Profile: Weinbau Markus Ruch (Neunkirch, Schaffhausen)

There’s no easy way to shake things up in conservative rural Switzerland. Take the wine business, for example, and the plight of Markus Ruch. Some nonplussed locals have asked how a newcomer has the nerve to charge more for his wine than do legacy wineries. Other local skeptics want to know why he plumps for biodynamics when conventional agriculture works just fine. Still others wonder why he does women’s work by […]

A Brief Chat About Natural Wine with Jérôme Aké Beda

Recently I spoke with one of Switzerland’s great wine professionals, Jérôme Aké Beda. Not only is he co-proprietor of the highly regarded Auberge de l’Onde in Saint-Saphorin, he is also its Maître d’Hôtel, sommelier and resident wine philosopher. He was named Gault & Millau’s Best Sommelier in Switzerland in 2015 and he is co-author, with […]

Profile: Domaine de la Maison Carrée (Auvernier, Neuchâtel)

The Philosophy There is a very special quiet to a traditional wine village at rest. No people, no sounds, no stress and only meters from a past season’s slumbering wine. For me, it’s the perfect preparation for tasting. I call it calibrating the senses—listening carefully for the nuances of silence; focusing my eyesight on the […]

Wine with Dinner: Randomly Chosen in July

August is summer vacation month in Europe but there will be no let up on these pages. There’s always a lot of wine to taste, especially with the Weber grill at peak capacity, and wineries to visit. August will take me on a couple of excursions: first to Graubünden and Weinguts Donatsch and Adank in […]

The Raw Wine Fair–London 2016: The Swiss Guard

London is on fire. Apart from its wildly popular tourist attractions, London has evolved into a world-wide advert for provenance-based food sourcing as practiced by hundreds of its ardent chef believers. Quality local and regional foodstuffs are flourishing, family farms are reawakening and sustainable farming practices are restoring the health of the land. Just as […]

Wine with Dinner: Randomly Chosen in April

Thanks! Many of the wines tasted this month were courtesy of François Gauthier, the congenial partner at the excellent wine merchant La Cave de Reverolle, who invited me to their annual spring release tasting in Morges. La Cave de Reverolle is a fantastic source for top-quality French and Italian labels and their Swiss portfolio is […]

Natural Wine Part 2: Whither go the Swiss?

In Natural Wine Part 1: What Is It?—published in this blog on January 5, 2016 (see Menu)— I explored the current understanding of the term “natural” wine and the confusing lack of defining standards. Even though consensus is elusive—and maybe that’s how it should be—there is one thing everyone agrees on: a “natural” wine is […]