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Back For More Beaujolais

France: Rhône & Beaujolais, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

My first foray into Beaujolais was not writing about it, but shipping it from one side of the world to the other. Mea culpa: I played my part in the not-so-carbon-neutral tradition of freighting jumbo jets full of Beaujolais Nouveau to Japan every third Thursday in November. Fortunately, I was never asked to dive into a swimming pool foaming with Gamay. I just had to get it there on the dot.


Vinous Table: The Witchery, Edinburgh, Scotland

United Kingdom, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

The Witchery was my first dinner in the Scottish capital, which, as I was about to discover, is blessed with a thriving dining culture. The Witchery’s setting is novel and quite wonderful, and the service was excellent.

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Vinous Table: Trivet, London, UK

United Kingdom, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

Coming so soon after a fallow period for dining out, this evening at Trivet was perhaps even more enjoyable than if it had taken place before the pandemic. The company, the dishes and, of course, the wines were all exemplary.

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Back to Burgfest: 2017 Whites – Blind

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

The 2017 white Burgundy vintage vies with 2014 as the decade's best. After a year off due to the pandemic, the annual Burgfest tasting was back to examine over 200 wines, all blind, that bestowed the usual ragbag of expected triumphs, unexpected disappointments, outbreaks of euphoria and mass head-scratching.

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Vinous Table: The Ivy, Guildford, UK

United Kingdom, Vinous Table

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

The genius of the restaurant is that you dine on familiar English food in an atmosphere that makes it feel like the place to be. It buzzes with excitement. Every table is full. It’s noisy but you can hear each other speak.

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Value Through Time: Burgundy 1932-2016

France: Burgundy, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

In my round-up of mature Burgundy red and whites encountered over recent months, I examine how its value has changed through history before highlighting notable bottles. Famous names from the Côte d'Or intermingle with kindred spirits from Chablis, Beaujolais and the Mâconnais, as a reminder that longevity is not exclusive to famous and/or expensive names.

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Cellar Favorite: 1971 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton Grand Cru

France: Burgundy, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Aug 2021

Continuing my quest to taste every wine from my birth-year, I took a bottle of 1971 Corton Grand Cru from Domaine Bonneau du Martray to a La Paulée back in the days when people could crowd into an enclosed space without masks, share bottles and sing meaningless songs at the top of their voices.

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Beyond Wine: Album Review of Sault – Nine

Beyond Wine

Neal Martin, Jul 2021

Whoever Sault is or are, there is no question that they have made a huge impact on the UK music scene and their refusal to promote themselves makes their music stronger.

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So Chic, So Listrac: Fourcas Hosten

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2021

The Bordelais have always been the epitome of chic – in the way they carry themselves, in their deportment, in how they dress irrespective of age. They cannot countenance shabbiness. Perhaps at home they slob around in tatty jogging bottoms and flip-flops, but the boulevards of Bordeaux are a veritable crisscross of catwalks and luxury boutiques. Perhaps then, it is unsurprising that fashion houses have been lured to Bordeaux and acquired some its most famous châteaux.

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Two + Two = Trouble

featured, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jul 2021

The recent announcement that Cheval Blanc and Ausone would not participate in the forthcoming Saint-Émilion Classification caused shockwaves across Bordeaux and beyond. I examine both sides of the argument as the appellation comes to terms with a classification without two of its star players.