Friday 23 June 2017 
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wines old and new

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Welcome to the wine section of our website. Our wine database lists the wines we have enjoyed over the years and is searchable by a range of parameters, including type, vintage year, price paid, when and where bought, wine region and grape(s). To see all the wines in the database (as opposed to just those currently in the cellar) select the option to include zero stock. If selecting by grape variety, see the help screen regarding loose v. STRICT.

To access the database, click the bunch of grapes at the right  [requires login]

One aspect of the composition of the cellar will not escape those with a keen eye, which is that is now predominantly New World, as opposed to Old World. Back in the 1970s the primary source of wine into the UK was France, then Italy, Spain, Germany and Portugal, with some fringe countries topping up the mix with cheaper wines. Examples such as Bull’s Blood (Hungary), Lutomer Riesling (Yugoslavia) and some dire Pinot Noirs from Romania spring to mind. Wine from Australia was epitomised by offerings such as Buckfast and Wincarnis ‘tonic’ wines; their main characteristic was that they were ‘beefy’.

Most Old World wines majored on their terroir; where they came from. The grape from which they were made was something you only knew if you read up on the subject. Wines were (and in many case still are) labelled Chateau Margaux or Musigny (a red Bordeaux and red Burgundy respectively), Villa Antinori (Chianti) or Muga Gran Reserva (Rioja) — rather than Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese or Tempranillo. Well the New World has changed all that, with grape variety now the primary piece of information on most mainstream wine labels. Why is this so important? Because if you know what grapes you enjoy — and even more importantly those you don’t — you can seek out wines made from those varieties.

Regarding the wines in the picture at top left [click here for a larger version]; but to save you peering in the gloom of my late 70s cellar, they are listed below. Those were the days!

(top)
Tokay Aszu 5 puttonyos 1964, Château Lafite-Rothschild 1971, Château Mouton-Rothschild 1967, Dom Perignon 1964, Château d'Yquem 1967, Château Margaux 1969, Beaune Greves Vigne de l'Enfant Jesus 1970
(bottom)
Bollinger RD 1966, Malmsey Camara Lomelino 1915, Cockburn 1955, Trierer Thiergarten eiswein 1970, Schloß Vollrads 1972

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