBE OAK can be a double-edged wooden sword in winemaking. At its best, it can impart aromas and flavours of vanilla and sweet spices like cinnamon and cloves, as well as bringing a rounded mouthfeel to a wine. At its worst, the oak can dominate, overpowering the primary fruit and leaving drinkers checking for tinyContinue Reading