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General chatter about wine, and other news.
  • B for BacchusFor the second in our A-Z series, I’ve chosen to talk about Bacchus, a lesser known grape variety that has played a big role in the success of English wines of late.

    Bacchus is a variety made by crossing the Sylvaner X Riesling hybrid with Muller-Thurgau, which was first developed in the Pfalz region of Germany in the 1930s. It’s a pretty hardy grape variety which tends towards high sugar and early ripening, which is perfect for Britain’s marginal climate, and as a result is now the 4th most planted grape in England. Grown elsewhere and its lack of acid can lead to flabby wines, but here, the cooler temperatures and shorter ripening season ensures that the fresh acidity is retained, producing wines which have been likened to Sancerre and other crisp Sauvignons. Continue reading

  • In day to day life, the only yeasts we tend to come across are ‘dried active bread yeast’ or the sort that you need a cream for (and the less said about those, the better). However, hundreds of strains of yeast occur naturally all around us. In vineyards, certain strains will cling to the grapes and the cellars, so crush grapes in a barrel and the yeasts will set to work converting sugar into alcohol. Without this step, the wine is just grape juice (and probably not very nice at that!) Continue reading

  • This week we were lucky enough to be visited by one of our favourite winemakers, Judith Beck, from Austria. It’s not often the real deal pops by, and it just so happened to coincide with a trade tasting event we had on, so she had quite the crowd! Discussing afterwards however, we were struck by just how few women we could think of in the winemaking world. Continue reading

  • Lots of people pop into the shop in the search for low sulphur or even zero sulphur wines and we are happy to try and help get them on the natural wine track. Sulphur is a natural by-product of fermentation. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) preserves wine. It stops wine from oxidising and extends the ‘life’ of a wine. Here at Buon Vino, we are completely sold on the benefits and taste of natural wine and feel that maybe extending the ‘life’ of an overly filtered, fined and preserved conventional wine may not be such a great idea after all. Continue reading

  • So loads of people keep asking me about vegan wine and often the question is 'is organic wine vegan?' or 'is vegan wine organic, does natural wine necessarily make it ok for vegans' etc etc.

    So here is how it breaks down. Continue reading

  • Rob's had a few too many again!


  • We recently noticed an article in the Sunday Times with some of Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli’s favourite things in life, which included a bottle of Sagrantino di Montefalco from a fantastic producer Paulo Bea. We have to agree that there is no finer choice! This is a pretty special bottle of wine – inky black, layers of lush fruit and deliciously savoury earthiness. Sagrantino as a grape has some of the highest levels of tannin, so requires a minimum of 30 months ageing in barrel or vat prior to selling, which contributes to its high price. But boy, is it worth it! You can also buy a fantastic passito dessert wine made from the dried grapes - a bottle of that and some gorgonzola sounds heaven to me. Continue reading

  • The world of Natural Wines can often be a foray into a spectrum of flavours that you probably wouldn’t find in your average bottle of supermarket plonk. Some of these can be less than pleasant, others can be totally eye opening and lift the wine out of the ordinary. Volatile acidity is one of those flavours. Continue reading

  • They call Piedmont the Burgundy of Italy and it has an incredible history.  The Kingdom of Piedmont, ruled by the house of Savoy controlled much of northern Italy and southern France and Turin was briefly the capital of the unified Italy in the mid 19th Century.  It is perhaps one of the reasons that Piedmont’s signature fine wine, Barolo, became known as the ‘Wine of Kings’.  Today the region produces many of Italy’s best and most famous wines, including Barolo, Barbaresco, Ghemme, Gattinara, Gavi di Gavi, Barbera d’Alba, Moscato d’Asti, the list goes on. Continue reading

  • A few thoughts on Loire Valley wine.....

    Natural Wine The Loire is oozing natural wine!

    The Romans started it - they started most things - centuries ago when they discovered the Loire was perfect for grape growing and also that it has a conveniently placed river to transport the harvest.  The Loire was the last place to be affected by phylloxera and the last to recover.  Today it has 69 AOPs or appellations, and boasts a dizzying array of grape varieties, 'Terroirs', and styles of wine.  In short, the Loire is cool and the wines are amazingly good. Continue reading

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