Category Archives: Grape&Grain

Single vineyard garnacha from Rioja

Whether you call it garnacha, grenache or even garnatxa, Peter Ranscombe wants to praise the often-overlooked red grape variety. BLENDING is at the very heart of the winemaking tradition in Rioja. Whether it’s mixing the tempranillo, garnacha and other grape varieties used to make Spain’s most-famous red wine or fusing together wines from the Alta,Continue Reading

Time travelling with Bolney’s Blanc de Blanc bubbles

Peter Ranscombe straps himself into a vinous DeLorean to sample five vintages of Bolney’s Blanc de Blanc English sparkling wine. ONE of the most exciting elements of opening an older bottle of wine is remembering at what stage of your life you were in the year that the grapes were harvested. Where were you living?Continue Reading

From riesling to the Smiths: Wine, food and music matching

Food isn’t the only match for wine – you can also pair it with music too, as Peter Ranscombe finds out. WHAT happens when you mix wines from Alsace, food from a French bistro and Brit Pop from the 1980s? The answer is you get Foulques Aulagnon, the export manager at CIVA, the trade bodyContinue Reading

Oddbins goes au natural

Peter Ranscombe salutes Oddbins’ new range of natural wines. LOVE them or hate them, natural wines are here to stay. There’s a lot of confusion over what constitutes a “natural” wine – and how organic, biodynamic and natural wines sit together. Probably the most useful definition focuses on “low intervention” wines, in which the grapeContinue Reading

Small is beautiful at Domaine Ferret

Just because a small producer is owned by a big company doesn’t mean it can’t create incredibly serious wines, as Peter Ranscombe discovers. WRITING about business as well as drinks has made me a bit sceptical when it comes to big-name wines. Time after time, I’ve seen bottles with eye-catching labels and creative monikers, onlyContinue Reading