Travel - A short visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape

A big thank you to Michel Blanc and the syndicate of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for facilitating a few days in the appellation and an opportunity to engage with both the terroir and the wines. Despite tasting, drinking, selling and writing about these stony vineyards and full-bodied blends for years it was my »

News - I'm a VinItaly Ambassador

After years of working with Italian wines I was delighted to be selected to join the VinItaly International Academy program and attempt the exam to become an VinItaly International Amabassador. I passed : ) »

Travel - Judging at Citadelles du Vin 2019, Bordeaux, France

Back in Blaye for the second time! In mid March I spent a few days judging at Citadelles du Vin, a small but long-standing competition held in Blaye, just across the Gironde from Bordeaux. The afternoons were filled with various visits - Lunch at Chateau des Tourtes in Saint-Caprais-de-Blaye and »

Travel - My first time at Mundus Vini, Germany

Impressions of Mundus Vini 2019.... Mundus Vini has grown exponentially since its conception by the Meininger publishing house in 2001. It's importance in Germany, but also across the whole wine is demonstrated by the almost 12,000 samples that are submitted for judigng. The purpose of the competition is to »

Events - Damien Petit of Domaine Desire Petit visits Mistral

On Wednesday the 6th of Feb Damien Petit came to Mistral to introduce his fabulous Jura wines to some of Chester's wine lovers. As the latest generation to oversee this long standing family business, Damien runs the almost 30 hectare estate in Pupillon. Alongside his sister, he has embarked on »

Plans for 2019

Friends, Having broken the back of January I'm pleased to reach out with my first update of 2019. Last year I worked hard on launching Vinorandum, my ambitious plan to develop a wine search engine platform. Clearly there is still a lot of work still to do but I would »

Cellar Highlights for Mistral Wine Bar - January 2019

What a year 2018 was! After just a few short weeks of being open word seemed to spread around Chester and our little reputation for creating a cosy, intimate wine space made its way onto social media and into the local paper. Last year we showed some amazing wines and »

Events - Hosting an Alpine Wine Tasting at Mistral

We held our first wine tasting event at Mistral since its opening in September. Hopefully it will be the first of many, but we teamed up with Ben Drury of Yorkshire merchant Alpine wines to introduce customers to some of the boutique names hiding in the various shadows of the »

News - Mistral Wine Bar and Shop Now Open

We've spent the last few months working on a former wig and hair extensions shop on the historic rows of Chester to create Mistral, a cosy little wine bar and shop specialising in small grower wines from independent producers. Here's a few photos of how it all came together. A »

Travel - On the road in the Douro - part 2

A rather delicate start.... We picked up the car and headed out of Oporto, driving inland along the river towards Peso da Régua, up to Vila Real, as far as Cima Corgo and then south towards  de the famous wine producing towns of Folgosa and Pinhão. For anyone who hasn't »

Travel - On the road in the Douro - Part 1

I do qutie a bit of travelling in the name of promoting my various wine projects and while it seems like a life of fancy labels, great food and endless social occaisions, I can tell you the job is harder than it looks. Ahem... Every now and then a holiday »