The Progenitor of East Asia

Since the invention – more likely to be accidental than intentional – of grain-based beer, fruit-based wine and grain-based cereal wine predates written history, it falls on the

The Vinous Bel Canto

Covering just under 22,300 sqkm and with a total population of approximately 3.75 million, Tuscany (Toscana) is the fifth largest and ninth most populous amongst Italy’s 20 regions.

The Magic Ring

Each of Germany's 13 wine regions has its own chapter of Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter (VDP), formerly Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer, established in 1910. The Mosel region – until

The Champion of Nahe

If Bordeaux’s Grand Cru Classé wines are the vinous equivalent of Hollywood, the A-Listers of Germany would resemble European cinema – the lack of bankable stars is more than

The Art of Eclecticism

Same as its northern neighbour Mosel, Nahe is the name of both the river – a tributary of the Rhine running parallel to Mosel – and the wine region. The

The Quintessence of Purity

Mosel is the name of both the river – a tributary of the Rhine running parallel to Ahr – and the wine region, one of Germany’s largest, most important and

The Heart of Rhine

Mittelrhein (literally: Middle Rhine) is one of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are simultaneously wine-producing regions, other prominent examples being Douro (Portugal), Tokaj (Hungary) and Wachau (Austria). With

The Revolutionary Precursor

Without any national unity to speak of until its unification in 1861, Italy began to have its own national wine legislation – modelled after the French appellation system – only

The Danubian Spirit

The German-speaking area of Europe – from east to west Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Alsace – are revered for their noble Riesling; less well-known is their fine Schnaps, the majority

The Kosher Libation

Situated along the east coast of the Mediterranean or the western edge of Asia, Israel is surrounded clockwise by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. This narrow strip of land used

The Prussian Red

The 10th largest (by volume) wine-producing country worldwide, Germany has a total of 13 wine regions, five of which – Saale-­Unstrut, Ahr, Sachsen, Mittelrhein and Hessische Bergstraße – are miniscule,

The Buyer’s Caveat

It may sound ludicrous or “let them eat cake” to say that Bordeaux wine is generally inexpensive and that it is for everyday drinking, given how much attention is paid

The Norman Orchard

If the world of brandy is a clan, grape brandy in its various forms would be the patriarch, having for long occupied centre stage and overshadowing its poor cousin pomace

The Quintessence of Japan VII

(Continued from “The Quintessence of Japan VI” on 9 June 2016) Juxtaposed with wine, the vast majority of which is fined and filtered, sake has an unusually wide array of pre-bottling

The Hanseatic Claret

Stretching from the Baltic Sea in the east to the North Sea in the west, the Hanseatic League – alternatively Deutsche Hansa or simply Hansa – was the dominant mercantile

The Siamese Adventure

Situated in the western half of the Indochinese Peninsula, the Kingdom of Thailand covers some 510,000 sqkm, slightly larger than Spain, and has a population of about 68 million, slightly

The Danish Connection

For years, Cortes de Cima has been hailed as the poster boy of enterprise and innovation of Alentejo, possibly the most dynamic and progressive wine-producing region of Portugal. With hindsight,

The Andean Stripe

Stretching 4,300km from north to south but merely 160km – or 350km at the widest point – from east to west, Chile has to be one of the instantly recognisable