Examples of Tom's published written work

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Three Wine Men Newsletter, 31st July 2020

... If you just try one of these, try the Nascetta; it’s labelled as “Anas-Cetta”, a synonym, just to add further complexity. Until Elvio Cogno and a few other producers rediscovered it, it had been relegated to a few vines here and there between the rows and rows of big-hitter Nebbiolo. Everybody loves a long-lost, rare grape!

The 2018 Anascetta is a pale gold in the glass. It’s a fine and elegant, medium-bodied, herbaceous and gently blossomy character. There’s manuka honey alongside the grapefruit, peach and lemon citrus. There’s a candle waxy character throughout. It’s endlessly complex, aromatic but not soapy and taut with acidity. It’s epically delicious. I want more and more and more.

Then there’s the Barbaresco Bordini 2013. No rare grape here, the legendary Nebbiolo. Pale garnet in colour, it promises maturity and complexity. But, when you sniff and sip, it’s a fine balance of red cherry, blackcurrant and proving cinnamon bun dough on a medium bodied frame. It has that roses and fresh tar thing you’ll be told to look out for in Nebbiolo and natural red liquorice. It’s dry and tannic and has a bitter coffee bean finish but everything’s zipped along by refreshing acid throughout. Everything’s in complete harmony – there’s no big bold oak or juicy fruit. It’s elegant, refined, cool...

Three Wine Men Newsletter, 15th July 2020

... I find myself alone downstairs seeking something easy to take the edge off the week-so-far and anything I can grill in five minutes on the George Forman for dinner. Nutrition, be damned.

My mind wanders to El Berrakin. Snuffling about the place and bumping things over. Nudging the sofa and denting the plumped cushions. All muscle and stiff hair and tusks. That’s a good idea. Let’s have some of that, I think. And a cheese and ham toastie.

El Berrakin is the brilliant Grenache (Garnacha, we’re in Spain here) made by Daniel Ramos in the little-known, mountainous wine region of Gredos, near Madrid. The wild boar warning sign on the label gave me the excuse for the ridiculous intro. This is incredibly pure and bright, medium-weight, cherry and red berry fruited, elegant Grenache. A long way from the ripe, dark fruits and stewed strawberry, chewy wines I so often associate with this grape. If you like new world Pinot Noir, you’ll be enthralled by this...

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Three Wine Men Newsletter, 1st July 2020

Swing open an indie wine merchant’s door in July and you’ll gauge if they’re on the pulse or not by whether you’re hit by a sharp, bright waft of apricots, citrus and pineapple. If it smells like they may have knocked over a small can of petrol, that shouldn’t necessarily put you off entering either. Although, perhaps have a cursory glance about initially. And put your fag out. Just in case.

July is, after all, the month of 31 Days Of German Riesling and those aromas are what you’re looking for on a tight, lean, electric frame. There’s even a hashtag for it. Basically, loads of indies take the month to offer special pricing, tastings and ‘extras’ of all kinds (I’m not sure that was how they phrased it in the press-release, Surge). It is a brilliant time to try Riesling or get back on the horse if you’ve fallen off. Here is my hot wine recommendation this week, plus a couple of others I love too and some much-needed crustacean-based whimsy…

Three Wine Men Newsletter, 19th June 2020

We were determined to make the best of it at home and were led by the crazy sunshine in April and May. I hope you were able to too. We had friends in city centres with mini paddling pools in the living room. Windows wide. Inflatable palm trees. Pina Coladas. Reggae Spotify playlists. You get the picture. I’m so proud of them.

We are lucky to have a little garden and it was there that I made the two key discoveries that I’m going to let you in on, in the hope June and July turn out the same. Neither is revolutionary but they brought a lot of joy.

The first; our local butcher Holmansbridge Farm started knocking out deliveries of pre-marinated BBQ pork ribs that put my own efforts to shame. You’ll have something similarly brilliant near you. We hit those hard and regular for early evening dinners with little Bea. Ribs on the barbecue (oven more than great too). Beer in hand. Couscous with some roasted Mediterranean veg. A bit of chopping veg and roasting it and a boiled kettle for the couscous and that’s the whole prep. Served from one big bowl. Eaten with hands. Every one of us had a ball. We mucked around while it did it’s thing. I’ll remember them as some of the best recent days and do it again soon.

The second; Majestic’s Definition Rioja Reserva 2013...

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© Tom Surgey 2020