“I’d regard Rebecca Gibb as a first-class journalist, unfazed by any assignment, fast and accurate. In the stints she’s done for decanter.com she’s been an asset to the website AND to the office”
Adam Lechmere, Editor of Decanter.com
“Willing and able to have a go at anything, a quick learner, and best of all a do-er! She has a natural ability for news and to ask the questions others would not even think never mind ask and she can write as well - which helps!
Best of all she is a good laugh, a good northerner and someone who makes wine fun as well as interesting.”
Richard Siddle, Editor of Harpers
“I was impressed not only with Rebecca’s knowledge but with her have-a-go attitude and her willingness and ability to adapt to writing concise news stories and business orientated features to tight deadlines. I have no hesitation in commending Rebecca, based on her working for me during my tenure as editor of Harpers.”
Christian Davis, Editor of Drinks International
A distinctive eucalypt smell makes Australian reds easy to spot in a blind tasting. But how does it get into the wines?
Malbec’s Journey From Cahors to California,Malbec is proving an interesting – albeit unpredictable – addition to the state’s vineyards
As Skinnygirl wine gears up for a major ad campaign in the US, Rebecca Gibb offers some context.
In 2005 David Grega was a soldier in Iraq; today he is a winemaker in California. Rebecca Gibb charts his progress.
He got his first mailing list 17 years ago by making the guests at his daughter’s christening give him their address. Today the Wither Hills founder, and owner of equally successful New Zealand brand The Ned, has a self-made fortune of NZ$80m. But there’s been trouble along the way, says Rebecca Gibb.
When customers are paying into the stratosphere for rare wines, it’s only fair that they know the condition of the wine. And that can only come from knowing its provenance. Rebecca Gibb looks at the issue, and at a new gadget that may help fill in the gaps about a wine’s provenance.
TED LEMON SET out to write the Great American novel. Luckily for fans of Littorai, his estate on California’s Sonoma Coast, he focused instead on composing poetry in a bottle – and ended up making great American wines. Classically trained in the home of terroir, Burgundy’s Côte d’or, he is not interested in making ‘world-class Pinot Noir’. Rather he seeks wines with a sense of place – be that via the Sonoma Coast, Alexander Valley or his new project, Burn Cottage in Central Otago.
SPAIN IS hot. From the world’s tennis number one, Rafael Nadal, to the globe’s top restaurant, El Bulli, it seems we can’t get enough of all things Spanish, including sherry. Believe it or not, sherry is cool again. And to prove it, London has spawned a gaggle of sherry bars across the city, and people queue outside to buy a glass of fino or oloroso.
The Spanish food scene has already been riding a wave of popularity in the British capital but the first sherry bar is a relatively new addition (it opened in March last year). Bar Pepito is an offshoot of successful Spanish restaurant Camino and is a little piece of Andalusia amid the hubbub of London’s Kings Cross. Accommodating just four tall tables, the Andalusian- style bar is filled with 25-45-year-olds, with not a pensioner in sight.
Weight has become an increasingly hot topic in the global wine industry since Canadian province Ontario announced it would be setting a maximum bottle weight of 420gms for all wines sold at CAD $15 and below.
The huge Australian harvest this year is ‘out of step’ with the realities of sustainable production, a senior executive has said.
Pauillac fifth growth Lynch-Bages has a deserved reputation for offering value. Yet with the 2009 vintage setting a new precedent for Bordeaux’s fine wine prices, there is speculation that this once-affordable estate will become an investor’s rather than a drinker’s wine.
The world’s fine wine merchants and critics will descend on Bordeaux in late March to taste the region’s new wines. Just six months after the grapes are picked, producers open their doors to allow the wine industry’s VIPs to swirl, sniff and slurp the first offerings from the most recent harvest. The tasting takes place when the wines are still babies: they still have six to 18 months to mature in oak barrels and will not be bottled and shipped for two years. Yet, the scores the wines receive from the most respected critics following the March tastings, strongly influence the release price.
If you see someone with black teeth in the middle of the day, chances are they have been to a wine tasting. January means it is time for Burgundians to leave their rural vineyard behind to face London’s rat race to show their latest offerings
You could put your hard-earned money in stock or bonds but where’s the fun in that when you could invest in wine? Indeed, wine is no longer only for supping after a hard day at the office; it’s serious investment prospect. From Burgundy to Bordeaux, recent returns on wine have put stocks and shares to shame. So, is wine the new liquid gold?
Canadian province Ontario is leading the move toward lightweight bottling by setting a maximum weight on the wines it approves.
The state-controlled Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has said it will not stock any wines packaged in a bottle weighing more than 420g from 1 January 2013
Rebecca Gibb talks to the makers of some of our best organic wine about why they do it, and asks the vital question: does it taste any good?
It’s show season for the wine world. Trade exhibitions in Europe mean half the New Zealand wine industry is out of the country, pouring its wines day after day. It also means international wine competition results are out.
The New Zealand wine industry prides itself on its green credentials yet has thus far failed miserably on environmentally friendly packaging.
Although the rest of the wine world has turned to lightweight bottles, plastic, and Tetra Paks, we’ve been stuck in the 20th century with our heavy glass bottles. The lightest bottle available is 450g, yet the Aussies can manage 330g, reducing energy use by 20 per cent and water by 12 per cent.
There’s fresh blood oozing with talent in New Zealand’s wine industry. Rebecca Gibb picks the ones to watch this year.
You’re interviewing me?” said the ageing Australian winemaker, “but you don’t even look old enough to drink.”
Perhaps it was meant as a compliment but the reality is the wine industry is ruled by a more mature demographic, making anyone under 35 seem like newborns.
Tis the season to try new wine varietals or labels. And think beyond your Christmas dinner to all those parties and post-Christmas barbies. Rebecca Gibb presents a “12 days of Christmas” guide to festive wine.
It’s best to leave your preconceptions of Australian wine at the door when you meet South Pack. On a cold and windy day on top of Bloody Hill, so-named “because it’s bloody steep”, a motley crew of Aussie winemakers are drinking American beer and listening to Ring of Fire/
See pages 38-40 of the digital copy of Harpers below
You know you’re getting old when you start asking, “Where has the year gone?”
I caught myself asking that very question this week when I realised it was beaujolais nouveau time again.
New Zealand winemakers weren’t pleased after one of the world’s most respected wine critics, master of wine Jancis Robinson, pooh-poohed the country’s pinot noir in a blind tasting.
Robinson, nicknamed Her Royal Highness by the wine trade, is highly thought of in New Zealand but is possibly no longer quite so popular after claiming the wines were “rarely subtle ... even though there were representatives from the Kiwi pinot aristocracy”
“Get fabulous and flexible in time for Christmas,” the local yoga advert promised. Oh, no, it can’t be time to dust the mothballs off that little black dress again? The festive period is on the horizon, however, which means you’ll soon be reading those holier-than-thou articles on how to consume fewer calories during the party season. That’s no fun: eat the mince pies and drink the wine your boss is paying for.
But if you do want to be fabulous for Christmas and have a liver as good as new by December, one of the easiest ways of moderating your consumption is by buying wines that are lower in alcohol.
A New Zealand wine will be the first to display its carbon emissions by the individual glass serving.
Each bottle of Mobius Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc will display its carbon emissions, per 125ml glass, on the label.
The sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac have a level of fame that would be the envy of other regions, but they are hard to sell. Rebecca Gibb considers the plight of their producers, and the innovative ways some are trying to rebuild market share.
Will the world soon tire of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or is news of its death greatly exaggerated? The wine industry is always searching for what’s next and when consumers do fall out of love with the exuberant gooseberry, passionfruit and green pea Marlborough style, there are plenty of options available. The Kiwis certainly have an array of aromatic whites beyond Sauvignon Blanc from Riesling and Gewürztraminer to fringe varieties like Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Blanc but can anything knock Sauvignon from its white supremacy?
Syrah has become an increasingly hard sell for vintners and restaurateurs since the heady days of the Rhône Renaissance in the 1980s. That didn’t stop leading members of the world’s wine trade from gathering to discuss the finer points of the variety and New Zealand’s position on the world scene at the triennial New Zealand Syrah Symposium, hosted by Hawke’s Bay Winemakers in January.
One of the wine industry’s events of the year Wine Future was hotly anticipated with big hitters including Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson MW and young gun Gary Vaynerchuk starring in the line-up. While there was a questionable absence of southern hemisphere speakers, representatives from all corners of the globe made the trip to Logrono in Rioja to attend the two-day conference. Inevitably some high-powered speakers did not live up to the expectations and the cost of the 783-euro ticket had some attendees wondering if that money could have been spent better elsewhere - but that’s a story for another day.
Canoeing, gold, horse-riding, hot-air ballooning, even parachuting - Bordeaux has plenty to offer those who love making their holiday an active one. Whether you’re after a different view on the region’s many famous vineyards, or looking for a challenge, then this is the place for you
The Caribbean’s islands might play as one when it comes to international cricket, but you can’t lump them together when it comes to the rum world. In the same way that Scotland’s whisky varies from the smoky, peaty character of Islay to the lighter styles typical of the Lowlands, the islands produce an astonishing assortment rums, each with their own signature style reflecting its history and local tastes. Whether you like light and citrussy or dark and spicy, there’s a rum to suit everyone and once you’ve found out which island floats your boat, you’ll not only be drinking the spirit in cocktails but also sipping rum neat or over ice. So what rum are you?
The European Union wine reform finally came into force on August 1 after years of negotiation. It will change the face of the European wine industry but the heartland of vin de pays production, the Languedoc-Roussillon, will feel its effects harder than most. The abolition of the vin de pays category puts the region in a state of indecision and its producers and committees are trying to figure out which way now.
Hamish Anderson has what many in business strive for - respect- and has spent the past 11 years buying wine for the Tate. Rebecca Gibb reports
Veteran wine writer Hugh Johnson has protested against the ‘folly and desecration’ of a new road bridge and motorway through some of the Mosel’s finest vineyards.
Bordeaux producers are cautiously optimistic about the 2009 vintage after a dry and warm season - already comparing it with 2005.
The lightest screwcap bottle ever made should hit UK shelves early next year.
The 300g bottle is undergoing trials at UK bottling specialist Kingsland and should be available in January 2010.
The very top Champagnes are showing healthy returns, making them a good avenue to explore beyond Bordeaux, says Rebecca Gibb
A raft of grape varieties including Chardonnay have been given the rubber stamp in Rioja.
Among the many varieties that Argentina cultivates, there are two lesser-known grapes that have the potential to take the UK on-trade by storm.
Summer beers, fruity cordial and Spanish feating, Rebecca Gibb leads the way
Is there a profit to be made from investing in Sauternes? Rebecca Gibb looks at a young but growing alternative futures market.
Blockbuster Malbecs still have their fan base, but consumers are starting to demand a more elegant style. Rebecca Gibb finds producers ahead of the game in taming their tannins
He’s the man who manages mega insurance company Axa’s wine portfolio, responsible for Pichon-Longueville Baron, Quinta do Noval and Disznókö, the Tokaji property. ChristianSeely certainly has the pick of some the world’s top properties – but he still wants more. Interview by Rebecca Gibb
The Douro’s fortified producers have long enjoyed international success but can winemakers from other regions follow in their footsteps, asks Rebecca Gibb.
The battle for the UK spirits market has never been fiercer. But for all the hype about dark spirits, reports Rebecca Gibb, the smart money is still on white