The Bavarian Royalty

Wine for aristocrats, prelates and officers; rum for pirates and seamen; beer for foot soldiers and workmen… This ultra-traditionalist perception, bordering on the feudal and held to be true for

The Burgundian Newcomer

With 100+ appellations, 600+ premier cru and 30+ grand cru climats, Burgundy is quite possibly the most intellectually demanding region to understand. The pleasure of studying its wine is akin

The Southern Alps

With its 10 wine regions lying between the 36th and 45th parallels south, New Zealand is the most southerly wine-producing country in the world. Representing merely 1% of global wine

The Czech Enigma III

(Continued from “The Czech Enigma II” on 16 January 2014) While Austria and Germany have left an indelible mark on Czech history, France might be the kindred spirit of the Czech

The Franco-Iberian Enclave

Located in northern Spain, immediately north of Rioja and east of the País Vasco (Basque Country), Navarra is both a Denominación de Origen (since 1933) and Comunidad Autónoma (first-level administrative

The Portuguese Guardian

Of the various wine regions in Portugal, Douro is no doubt the jewel in the crown. It is one of the very few wine-producing UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the

The Franco-German Crossroads

Alsace (or Elsass in German) is perhaps the focal point of Franco-German relations, itself having changed hands for no less than 6 times in history, a unique record unmatched by

The Czech Enigma II

For more than a millennium, the Czech lands were part of the mainly German-speaking Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire. If there was one country that influenced the

The Shades of Green II

The term “Vinho Verde” not only refers to the particular style of refreshing and often slightly petillant whites produced in northwestern Portugal, but it also indicates the wine region, indeed

The Pastoral Symphony

Sandwiched between Wachau to its southwest and Kamptal to its northeast, Kremstal (literally: Krems Valley) is one of the top wine regions of Austria, producing some of the finest Grüner

The Hope Against Hope

Detractors of Bordeaux wine often point to the fact that many bordelais estates have in the last decades become quasi-investment instruments, that vineyards have become akin to real estate in

The Czech Enigma

If Belgium is the amalgamation of Germanic and Latin cultures, Czech Republic would be one of Germanic and Slavic cultures. Situated in the heart of Europe, Czech Republic actually shares

The Lusitanian Nobility

Known as Ribatejo (literally: banks of Tagus) until 2009, the wine region of Tejo takes its name directly from the all-important Tagus River, meandering more than 1,000km from Aragon in

The Atlantic Soul

Situated in the westernmost of the European continent, Portugal is less of a Mediterranean or southern European country than an Atlantic one. Sharing – if uncomfortably – the Iberian Peninsula

The Wildness of Beauty

United and indivisible as the republic proclaims to be, France is a country of irrepressible diversity, especially in its limitrophe regions such as Alsace, Brittany, Savoie, the Basque and Catalan

The Spirit of Japan III

Cognoscenti of wine, brandy and whisky would often find shochu both intriguing and confusing. For starters, the lack of established glossary makes it difficult for foreigners to approach

The Conservative Innovation

So renowned is the Alpine nature of Austria, that it not only appears on postcards, but also is referred to in the national anthem, sung to the melody of Wolfgang

The Southern Charm

Occupying almost a third of Portugal, the southern province of Alentejo is renowned for producing wines combining complexity, fruitiness and richness. Although the region traditionally focused on agriculture, especially cork

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