A 26-post collection

Travel - On the road in Hungary with

Here are a few notes from my recent four day study tour to Hungary, courtesy of, the PR and marketing arm of the brilliant Ágnes Németh and Tamás Dobos. The format was a whistle-stop tour of Hungary by bus that incorporated the awards ceremony of the Hungarian Wine »

(Journal) Judging at IWCB in Bucharest, Romania

Last week I flew to Bucharest to take part in IWCB for the second time. I first attended the Bucharest International Wine Contest back in 2017, and having missed the event last year when it was held in Iasi, I was delighted to return to look into developments across the »

(Journal) A few days in Soave and the Venetian hills - Part 1

I woke up one day in early May to find two, presumably unrelated, emails waiting for me. The first alerted me to a UK trade campaign intended to highlight one of the Veneto's most misunderstood wines under the rather fun banner of Summer of Soave. The second was an invitation »

(Journal) Judging at Citadelles du Vin 2019, 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 »

(Journal) 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 »

(Journal) 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 »

(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. »