Alistair Scott endures excellence at Gidleigh Park Manor in the middle of rural Dartmoor, but wonders if international standards are always the right yardstick in the hospitality industry.
Dartmoor has a schizophrenic history. A patch of stunning moorland perched in the bottom left-hand corner of England with little topsoil, for many years it was a gulag for tin miners, prisoners of war, masochistic farmers and stubborn ponies. Read More >
Our UK Correspondent, Alistair Scott, grapples with tasting protocol, wine-voyeurism and ravaging the credit card at, The Sampler, the dynamic north London wine merchant fast-making a name for itself for seducing palates on and off the premises.
Sip, spit or slurp? Difficult decisions at The Sampler
So does one sip, spit or slurp? The etiquette for wine tastings in usually pretty clear – rows of glasses, big buckets and lots of spit. But The Sampler presents a challenge. You are faced with a possible 80 wines to taste, all looking very appealing and mostly very tasty.
So, what makes a great wine shop…or off-licence or bottle shop if you prefer? What is it that works best for you as a wine buyer? When the door bell pings and you look inside the store, what excites you and where are the best examples of the species to be found?