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Wild Grapes Bespoke wine cellars, wine storage solutions and elegant wine accessories. All useful stuff!
Anyone in the Yorkshire area wanting to learn more about wine should contact Karen Hardwick at The Wine Academy.
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was founded in 1969 to provide high quality education and training in wines and spirits. Since then, WSET has grown into the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits education, with a suite of sought-after qualifications both for the professional and wine enthusiast.
Archers of Norwich produce simply the best sausages as well as superb beef and lamb. The pork is locally produced and carries enough fat to give it flavour and succulence. The farm assured beef is bought "on the hoof" from J Temple & Son of Wells, North Norfolk and is hung for up to four weeks to get the best texture and flavour. The lambs, which are reared on a farm in Lincolnshire, are also farm assured. See also Sausages Direct
The most spectacular place on earth? Venasque is an utterly charming medieval village perched on a rock overlooking Mont Ventoux in the Southern Rhône. It is the reason I got into wine: with the beautiful scenery of the Luberon to the south and the picture-postcard wine villages to the north, the possibility of skiing on Christmas Day and anything (and everything) you could want from a relaxing break... just don't spoil it for me when you do discover it! Click here for more details.
Auberge du Vin is run by old friends from London, Linda Field and Chris Hunt. Linda trained as a WSET teacher before she headed south to Mazan in the Southern Rhône where she and Chris offer accommodation in a converted French farmhouse surrounded by vineyards in the Provençal countryside at the base of Mont Ventoux, helping guests explore the wines of the Rhône Valley together with its picturesque hillside villages
Decanter is the UK's biggest (in terms of circulation) wine magazine, Decanter. The magazine itself offers features on regions, estates, wine personalities etc as well as reviews of themed tastings. The new web-site purports to offer much more, including the Bordeaux Index of auction prices of over 250 top wines. This enables you to compare the growth in value of your own wines (assuming your cellar overlaps with Decanter's listings). The subscription charges are quite high and, unless you are a serious investor, we would not recommend subscribing to this service (£160 for 12 months of UK auction data; £240 for UK and US data).
Drink Rhône is the online presence of the UK's leading Rhône commentator, John Livingstone-Learmonth. Free overviews of recent vintages but subscription required to see reviews of specific wines. Useful information about local goings on, places to eat and stay etc.
Fine Wine Diary comes across as a more extensive version of my blog - that is to say it is tasting notes organised by date of tasting. A little difficult to find what you are looking for but some useful (and interesting) reviews.
The most highly respected wine journalist this side of the Atlantic?
The Wine Advocate is
Robert Parker's bi-monthly review of wines. For around £50 per year you can
receive six copies (see
each issue containing over 50 pages of reviews listed alphabetically within
their category. All wines are tasted blind either by Parker or by his associate,
Pierre-Antoine Rovani, and scored, according to fairly strict criteria out of
100. Parker periodically produces books which are essentially compendiums of his
magazine but it is essential to ensure that these have been recently compiled if
you are using them to assist your purchases.
Directory does just what it says - very useful!
Wine Pages is Tom Cannavan's extensive and informative on-line magazine with articles, polls, discussions etc - certainly the UK's main wine forum for anyone wanting a chat. Easy to spend a lot of time here!
Winesearcher is probably one of the most useful tools on the web - but only if you are prepared to pay the small subscription (around £15 a year). Type in the name of the wine you want to buy and it gives you a list of who stocks it in whichever country you want to buy it. The free version only lists "sponsors" - companies that pay them around £3,000 a year - whereas the "Pro" version includes all the little guys like me. Believe me, you can save the subscription twice over on your first purchase.
Wine Spectator is Parker's main rival in the States and another extremely influential publication. In format, it is more similar to UK magazines Wine and Decanter but with an inevitably more American perspective. Wines are tasted blind by a small panel of the magazines editors and wines scoring less than 70 (out of 100) are re-tasted. Reviews are included in the "Buying Guide" section which lists wines in descending order according to their ratings. One particularly good thing about Wine Spectator (unlike any of its competitors) is that all wines tasted are reviewed so readers can discover which wines to avoid as well as those to seek out. Magazine subscriptions apply.
now listed on
Any12.com. This site has been
developed by our good friend, James Borrett who has given us so much help with
our site. James' new site lists several good UK merchants and, as he says, it is
all about making great wines more accessible to wine lovers by giving them
access to a range of wines from different online merchants. It's an extension of
his Casemixer® which was first trialled on this
site - click here to see how it works.
Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in the Forest of Dean is a converted 13th century farmhouse in a very picturesque setting with a two AA rosette restaurant.
The Waffle House is a great place for a quick lunch in Norwich's city centre. Bustling with shoppers, this is the place in Norwich for extremely high quality (almost exclusively organic ingredients) food and a glass of straight-talking wine. Enthusiastic and friendly staff go a long way to making this a fun place to grab a bite. Good in the evenings too!
RA Gardens is highly recommended although it probably helps if you live in my part of the country. Rob works to an impressively high level, listens to Radio 4 (on the rare occasions he listens to anything) and even brings his own coffee. He transformed an ugly area of cracked concrete outside our house into a beautiful paved terrace with pergola and brick raised beds - and a brick oven. Everything was done intelligently and sympathetically and (don't tell Rob) far too cheaply for what it was.
You'll find our business recommended on EasyBedandBreakfasts.co.uk.
You must be aged 18 or over to purchase wine.