Articles and Reviews

Cask88 Full Unedited Interview

Have a listen to Sam and Andy as they talk whisky and wine for almost a full hour! The video is unedited so there's a bit of back and forth to set up the questions and Sam gets an early birthday present too...

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WINE HEAVEN - Château Lafon Rochet Saint- Estèphe 2011

There’s probably not been a more deserving inductee into our Wine Heaven list. My experience with Château Lafon Rochet goes far beyond just the standard purchase of the bottle and subsequent tasting.

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WINE HEAVEN - Nyetimber Classic Cuvee NV

I’m starting this wine heaven review with two confessions. Firstly, I’m not the biggest sparkling wine drinker in the world and I've got much to learn. Secondly, I have never tasted an English sparkling wine! Whilst my first confession can be forgiven, after tasting the Classic Cuvee from Nyetimber, my second one cannot.

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The Black Craft Shiraz 2018

I was recently gifted this wine by a friend and was immediately struck by the bottle. Like the majority of bottles coming from Australia, it shuns the typical picture of a chateau or region followed by the name of the wine etc. and instead aims for a modern take on a label that’s designed to jump out at the potential buyer. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. For this wine, it works and it will look good on any wine rack.

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Root of the Mountain 2015

I recently returned from a holiday in Zante and whilst there I was fortunate to have visited Grampsas Winery, one of only a handful of wineries on the island.

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Perdriel Centenario 2016

I was undertaking the customary telephone call to my parents one weekend a few weeks back and I’d barely exchanged pleasantries with my dad when he uttered those cherished words…” Son, I’ve got a wine for you”. As explained elsewhere on our website, he knows his stuff so his opinion carries a fair degree of gravitas.

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Book Review: The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace

Okay, so I’ve not really been reading any books for pleasure this year. A lot of my reading has been around doing research for projects on this website and I’ve just not been inclined to pick up and just enjoy a book.

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Lorca Inspirado 2010

It has been a little over a year since I tasted this wine and two things have been a continuous reminder that I must give the Inspirado the attention it deserves.

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Vidal Sauvignon Blanc 2019

It’s no secret that I’m not great with my white wines. I’m even less experienced when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, having only really tasted it during my WSET qualifications. I’m yet to really be “wowed” by any of it and haven’t found a bottle that I could keep going back to.

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Andy Kelly talks wine on "The Whisky Lock In"

Sam Laing of Cask 88 interviewed Andy Kelly as part of their Whiskey Lock-in series.

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The Story of Phylloxera

I was recently offered the opportunity to appear as a panellist on Cask 88’s TV show devoted to all things whisky. On the show we discussed the devastation Phylloxera caused and how whisky was able to benefit. This article is an accompaniment to my appearance and provides a much more in-depth view of the pest that nearly killed the French wine industry. I would just like to thank Sam Laing from Cask 88 and Xavier from Mallorcaria Wine Merchant’s Mallorca for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to working with them once again in the future.

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Orbitali Amarone Della Valpolicella

A deliciously dry Valpolicella, with a bold and intense punch that would make even the Italian Stallion himself rattle in his boots.

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Andy’s Top Wines of 2019

What a stellar year it has been on my wine journey. Here’s the best of the best in 2019.

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19 Crimes. The Banished 2018

19 Crimes. The Banished. The 20th crime was opening this hateful little wine.

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Man O’ War Dreadnought 2015

A New Zealand powerhouse that packs a massive punch and has a great name to boot.

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Château Les Bouysses Cahors 2016

Ned gives this a 10 despite its hefty price tag. What will we think?

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Andeluna 1300 Malbec

An exceptional Malbec at an exceptional price that is surprisingly hard to find.

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Château Vieux Maillet Pomerol 2004

One of the best wines from one of my favourite regions. An absolute cracker!

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Pulpito Toro 2018

So after reading the small blurb that indicated it pairs well with fajitas (enchiladas were on my menu for that evening), I thought “sod it” and picked up the 2018 vintage, a year younger than the one Ned rates in his book...

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Chardonnay di MonteMaggio 2018

WINE HEAVEN! An outstanding Chardonnay from an outstanding winery at an outstanding price.

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Winemakers Selection Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017

An uncharactistically vague description of this Shiraz from Ned that would have otherwise made me overlook this wine. I know you’re limited for space Ned but you can do better than that!

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Wine Atlas Ventoux 2016

Southern Rhône spice and all things nice! This wine really surprised me and for all the right reasons...

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Tukituki Sauvignon Blanc 2017

The first white wine from Ned's book will definitely not be the last.

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Gran Familia Rioja Tinto

So first things first, the Co-op aren’t going to blow anyone away with their description of this wine. How boringly unimaginative? Perhaps the writer had the same taste experience I had…

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Carta Roja Gran Reserva

A go-to wine for me, with a lip-smacking price tag of £5.50 a bottle, you really can’t go wrong with this. Not sure that Andy agrees…

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Asda Extra Special Carmenère 2016

A long time favourite of mine, it’s good to see it getting the recognition it deserves…

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Taste the Difference Barossa Cabernet Merlot 2016

This little beauty gets a 10 but is it deserving of top marks from Ned?

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Diablo Dark Red 2015

Chilean winemakers do not understand the concept of bad wine. 

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Pulenta Estate X

There are a few wineries that can be credited for teaching me how to understand wine. But there is only one winery that can be credited for teaching me how to love wine.

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Toro Loco Superior

I have enjoyed this wine for a number of years. It’s a great table wine with a price tag that is what you’d expect to pay for a large bottle of posh mineral water. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer.

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Barista Pinotage

I did not understand wine. Until I drank this bottle…

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Finest Viña del Cura Rioja Gran Reserva 2012

It’s not cheapest wine we’ve ever bought from a supermarket but it might just be one of the best. at £11.50 it is easily worth double what we paid for it. Excellent value for a fantastic wine.

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Castillo Montanez Reserva Tempranillo

This bottle of tempranillo from ASDA comes at an amazingly affordable price… But does it live up to the description?

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Who is Ned Halley?

Ned Halley is an award winning journalist and author of the book The Best Wines in the Supermarkets which is published annually.

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Kevin Arnold Shiraz 2012

We’ve all had wines that we’ve been disappointed with once they’ve been opened and supped. We’ve all gone through that initial excitement of cracking open the bottle, allowing the wine to decant as the tension builds until the point that it’s poured into the glass. We’ve taken the first smell and first tentative taste, and all pulled that face…that disappointed face.

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