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NATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally

NATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturallyNATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally published in July

“A really inspiring book. Isabelle writes beautifully
and it’s given me a lot to think about” – Olly Smith

Over the last 50 years, winemaking has become ever-more processed, controlled and unnatural, from the use of blanket crop-spraying in vineyards to the over-use of sulphites and other additives in winemaking. This over-manipulation and lack of transparency has lead more and more people to turn to what is known as natural wine – wine made as nature intended with grapes that are farmed organically or biodynamically and with minimum intervention in the winery. Wine that is basically good old-fashioned fermented grape juice.

And there’s no one that knows them better than their standard bearer, Isabelle Legeron MW, who is at the forefront of this growth in awareness.

As crusader for the natural wine movement, she has presented her own show on the Travel Channel, acts as adviser to several leading restaurants and has set-up the hugely successful annual natural wine fair – RAW. Just as the craft beer movement has taken off across the globe, the demand for natural wine has exploded over the last couple of years, and looks set to go from strength to strength.

Isabelle says ‘I’m incredibly excited about releasing a book on natural wine. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about them, since it is the only wine I drink now. I want people to know about the rubbish that goes into making so many of the wines on our shelves, but even more than that I want them to know that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are amazing wines out there that are so, so much better in every way.’

The book is split into three parts. Part one examines the definition of natural wine, looking at The Vineyard, The Cellar, Taste, Misconceptions and Health. Part two explores the Who, Where and When, providing details of the Artisans, the Origins of the Movement and where you can find and buy natural wine. Finally, part three is about discovering natural wine for yourself, with information and tasting notes on a large variety of natural wines divided into Bubbles, Whites, Oranges, Pinks, Reds and Off-dry and sweets.

Isabelle Legeron, who lives in London, was the first French woman to become a Master of Wine, and was named Wine Woman of the Year 2009 in Paris. She runs the highly successful RAW fair in May in London, and advises various restaurants on their wine lists, including the Michelin 2* Hibiscus. She contributes to Decanter magazine, and organises conferences and tastings to spread the word about proper, natural wine.

Natural Wine: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally will be available from July priced at £16.99.

Three Wine Men at The Oval

three wine menOn 7 – 8th June the three biggest personalities in the wine world will host a summer tasting extravaganza at the Kia Oval in Kennington. Familiar to many from their appearances on TV and radio they are Oz Clarke (the one who got James May to move from beer to wine), Olly Smith (aka Jolly Olly – Radio 2’s wine guru) and Tim Atkin MW (wine expert on Saturday Kitchen) and together they are Three Wine Men.

The Three Wine Men are on a mission to get everyone in the country tasting and enjoying new wines, alongside delicious food. Their events bring together wine, beer and artisan food producers and retailers to prove just how much fun your taste buds can have in a day, given the right ingredients.

The tone is driven by the attitude of the Three Wine Men – unpretentious, no-nonsense and fuelled by a genuine love of wine. Oz, Olly and Tim are completely ‘hands-on’ throughout the events, encouraging consumers to try new wines, beers, drinks and food, often from behind the tables themselves to get totally stuck in. It’s fun, engaging and interactive – the perfect way to help people expand their taste horizons.

It doesn’t matter if visitors are experts, enthusiasts or just enjoy the occasional slurp – when they arrive, they simply grab a glass and get tasting from the hundreds of wines exhibited at the show. It’s no more complicated than that.

For those who know very little but want to learn more there are masterclasses such as ‘deciphering wine labels’, whilst those seeking to expand their existing knowledge can be guided through a range of ‘elegant Australians’ or master the art of matching wine with cheese.

Three Wine Men at The Oval
Venue: Kia Oval, Kennington, SE11 5SS
Ticket price
 £25.00 per ticket per session
 £5.00 per masterclass
Tickets can be purchased from:
 Ticket hotline: 0844 858 6759

Timings and masterclasses:
Saturday 7th June 2 tasting sessions 11am – 3pm & 4pm – 7.30pm
6.00pm Cheese & Wine Matching with Tim Atkin MW
7.00pm Iconic Winemaker: Chianti Classico and Prosecco
8.00pm Elegant Australians with Olly Smith
Sunday 8th June Main tasting session Midday – 4pm
Midday Cheese & Wine Matching with Tim Atkin MW
1.00pm Iconic Winemaker: Chianti Classico and Prosecco
2.00pm Elegant Australians with Olly Smith

Celebrate English Wine Week at the River Cottage Food Fair

river cottage foodfairJoin the River Cottage team at their brand new River Cottage Food Fair on the 24, 25 & 26 May 2014 where they will be celebrating English Wine Week with some of their favourite local vineyards.

Furleigh Estate, Oatley Vineyard and Polgoon Vineyard – makers of the River Cottage Elderflower wine – will all be in attendance, celebrating National English Wine Week by offering tasters and the opportunity to buy some of their fantastic English wines.

Head down to the River Cottage Food Fair to sample some wonderful white and sparkling English wine.

If you want to get stuck in and learn new skills in the kitchen then you can purchase hands-on cooking masterclasses, starting at £10 a session. There is plenty more to keep you entertained with live cookery demos and foodie debates.

Your kids will enjoy falconry displays, pig racing, hula hooping, face painting and, for the first time, zorbing. The market area will be as plentiful as ever with local foods, plants and crafts for you to buy and there will be lots of skilled craftspeople where you can lathe your own bat or have a go at jewellery making (out of old cutlery!)

Visit on Monday for just £7.50 a ticket. And remember under 12s go free.

For more details on how to Celebrate English Wine Week at the River Cottage Food Fair visit:

Celebrity Vineyards by Nick Wise

celebrity vineyards by nick wiseFrom the hills of Napa to the mountain slopes of Piedmont, wine writer Nick Wise went in search of great wine, and the new yet prolific modern trend of ‘celebrity turned winemakers’ – a collective group of actors, musicians, directors, artists and sports figures who have en masse entered the wine-making arena as a second profession. Celebrity Vineyards endeavours to illuminate the serious fruit aficionados from the label profiteers, and the reasons behind their personal decisions to produce fine wines.

Intrigued by this trend, Nick wanted to not only explore the reasoning behind their winemaking, but also demonstrate how much fun learning about and experiencing wine can be – and to open up the process to those less interested in the technicalities of winemaking. Exploring celebrity vineyards seemed to him an exciting place to start, and this book tells the fascinating story of the colourful characters he encountered, and their passion for wine.

Nick journeyed around the world, from Central and Northern California to Canada’s Niagara Wine Valley and on to the hills of Italy and Spain, to visit the vineyards of, and in most cases interview, winemakers such as composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, screenwriter Robert Kamen, acclaimed chef Charlie Palmer and actor Dan Aykroyd, among others. Celebrity Vineyards highlights only those who have become hands-on in their winemaking process, and the tasting notes and reviews in each chapter immediately trigger the senses and uncover brilliant wines that have gained industry recognition.

“After almost a year of travelling and research, we found some very amazing people who were incredibly dedicated to making great wine….The sixteen celebrities we ultimately selected were those people who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the actual winemaking, and others who stayed clear of the technical aspects but nonetheless invested their heart and soul in the process.”
— Nick Wise

The labels on the bottles, the nuances between each glass – Nick remembers every single wine he has tasted. His extraordinary travels and encounters are revealed in this fully illustrated and captivating book. Whether you are a wine connoisseur, or can’t tell your pinot from your merlot, Celebrity Vineyards will delight, charm and educate your palate.

Celebrity Vineyards by Nick Wise available for pre-order on Amazon for £15.70.

Berry Bros. & Rudd Bar Opens

One of the UK’s most treasured and iconic venues, the Royal Albert Hall, is delighted to announce the opening of its new bar in partnership with Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, established in the 17th century, Berry Bros. & Rudd. The elegant and sophisticated Berry Bros. & Rudd No.3 Bar offers guests chic glamour and a distinctive experience in the iconic splendour of the world famous performance venue.

With a relaxed and convivial ambience, the bar specialises in a great selection of Berry Bros. & Rudd wines and spirits as well as an excellent list of No. 3 Gin and classic cocktails which will be available to the Hall’s annual 1.5 million visitors. The menu, from the Hall’s in-house caterers “rhubarb” features delicious food including sharing boards of Spanish charcuterie and Hamish Johnston cheese, freshly handmade salads, smoked salmon blinis and wholesome sandwiches. “rhubarb” will manage the daily operations in the bar whilst ensuring that the quality and service is always excellent.

As a charity, the Hall seeks to advance the world famous Grade 1 listed building and provide maximum public benefit and this contemporary yet classic public bar, in one of its renovated downstairs foyers, contributes to its continued improvement for future generations.

Jasper Hope, Chief Operating Officer at the Royal Albert Hall, said Berry Bros. & Rudd Bar Opens

Simon Berry, Chairman at Berry Bros. & Rudd, said

“We were surprised and delighted when we were invited by the management of the Royal Albert Hall to open a bar. We have been supplying the Hall with its wine for 18 months or so as well as a few of our spirits, including No. 3 Gin, and the King’s Ginger liqueur had also been selected to go into their bars and restaurants. The relationship fits very well and the bar is not only a bar, but one of the iconic Arena bars. Whatever your taste in music or entertainment, I am sure that we can satisfy your taste for something to drink.”

Over 314 years ago, Berry Bros. & Rudd opened its shop at 3 St James’s Street, opposite St James’s Palace, where it still stands today. Members of the Berry and Rudd families continue to own and manage the family-run wine merchant, providing the closest link between those make the wine and those who drink it.

Located on the Basement level, the Berry Bros. & Rudd No.3 Bar offers food and drinks two hours before every performance, in the interval and for select concerts the bar will also be open post-show.