Category Archives: Grape&Grain

Vega Sicilia: when the taste lives up to the hype

Peter Ranscombe is careful not to get carried away with the excitement of trying Spain’s undisputed top wine and is relieved when the liquid matches its reputation. YOU know a wine is special when it gets its own mention in your old course textbook. The entry for Vega Sicilia in the Oxford Companion to WineContinue Reading

Exploring vintage variation with Gallica

Peter Ranscombe explores how weather conditions can affect wines from vintage to vintage with Gallica winemaker Rosemary Cakebread. PICTURE California and it’s hard to escape images of the pier at Santa Monica or the sun-drenched beaches of Malibu, Newport and Venice. Yet head north from Los Angeles and it’s possible to explore how variations inContinue Reading

Not so ordinary claret

There’s nothing ‘ordinary’ about Berry Bros’ claret or many of the other affordable bottles of Bordeaux on the market, as Peter Ranscombe discovers. FEW drinks have such a strong association with Britain as claret, the nickname for red wines produced in Bordeaux. Once used to describe thin and light wines, the term now denotes anyContinue Reading

Wines for Christmas 2017

Peter Ranscombe goes on a shopping spree to suggest some stonking wines for the Christmas dinner table. INSTEAD of The Grape & The Grain’s usual “100 wines for Christmas”, I thought I’d try something a wee bit different this year. I’ve grouped together these recommendations according to the shops that sell each wine, as opposedContinue Reading

California: Variety is the spice of life

A series of recent tastings have reminded Peter Ranscombe about the diversity of wines available from California. ONE of the most-exciting aspects of visiting California back in March was learning about the wide variety of grapes being grown in the golden state. As I wrote at the time, there’s far more to Cali than over-oakedContinue Reading