Vermentino reminds me fervently of a visit to Lucca for a night exactly two years ago.  It was a strange adventure that took us from the civility of Northern Italy by boat to the buzz of Barcelona and on to the sizzling chaos of Fez, the old capital of Morocco, until we crossed the Middle Atlas mountains taking camels and a guide into the huge sands of the Sahara.

Vermentino 2011

In Lucca we took bicycles and rode around the top of the city walls before sitting down to eat in the small square outside the elegant town house that Puccini once inhabited.  The small restaurant called Paris Boheme was a tip from a couple of American's we got chatting to in the stunning Cinque Terra on the coast between Rapallo and La Spezia.  

Cafe Boheme was more cafe style in feel and the tables reached out to the theatrical looking statute of Puccini himself.  I asked for a wine tip and the owner literally sung "Veeeeermentinooooo!  A beautiful white wine of the local region.  It is very good."  What could I do but nod in acceptance.

To eat we shared a "insalata erotica" which was absolutely delicious.  The wine was young fresh and full of sweet life.  Perfect for a warm autumnal evening such as it was.  We each then succumbed to the tagliatelli and more of the same wine.  A memorable evening that closed with a gentle walk through the ancient walled city to our hotel just outside.

So back to the wine in hand.  I couldn't resist but climb into the warm suit of memory, pouring a large glass of Moris Vermentino Toscana 2011.  It has a lovely nose of fresh cut ripe pear and hints of sweet apple. To taste it is more of the same with a refreshing acidity that leaves the mouth feeling well up-turned.  Very nice indeed.

Vermentino Toscana 2011  available at Jeroboams stores or online at

COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

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Climate change podcast

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


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.


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