Check your liquor cupboard

13 May 2011 - 11:00 PM | Permalink

There comes a time in most years, as spring turns into summer, when you resolve to tidy up your drinks cupboard or cabinet. If, like your wine correspondent "Lovat Stephen", you have had a lifetime of travel abroad - in the army, as a journalist, or even only as a holiday visitor, you need to approach this in the same way that a doctor or pharmacist might urge you to look into your medicine store and dispose or return out-of-date prescriptions.

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Is cider the “new wine”?

24 November 2007 - 12:00 AM | Permalink

The most interesting and unexpected development in the drinks market in Britain last year was a resurgence of Cider as a popular beverage.

Cider (also sometimes spelt as cyder) is made from fermented apple-juice. Transatlantic readers will realise that this is what is known as hard-cider in the U.S.A. where their apple-juice cider equivalent is wholly non-alcoholic. On the other hand, British and Irish cider can even be as much as 10% abv. And just to complicate matters, locally-produced rural versions of draught cider or scrumpy often come in at almost every strength known to man.

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V for Viognier, V for Virginia

10 September 2007 - 2:46 AM | Permalink

The wine-growers of bravely grasped the nettle of introducing Virginia wines to the British market by holding their first overseas wine-tasting in London in May 2007. While , & and upstate are well-known as exporters of U.S. wines, your wine correspondent Lovat Stephen must confess that wine-growing did not rank high in his knowledge of this Mid-Atlantic state on the east coast.

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A Volume on Vermouth

01 December 2006 - 7:00 PM | Permalink

"Vermouth is arguably the Cinderella of the drink world". Well, that is the opening sentence of a slim volume on the subject of Vermouth, which answers many of the most-often-asked questions about a very familiar drink.

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A search for Viognier

09 October 2006 - 2:36 AM | Permalink

Campaigners of the "Anything But Chardonnay" school of thought are still searching for new varietals to challenge 's near hegemony in the world's Premiership White Wine league. has its many adherents, particularly in New Zealand, but your correspondent Lovat Stephen here declares his fondness for - so often regarded in the past as a variable and unfashionable grape.

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Welcome to the Yali bird!

01 October 2006 - 3:38 PM | Permalink

The Chilean winery celebrated the start of the 2006 wine harvest back in Chile with a Chilean dinner and wine-tasting in a London penthouse suite across the river Thames from the Houses of Parliament. The dinner also marked the introduction of a new range of wines designed for the British off-trade under the name and label of Yali.

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The view from London

01 May 2006 - 8:04 PM | Permalink

One of the joys of being a wine-writer based in London is that most of the world's wine-producers beat a path to your door. This is not only because the British are great consumers of wine, but because there is only a small amount of home-grown wine produced in England and Wales - at least in terms of the quantities needed by supermarkets.

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"Last orders" for the pubs of Chelsea

16 March 2006 - 8:56 PM | Permalink

It was with remarkable prescience that the Chelsea Society made a major contribution to the 2005 Chelsea Festival with a magnificent study of the existing pubs of Chelsea. The Exhibition, under the same title as this article, was appearing just as the new 2003 Licensing Laws were coming into effect. This allows All-Day Drinking but also required existing pubs to re-register embodying all requests for extended hours and other changes to their licences.

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Wines from Israel

20 August 2005 - 1:19 PM | Permalink

It was an imaginative choice of venue to hold the first London tasting of 'Wines from Israel' in a hotel immediately opposite the BBC's Broadcasting House in London. As the Langham Hotel was itself a former BBC building in which your Correspondent Lovat Stephen had worked briefly long ago as a BBC Outside Broadcasting producer, it was Old Home Week for him, as he had also spent nearly two years of his wartime army service in Palestine.

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To screw, or not to screw

13 August 2005 - 12:27 PM | Permalink

The subject of Screwcap closures for wine-bottles instead of Corks continues as a perennial topic in the columns of wine-journalists all over the world. Your correspondent Lovat Stephen feels the time must come soon when some agreement will be reached between the competing views.

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