Curious Facts & Fun

Country focus: Portugal

PORTUGAL is a refreshingly exotic ‘mainstream’ wine producer: hardly anyone has heard of its regions, with one notable exception; mention of its extensively-used native grapes – 200 are in use – prompts blank-faced head scratching in all but the most devoted oenophiles; and its big wine ..

Top 10 wine clichés

WE AT CURIOUS hate when lazy wine communicators fall back on these tired banalities while speaking or writing about their subject. Wine is the world’s most diverse and thought-provoking drink - how hard is it to come up with fresh, engaging ways of talking about it? Unbelievable! P. s.

Small Sips #10: Ageing Wine

ONE OF WINE’S ENDURING MYTHS is that all wines improve with time; in fact the overwhelming majority of wines sold today are best drunk within a year or two of harvest! The reason for ageing wine is to give time for harsh tannins or acidity to mellow, and to allow complex, ‘tertiary’ aromas ..

Grape focus: Sauvignon Blanc

SAUVIGNON BLANC, the world’s eight most-planted grape, hails originally from Bordeaux and the Loire but is today cultivated in every country that makes wine. Famous regions that specialise in it include Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Bordeaux, Casablanca (Chile), Friuli (Italy) and the Adelaide Hills.

Regional Focus: The Rhône

The Rhône, in southeast France, is the country’s second-largest wine region after Bordeaux; but it’s really best considered as two separate, distinct, areas. The elevated north, which grows mostly Syrah, makes barely a tenth of the Rhône’s wine but more-or-less monopolises the zone’s glamour.