Author Archives: Kenny Smith

Why I’m feeling good about Feel Good Grapes

A new online retailer run by award-winning blogger Mike Turner is demystifying sustainable bottles, writes Peter Ranscombe. THERE’S always an awkward moment when a friend asks me to taste the wines that their business stocks. But, when it comes to the bottles that Mike Turner has chosen for Feel Good Grapes, I needn’t have worriedContinue Reading

Five of the best from Lidl’s latest wine tour

Head to Italy is Peter Ranscombe’s advice when it comes to the German supermarket’s latest summer special offer. IN THE big scheme of things, this definitely ranks as a #FirstWorldProblem – but the coronavirus lockdown has played havoc with wine writers’ routines. While many masterclasses with individual producers have shifted online, it’s much harder forContinue Reading

Craft distilleries call for clarity on covid support

EIGHT of Scotland’s craft distillers have written to the Scottish Government seeking clarity on whether they qualify for support during the coronavirus pandemic. The group of spirit producers said that some of its members have been turned down by their local councils for the 12 month business rate holiday promised by Scottish ministers, while othersContinue Reading

Craft whisky distilleries call for clarity on covid support

EIGHT of Scotland’s craft distillers have written to the Scottish Government seeking clarity on whether they qualify for support during the coronavirus pandemic. The group of spirit producers said that some of its members have been turned down by their local councils for the 12 month business rate holiday promised by Scottish ministers, while othersContinue Reading

Down on the farm: Virgin Wines backs wellbeing charity

As Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close, Peter Ranscombe toasts Virgin Wines’ ongoing partnership with care charity Growing Well by tasting some of the online retailer’s organic offerings. THIS year’s Mental Health Awareness Week took on extra significance during lockdown. Thousands of people will have become even more acutely aware of the stateContinue Reading

Lifting the vale: Searching for grenache outside McLaren Vale

Peter Ranscombe indulges his passion for grenache by looking beyond exciting examples in Australia, France, South Africa and Spain. GRENACHE has helped to put Australia’s McLaren Vale on the map – a grape often seen only in blends in Rioja and the Rhone has become the star of the show and elevated to cult status.Continue Reading

Travelling La Route des Grands Crus with Chateau de Pommard

Online wine tastings are elevated to a whole new level with grand cru wines from Burgundy, says Peter Ranscombe. IT’S hard to think of an activity that hasn’t headed online during lockdown. From family quizzes and cocktails with friends through to work meetings and court hearings, there seems to be no part of everyday lifeContinue Reading

Scotch on canvas: the art of whisky

John Robertson, founder of consultancy firm Messrs Whisky & Co, finds out why Argentine artist Gisela Garcia Gleria was inspired to put whisky on canvas and how she captures the subtle essences of the dram. THE subjects of fine art and Scotch whisky might not be obvious companions but, when the two come together, itContinue Reading

Spanish experiments with sauvignon blanc

Creativity is at the heart of good winemaking – and self-confessed science geek Peter Ranscombe never turns down the chance to lift the lid and look at how blends are made. THERE must be something in the water at Ramón Bilbao. Last year, we explored how winemaker Paula Fandino at the Spanish drinks giant’s MarContinue Reading

Louis Latour looks beyond Burgundy for promising pinot

With the price of making wine in Burgundy continuing to rise, Peter Ranscombe finds out why one producer is turning to other regions. FEW names are as synonymous with Burgundy as Louis Latour – the wine producer traces its roots in the prestigious French region back to 1768, when Jean Latour planted vines at Aloxe, continuingContinue Reading