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 »

(Journal) 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 »

(Journal) 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 »

(Journal) 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 »

(Journal) 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 »

(Journal) Dinner at La table de Chaintré

I really must say a few things about dinner at La table de Chaintré in the heart of Pouilly-Fuissé - very, very good Sébastien Grospellier's sincere and authentic cooking has earned a michelin star. His passion for flavours and their evocative staging sees him pull together a fabulous seasonal menu. »

Some thoughts on judging in Bulgaria

Last week I found myself back in Plovdiv, a guest of the Union of Bulgarian oenologists and a skeptical voice on the development of Bulgarian wines over the last few years. The purpose was to help decide, under OIV conditions, which local varieties should be awarded medals and trophies at »