Press Articles

Richard Esling

19 February 2018

Written by Richard Esling

A Little bit of Spain in the Centre of London!

An Authentic Spanish Experience on Your Doorstep The hubbub of the busy tapas bar surrounded me in a friendly, comforting atmosphere, as I sipped a top quality bone-dry manzanilla sherry, accompanied by the best Iberico ham that money can buy, freshly cut in front of me. The Spanish barman was busily opening yet another bottle of Sparkling Cava, whilst our Spanish waitress explains the difference between the dish of fried baby squid with aioli sauce and the grilled octopus with pimenton de...
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Richard Esling

12 February 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Wines to Fuel Your Passion

Wines to Fuel Your Passion Despite the best efforts of our dear American President to convince us otherwise, 'Fake Noos' may not be such a new thing. When it comes to Saint Valentine and the origins of this much celebrated day of romanticism, there is much controversy as to its origins. Including the possibility that the whole thing was invented by the great poet and playwright Geoffrey Chaucer. He had a habit of dropping his poetic characters into actual accounts of historic events, leavin...
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Richard Esling

05 February 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Burgundy Not Only Shines, but it Sparkles Too!

There are two great wine regions of the world which vie with each other for first place in the World Wine Stakes. These are Bordeaux and Burgundy, both in France, still the central planet of the wine universe, one in the west and one in the east. My wife comes from Bordeaux and a good friend of ours who owns vineyards in Burgundy, often jokes with her that she is 'from the wrong side of France'. To which she replies, ' You may have some depth and power, but we have the charm and the elegance!...
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Richard Esling

22 January 2018

Written by Richard Esling

End of Dry January in Sight

For those of you who have done 'dry January', well done! I salute your forbearance and will-power which is far greater than my own. Having been a member of the wine trade for quite a long time, my congratulations are, understandably, somewhat muted. Wine needs to be consumed to make the wheels of the trade go round. I am, however, all in favour of drinking in moderation and giving the body a rest from time to time. But for those who have continued to have the occasional glass, or just can't s...
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Richard Esling

15 January 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Care Needed with Wines of Similar Names

It's one of those debates which will probably carry on forever. Is varietal labelling a good thing or a bad thing and is region of production, or even producer, far more important? I even have arguments with myself over the question. On the one hand, labelling a wine 'Chardonnay', can perhaps convey some message to the consumer as to what the wine may possibly taste like. On the other hand, a consumer that has had a bad experience with a Chardonnay - a cheap, over-oaked Australian, or an even...
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Richard Esling

03 October 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Chilean Wines give Burgundy a Run for its Money

Wines from Chile give Burgundy a Run for its Money Time was we used to consider Chilean wine as quaffable, inexpensive, 'everyday' wine, albeit well-made and packing a considerable amount of fruity flavour. And indeed, there is a very large amount of wine still produced in that country which is exactly that. But by no means all. Times and fashions change and along with them goes taste and expectation. Technology also continues to evolve and all this leads to changes in wine production, toget...
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Richard Esling

25 September 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Superior Sparkling Wines from the Loire Valley

High Quality Sparkling Wines from Saumur’s last Independent Producer. 'Infinitely Loire'. Such is the leading statement on the website of a producer of top quality sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. The company is called Louis de Grenelle, known more often as Caves de Grenelle, and is located in the heart of the historic town of Saumur, with its impressive chateau overlooking the great river. Sparkling Saumur wine is made by the traditional method, that is with the secondary fermentat...
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Richard Esling

11 September 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Restaurant Wine Lists

Restaurant Wine Lists Should be Both Affordable and Interesting Last week, I was invited to a fascinating evening at the Institute of Masters of Wine in London. The event was designed to launch the Institute’s 9th International Symposium called ‘Living Wine’, which will take place in June 2018, in Logrono in the Rioja region of Spain. Whilst examining the world of wine from many new angles, the purpose of the Symposium is to explore our relationship with wine and how we reg...
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Richard Esling

04 September 2017

Written by Richard Esling

The Vexed Question of Varietal Labelling

Wine Labels are not just about looking pretty. Choosing a bottle of wine from the shelves of your local wine store or supermarket is not always an easy task. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, then there’s no problem – provided it is in stock. But looking for something different, or an alternative to your tried and tested favourites can be something of a challenge. Certain clues as to the taste or quality can be picked up by close examination of the label, although...
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Richard Esling

28 August 2017

Written by Richard Esling

English Wine on the Up.

English Wine in the Ascendancy Another very successful Arundel Festival has just come to a close, when thousands of visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the many events and exhibitions which took place over the ten-day festival. For the third year running, a number of wine events were run by the increasingly popular Arundel Wine Society. Out of 7 wine events, featuring wines from around the world, three of them involved English wines, for good reason. Up until relatively recently, many peo...
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Richard Esling

21 August 2017

Written by Richard Esling

National Burger Day! Of course........!

Choose your wine for National Burger Day! Are you ready for one of the year's great culinary events which takes place this week? Perhaps you have been looking forward to it for weeks, or maybe you've never even heard of it. Shame on you, since this Thursday 24th August is National Burger Day! Yes, even the lowly burger gets to have its day. And why not? Millions of burgers are consumed across the planet every week and it has long been a 'fast food' favourite, with multi- million-pound busine...
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Richard Esling

14 August 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Lobster and Taittinger - a perfect pairing

Lobster and Champagne – Just find an excuse! When it comes to food and wine, there are certain things that just seem right together. Beef and horseradish, lamb and mint, fish and chips are some of the incontrovertible food pairings. But with food and wine together, there are also some pairings that are perfectly matched. One of these is lobster and champagne. A bit decadent perhaps, but for a special treat, it is worth every mouthful and with lobster season still in full swing in August...
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Richard Esling

07 August 2017

Written by Richard Esling

The Pros and Cons of a Glass of Wine

The Benefits and Risks of a Glass of Wine A report in the International drinks trade magazine 'The Drinks Business' reads "A 29-year study into the effects of alcohol and dementia has found that older adults who consume alcohol on a regular basis are more likely to live to the age of 85 without dementia compared with non-drinkers." But before you go out and empty the shelves of your nearest wine store, a word of warning. There have been many studies over the years which have reported the b...
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Richard Esling

31 July 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Summer Rose

Perfect Wines for a Less than Perfect Summer August is here and our Mediterranean style summer has transformed itself into the normal English Summer. It had to happen of course. The one thing you know for sure is that as soon as the kids break up the weather will be awful - until the beginning of September, when it will be warm and sunny, once the holidays are all over. Still, at least we can indulge in our favourite pastime of talking about the weather. If it's cloudy, the sun-worshippers w...
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Richard Esling

12 July 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Unexpected California

Unexpected California What do you normally think of when you hear the words 'Californian Wines'? Depending on what your taste profile is, the answer can be somewhat different. At the lower end of the market, there are some ranges of easy drinking, relatively characterless white, red and rosé wines, such as Blossom Hill or most of the wines from Gallo. If you are young and have a sweet tooth, white Zinfandel may be just the ticket, even though its pink. For the more discerning drinker...
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Richard Esling

05 July 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Explore a Different Part of Burgundy

Time to Explore a Different Part of Burgundy Summer's here and holidays are around the corner. If you've not yet booked, or are off on one of those 'take pot luck' driving holidays in Europe, and you enjoy a glass of wine or two, head for the hills of Burgundy. An inland area in Eastern France, the Bourgogne region is a beautiful land of rolling hills, with forests and farmland and a massive number of vineyards. Some of the best wines in the world are made here, with the reds being made from ...
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Richard Esling

28 June 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Vinexpo

Bordeaux International Wine Fair is Huge Success Last week saw the 19th International Wine Fair called Vinexpo take place in Bordeaux. A 'trade only' event, it happens every other year and is probably the largest, and certainly the most important, event of its kind in the world. The size of the Bordeaux Lac Exhibition Centre is impressive enough in its own right. The main hall is about a kilometre long, making those of the London Excel Centre look positively tiny. With outside temperatures o...
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Richard Esling

21 June 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Sicilian Wines

Sunshine in a bottle - the wines of Sicily Open a bottle of chilled Sicilian white - or red for that matter - and you can almost feel the sunshine that has ripened the grapes to produce these delicious and eminently affordable wines. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, just off the coast of the toe of the Italian boot, and Italy's most southerly region. Roughly triangular in shape, it boasts one of the largest active volcanoes in Europe, Mount Etna, which has had a significant...
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Richard Esling

14 June 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Sherry for Your Picnic

Sherry can make an interesting picnic wine With mid-Summer's day just around the corner, it's time to make the most of the sunshine, find the picnic rug at the back of the cupboard, put the folding chairs and table in the boot and pack the picnic basket. The composition of the picnic varies considerably depending on taste and practicality and has changed over the years. A pork pie and a thermos of milky tea has now been replaced by smoked salmon and a bottle of bubbly. There are now so many...
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Richard Esling

31 May 2017

Written by Richard Esling

Summer Wines from M&S

Line-up for Summer Wines from M&S Summer has come early, or at least it had last week. May is traditionally a month of ups and downs as regards the weather in this country, and this year it has certainly been true to form. Earlier in the month we had the severe frosts, which have caused havoc in the vineyards on both sides of the Channel and yet last week we had temperatures in the mid-twenties. But now we are at the start of the wonderful month of June, it’s time to repair the deck-ch...
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