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Second Best?

Second wines are second best. You can argue the point all you like but their purpose in life is to take second place after the grand vin. Nearly all of the big chateaux in Bordeaux have a second wine, a wine supposedly made from the grapes not deemed quite good enough for the top claret. …

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Number two balloon

Riesling With Your Curry?

What to do with an Auslese Riesling? Is its only purpose as a dessert wine? What’s all this talk of sweet wine with curry? There are always trends in wine and food and luckily for Auslese Rieslings the trend is working in their favour. Cuisine from across Asia that encompasses spices and flavours that our …

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Market spices

Bollinger vs. Krug

Embarking upon the task of getting to know Champagne is a bit like going down a rabbit hole. It is a world of twists and turns that take you from Champagne houses, to growers, to cooperatives, to arguments over prestige and fashion, and the question of how many vintages are in each cuvée. It feels …

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Champagne glasses

Demystifying Burgundy

They say it takes a lifetime to really “know” Burgundy which is rather unhelpful. Most of us have about 5 minutes of head space per day to think about something as frivolous as wine. The good news is that they’re wrong. Those in the “know” might like to think that only they hold the secrets but …

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Burgundy Shield

South Australia

South Australia has the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to wine and if you’re not careful you can easily find yourself drinking overpriced and average plonk. But it is also a place where serious winemakers have gone to make seriously top class wines. There are also plenty of them, so, instead of listing them all, …

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Barossa Valley

Surplus to Requirements

There is often a moment when my partner and I are out for dinner that we know may cause confusion or offence. This is the moment when the waiter brings over the glasses to go with the bottle of wine we have chosen, glasses so big as to engulf our faces. They then proceed to pour half the bottle …

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Leoville: Head to Head

History Originally one estate Domaine de Leoville in St-Julien, Bordeaux became three in the 19thcentury: in 1826 Hugh Barton purchased a quarter of the estate and named it Chateau Léoville-Barton; in 1840 the remaining vineyards were divided between Pierre-Jean Las Cases, who founded Chateau Léoville-Las Cases and his sister Jeanne Las Cases whose daughter founded …

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Leoville Las Cases Entrance

A Rose by Any Other Name

It’s easy to be rude about Chardonnay. It’s the grape variety people love to hate – the bad reputation it gained many moons ago thanks to cheap, over-oaked, synthetic tasting offerings make it an easy target.  But so many of those that say a blanket no to Chardonnay are quite happy to drink Blancs de Blancs …

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Piedmont seems to bring out the poet in people – paragraph upon paragraph is written about the scenery and its endless gastronomic offerings, wine included. It is a beautiful part of the world and the Piedmontese certainly know a thing or two about good food, wine and generous hospitality. If you find yourself in a little …

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Gaja, Piedmont

Dominio de Pingus vs. Numanthia

Up until the mid 1980’s the only Spanish wine that was worth drinking outside of Spain was Rioja and even then you had to tread carefully. Their exports were dominated by low quality bulk wine and their poor reputation seemed destined to remain had it not been for a seemingly well-orchestrated industry wide turnaround. Spain was suddenly producing higher …

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Dominio de Pingus vs. Numanthia

Summer Vibes

I think we can all safely say that summer has arrived and, although we dislike being told that we should be breaking out the barbecue and bathing in rosé, we will freely admit that a fair number of our wines are not really tempting us in this weather. So for the next few weeks we …

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summer vibes


Growing up in a large wine drinking family I always presumed my approach to wine was perfectly normal. I realised its abnormality when I reached university and my peers were confused by my love of dessert wine (or pud wine as we’ve always referred to it). Whenever we had a family celebration an uncle, parent or third cousin once removed would …

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1996 Chateau Nairac Barsac

A Question of Climate

The more time you spend looking at wines from around the world the more you realise there is a pattern to the whole thing. Aside from the odd anomaly you start to recognise why certain regions are more revered than others, why certain blends command higher price tags than their contemporaries, and why the terms …

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California, USA

Starting Early

I don’t come from a family of wine drinkers. My father was in the Royal Navy and the extent of his drinking was one glass of Pusser’s Rum before bedtime each night.  My mother’s drinking stretched to a glass of Piesporter if we ever happened to find ourselves in a restaurant, and perhaps two glasses of …

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Vintage Krug

Vieilles Vignes

Given the recent revelation that grape varieties grown today are so closely related to those grown by the Romans 2,000 years ago, we thought that this week might be a good week to talk about old vines. Vieilles Vignes (old vines) is a term used in France to denote a wine that is produced from vines usually older …

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Jaboulet and Chapoutier

It has been a quiet week at Nemo headquarters but this has allowed us some extra time to reflect on our current wine list. This can be a dangerous task as we invariably start on one region and find ourselves still there several hours later. However, we did think that this may not be a terrible thing and …

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Paul Jaboulet Thalabert

Super Tuscans

London Wine Fair week tends to produce a large number of hangovers by 4pm. Luckily I did my homework and tactically manoeuvred my way around the very large and very packed exhibition centre to the tastings I thought would offer the most insight. There was a good tasting of artisan Champagnes; and an excellent one …

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