The Morning Claret

Simon J Woolf & Friends on Wild and Wonderful Wines

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Philip Cox atop some of the many stainless steel tanks at his giant Cramele Recas winery in Romania. Photo (C) Simon J Woolf.
18 minute read

Tasting Romanian natural wine with Philip Cox

Tasting Romanian natural wines with the owner of one of the largest wineries in Romania – Philip Cox – might seem like an odd choice for Simon. But this meeting of two very different minds ended up being enjoyable and educational for both of us.

Giulio Armani (Denavolo) pours a glass. Photo (C) Simon J Woolf
9 minute read

Orange couture – a Denavolo vertical

The story of an incredible and unexpected lunch which took in a complete summary of Guilio Armani’s Denavolo wines.
Originally published as “Dina is served” in Noble Rot issue 29.

System of a Dão - illustration by Dennis Eriksson. (C) Noble Rot
11 minute read

I Come from Nowhere (Wine Classification is an Ass)

Wine classifications guarantee provenance, but why have many of their controlling institutions become de facto style police?
Originally published as “System of a Dão” in Noble Rot issue 28.

avaline with angry mob
5 minute read

Sour grapes over clean wine

Hannah Fuellenkemper takes a look at the somewhat murky world of clean wine, and why it’s caused such a stir in natural wine circles

food wine matching photo by Simon J Woolf
10 minute read

Is food and wine pairing irrelevant?

Simon gets grumpy about the state of food and wine pairing in restaurants, outlines some of the most deadly sins and ponders if this fussed over topic is even still relevant.

João Tereso with some 80 year old vines. Photo (C) Simon J Woolf.
7 minute read

The new Lisboa: Chinado

Simon visits João Tereso, a sound engineer turned winemaker with a penchant for breathing new life into old vineyards, and for crafting delicious natural wines in the Lisboa region.

Pét-nat illustration No 1, by Zebediah Keneally. (C) Noble Rot, reproduced with permission.
8 minute read

Auf Wiedersehen Pét

Simon gets ranty about pét nat, natural wine’s ubiquitous fizz. This article was originally published in Noble Rot Magazine, issue 27.

Rodrigo Martins in the cellar at Adega de Alcobaça
8 minute read

The new Lisboa: Rodrigo Martins and Espera

Simon visits consultant and natural winemaker Rodrigo Martins, to learn about his change to working exclusively with organic viticulture and his personal Espera project. We also talk about his frustration with the DOC classification process in Lisboa.

Marta Soares tastes the Casal Figueira Antonio 2020
9 minute read

An Artist’s Legacy: Marta Soares and Casal Figueira

There’s a dramatic backstory to Marta Soares’ life, but this artist and winemaker wants people to focus on her present and her future, not her past. We visit amazing old vineyards on the slopes of Montejunto in Northern Lisboa, and get to grips with Marta’s take on wine, local culture and art.