ImageChristmas and New Years celebrations have passed and we collectively shake off the skin of the previous year, we must also cast a daring eye, optimistically toward the future.  I say optimistically because the New Year is already looking quite exciting as far as fermented grapes are concerned!

Our Bordeaux competition in conjunction with Sainsbury's and the Bordeaux wine Bureau  has been a great success with literally thousands of people entering.  The lucky winners will be announced shortly.

This month Secret Sommelier will be visiting the Wine + show at Olympia, London  bringing guest posts and exclusive podcast from some of the UK’s most exclusive sommelier’s as well as few of our tasting notes from the exhibitors faire.

NEW: ‘Shelf Life’ The wine sleuth shares his tasting notes in this series of exploration of the shelves of UK wine retail shops and supermarkets.  Whether you’re drinking alone at home or picking pepper for the party , your invaluable bottle shelf guide has arrived!

In addition to this the Secret Sommelier team will be documenting visits to both vineyards and tasting events, so prepare to turn up the volume and let the podcast do the tasting! If your new years resolution is to be more adventurous with wine tasting then you are in the right place... just reach for your glass!
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Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.

 

Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.

 

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.

 

Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch. 

 

It’s been a hot couple of weeks here trekking around northern Catalonia. From the homeland and backdrop to surrealist Salvador Dali’s world to dramatic remnants of the volcano park an hour away, this place is a land of rough-hewn vistas and rustic hospitality.

 

Carluccio's deli and restaurants are a high-street staple, where great flavours in food blend easily with quality wines on the list. Following the death of the charismatic founder, Antonio Carluccio, his spirit lives on in style and philosophy. Nick Breeze talks to Head of International Operations (especially where wine is concerned!), Mike Stocks about wine-list tips, food matching and the great man of "mof mof":

 

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