I have to admit to being partly seduced by the 'Rhine' in the label of this wine and was confusedly clicking my lips when I realised it was made in S Africa.  The Rhine conjures images from my teens when I was jackbooted out of the house, put on a plane and sent to Switzerland to stay with Muller family.  I am not sure what wrongs they committed to be charged with my care for a few weeks for several summers but even so, the memories of the times spent touring up and down the Rhineland left a lasting impression.  I particularly recall the vastness of river up North of Baden-Baden and, on one occasion swimming across a large reservoir in the hot afternoon sun post picnic lunch.  It was an idyllic setting which would have been sublime if only the reservoir wasn't quite so large and I didn't have shooting cramp in both lower legs.  My lack of German and not-wanting-to-make-a-scene character meant I swam the other half distance extra to the opposite side and turned with the others and gently swam back exclaiming "das good!" to my hosts.

Sutherland Riesling 2009

Anyway, as I said, only the grapes in this wine are from the Rhine.  The rest is from vines grown in the Thelema Mountains in South Africa.  Dipping my rounded proboscis into the glass I loved the aromas of kerosene, clear and pungent.  It is especially there on first opening when it is also dry and steely.  Love that!  To taste it is dry with a fine acidity, hints of lime (as the back label says!) and butterscotch.  It is sweet but not saccharine sweet, more fruity sweet, which is a nicer taste altogether.  A good quality wine.

I had this with roasted vegetables and it was perfect.  Considering I like a healthy amount of olive oil in with the potatoes and parsnips etc. this wine cut through the oily residue like the bare front of Excalibre. A very good Monday evening wine.  Could also serve as a light aperitif or mezzo style chatting wine.

I bought this from the www.thegoodwineshop.co.uk - good value at £13.50

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COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

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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