Sunday, 30 September 2012

Climate Change


Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape

Autumn is on the way, folks. How do I know? It's not the dark mornings, nor the falling leaves. It's not even the start of a new season of Downton Abbey. No, the tell tale sign was on our dinner table this weekend: the first bottle of Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape of the year.
It's obvious that the effect of climate on wine production is a subject people struggle, at least initially, to comprehend (I'm not talking about the MWs of the world here). This suddenly struck me as odd, given that our favourite pasttime in Britain is talking about the weather.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Micro-Distillery, Massive Impact


Micro Vacuum Distillery in Cambridge

My last blog looked at Real Ales and the ever-increasing number of micro-breweries bubbling up across the country. This month we’re moving on to the hard stuff as we look at a relatively recent phenomenon: the micro-distillery.
It would be accurate, if not insightful, to state that home brewers have paved the way for home distillers. Distillers, however, have a problem: the law. Owning and operating a still of any size or shape is illegal, unless properly licensed. Where the home brewer is permitted an unlimited volume for personal consumption, the default yield for the distiller is zero (NB we take this for granted in the UK, but in many countries home distillers are left to their own devices).

Friday, 7 September 2012

Real Ale Resurgance


Real Ale is enjoying an undeniable resurgence. As we have seen across many categories, including food, wine and spirits, people are now looking towards smaller and, in many cases, local producers for quality products.

Man with beard enjoying ale