Terence Kenny Champagne Pannier

We’ve heard a mixed response to the Steven Spurrier’s imminent ‘Judgement of London’ tasting, ranging from excitement to outrage. In this thoughtful reply to my email, and whether you agree with him or not, Terence Kenny speaks with decades of industry experience:

Knowing Steven Spurrier and his inquisitive well directed love for wine, what he is doing is good and I am glad that he is doing and not some 27 year old geek with a shelf full of half read books and 500 posts on facebook about wine. Spurrier is legitimate. 

Now as for the wines. About 8 years ago I contacted Nyetimber and they sent me some wine to be used in a comparative setting here in Champagne. What it was for was for the winegrowers here to taste different products and sensitize  them to the fact that there are other places, other people, other wines that can for the usage “replace champagne”. Some of them got it, some of them didn’t. But they are a breed who can’t see the forest for the trees and their opinion I discount immensely. Kind of asking a cattle rancher “ what is the best steakhouse in New York”.

I found the Nyetimber extremely lactic and it did remind me of old bottles of Salon that I had drunk unceremoniously and had appreciated enormously. I have tasted quite a few English sparklers and some are really quite good. Those that are of higher quality approach the grade of a well-made brut NV. Very few if any can pretend to be compared with grand cuvee champagnes. But they cannot command that price so fair play. 

English sparklers will only increase in quality but I presume more than a few of the young turks will throw in their towel after a few consecutive rainy vintages, red letters from bank managers and the general fatigue that comes with trying to convince people that you have reinvented the wheel. People don’t need a reinvented wheel. They want puncture proof tires at a good price.

We must calm down, as no one is curing cancer or proposing new ideas in cardiology.

Watch Terence give us a brief introduction to Champagne Pannier’s ancient historical cellars that stretch out into the hills around Chateau Thierry in the Marne Valley:

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Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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