In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net

An hour of relaxed, unpretentious, informative and engaging conversation – an indispensable guide to what to drink and why.

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The Drinking Hour

Episode 86 - Stephen Brook

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Acclaimed Bordeaux expert Stephen Brook joins David to talk about his latest book, the fourth edition of ‘The Complete Bordeaux’.


Wines featured:


Church Road Mcdonald Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (gold)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (gold)

Hombo Shuzo Château Mars Hosaka Hinoshiro Cabernet Merlot Late Harvest 2018 (gold)

Monte Xanic Edición Limitada Cabernet Franc 2020 (gold and trophy)

Inniskillin Niagara Icewine Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (gold)

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Episode 85 - Alice Lascelles

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Award-winning drinks columnist for the Financial Times Alice Lascelles joins David to talk about her new book, The Cocktail Edit, the latest trends, the drinks that really inspire her and also Professor Brian Cox’s champagne collection. 


Drinks featured:


Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire 10 year old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Atom Brands (gold)

Canadian Club Whisky 12 YO Classic Canadian Whisky (silver/silver highball)

Tayport Distillery 1992 Raspberry Liqueur (gold)

JinHui Liquor Co. 18 Years Baijiu (gold)

Villa Massa Vermouth Giardino Tradizionale NV (gold)

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Episode 84 - Highlights of Series 7

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David presents his favourite moments from series seven, including veteran wine writer Hugh Johnson; the editor of his Pocket Wine Book, Margaret Rand; Essi Avellan MW talking about her Champagne Report for Club Oenologique; Schloss Gobelsburg’s Michael Moosbrugger; glassware expert Daniel Primack; and global rum ambassador and IWSC senior judge, Ian Burrell.

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Episode 83 - Rum with Ian Burrell

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David chats to global rum ambassador Ian Burrell - a regular face on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch - about rum, its history, what makes a great example, its role in cocktail culture and why he decided to co-create his own brand, Equiano.

Rums featured:

Equiano Rum (gold)

Cutwater Spirits Bali Hai Tiki Dark Rum (gold)

Bacardi Rum 10 YO Gran Reserva Diez Rum (gold)

Elixir Distillers Black Tot Master Blender's Reserve Rum 2021 (gold)

House of Rum 16 YO XO Reserve Rum (silver)

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Episode 82 - Margaret Rand

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to veteran wine writer Margaret Rand, editor of Hugh Johnson’s much-loved Pocket Wine Book about the latest edition, released this month - and also reflects on her many years of wine writing and criticism.

Wines featured: 


Famille Carabello-Baum Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2019 (gold)

Weingut Karl Schaefer Dürkheimer Michelsberg Riesling Trocken 2015 (gold)

Tenuta Casenuove 2018 Chianti Classico (gold)

Bodegas Regina Viarum Mencía 2021 (gold)

Aldi, Vieille Étoile 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape (gold)

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Episode 81 - Sustainability

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. With sustainability currently on everyone’s mind, David is joined by expert and author, Nick Breeze, and Mafalda Vasques, winemaker at Herdade dos Grous, to learn more about how one of Portugal’s biggest regions has focused on its environmental impact with ‘the Wines of Alentejo Sustainability Programme’. 


Wines featured:


Barros Colheita 1974 - from Sogevinus Fine Wines (gold) 

Justino's Madeira Wines Single Cask Sercial Dry 2005 (gold and trophy)

Casa da Passarella Abanico Reserva 2020 (silver)

Herdade Do Peso Reserva 2018 (silver)

Adega de Borba Castelo de Borba Antão Vaz 2021 (silver)

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Episode 80 - Desert wine

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David is joined by Alejandro Galaz - head winemaker at Tara - to talk about the enormous challenge of making wine in one of the driest places on earth, Chile’s Atacama Desert, and finds out why it is worth all the effort.

Drinks featured:

Tepaluma Patagonian Distillery - Tepaluma Gin (gold)

Casas del Bosque Pequeñas Syrah 2020 (silver)

Concha y Toro: Trio Reserva Merlot-Carmenere-Malbec 2021 (silver)

Viña Luis Felipe Edwards Cinso 2021 (silver)

Asda - La Corriente Sauvignon Blanc Blush 2021 (silver)

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Episode 79 - London Cocktail Week

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Billed as the world’s biggest celebration of cocktails, David is joined by the founders of London Cocktail Week, Hannah Sharman Cox and Siobhan Payne, to talk trends, cocktail villages - and the world’s most rubbish bar.

Drinks featured:

1800 Milenio Tequila Extra Anejo Proxima Spirits (gold/trophy)

400 Conejos Artesanal Mezcal Joven (gold)

Bacardi Rum 10 YO Gran Reserva Diez Rum (gold)

Four Pillars Distillery Spiced Negroni Gin (silver)

Loch Lomond 10 YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky (gold)

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Episode 78 - Essi Avellan MW

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. To mark the release of Club Oenologique’s inaugural ‘Champagne Report’, its influential author Essi Avellan MW joins David to talk about the state of Champagne, the impact of rising demand on quality, where to find the finest examples and also the perils of ‘light strike’. 


Piper Heidsieck 2014 Brut in magnum (gold and trophy)

Rare Champagne Brut 2008 (gold)

Gusbourne Blanc De Blancs Brut 2017 (silver)

Domaine Chandon Ningxia Brut NV (silver)

De Bortoli, DB Family Selection Brut NV (silver)

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Episode 77 - Rioja with Jane Parkinson

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. To celebrate Rioja Wine Month, David is joined by Jane Parkinson, wine expert on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen to learn more about this beautiful region, its food culture and, of course, its world famous wines.  

Drinks featured:

La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2016 (gold)

Rioja Vega Colección Tempranillo 2020 (silver)

El Coto de Rioja, El Coto de Imaz, Gran Reserva 2016 (silver)

Altos de Rioja, Altos R Pigeage, Graciano 2020 (bronze)

Rioja Vega, Tempranillo Blanco Reserva 2018 (bronze)

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Episode 76 - Michael Moosbrugger and Freddy Bulmer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David celebrates Austria’s fine wines with Michael Moosbrugger, director of historic Schloss Gobelsburg and President of the Österreichische Traditionsweingüter, plus he catches up with The Wine Society buyer Freddy Bulmer. 

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Episode 75 - Waitrose buyer Victoria Mason

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to Victoria Mason, Waitrose wine buyer for South Africa and Italy, to learn more about how wines get from the vineyard to the shelves, the current trends in the sector and where we should look for the most exciting wines.  

Drinks featured:

Gabrielskloof, The Landscape Series Cabernet Franc 2020 (gold)

Mullineux Great Heart Red Blend 2019 (silver)

Waitrose & Partners Blueprint Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2020 (silver)

Waitrose No 1 Amontillado Don Gaspar NV (silver)

Waitrose Rich And Warming 3 YO Blended Scotch Whisky, Whyte & Mackay (gold)

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Episode 74 - Glassware with Daniel Primack

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. What’s in a glass? A lot more than you might imagine, if Daniel Primack is to be believed. He tells David why he’s completely obsessed by glassware, explaining how retro-nasal olfaction dictates wine flavour perception and how you can enhance your wine, with the right choice of vessel.

Drinks featured:

Tenuta Casenuove 2018 Chianti Classico (gold)

Saint Veran 2020, Dominic Hentall, Naked Wines (silver)

Vidal-Fleury Crozes Hermitage 2020 (silver)

Black Bottle Alchemy Series Double Cask Blended Scotch Whisky (gold/trophy)

A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Marlborough (silver)

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Episode 73 - Hugh Johnson

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to the legendary Hugh Johnson, one the best-loved names in wine writing, to talk about his autobiography The Life and Wines of Hugh Johnson.


Drinks featured:


Champagne Piper Heidsieck 2014 Brut in magnum (gold/trophy)

Champagne Jacquart Mosaïque Rosé Brut NV (silver)

Marks & Spencer L'or du Ciron 2018 Sauternes (gold)

Aldi Château Moulinet 2016 Pomerol (silver)

Weingut Karl Schaefer Dürkheimer Michelsberg Riesling Trocken 2015 (gold)

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Episode 72 - Highlights of Series 6

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David reflects on the highlights of the sixth season, including England’s Irish winemaking star Dermot Sugrue, former Savoy head bartender Shannon Tebay, Chateau Galoupet’s sustainability pioneer Jessica Julmy, Petaluma’s new winemaker Teresa Heuzenroeder, Exton Park’s Corinne Sealy, The Wine Society’s Italy buyer, Sarah Knowles MW, and Olivier Ward, gin expert on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.

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Episode 71 - Manzanilla with Fermin Hidalgo

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

The freshest form of Sherry, Manzanilla comes from Sanlucar de Barrameda, where the Atlantic influence gives it a unique character. Fresh from a visit to the Sherry Triangle, David is joined by Fermin Hidalgo, one of the eighth generation at family-run Hidalgo, famous for La Gitana. 

Drinks featured:


La Guita Manzanilla En Rama NV (silver)

Aldi Specially Selected Manzanilla NV (silver)

Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Vermut (bronze)

González Byass Del Duque VORS Amontillado NV (gold)

Kavalan Distillery Solist Manzanilla Sherry Single Cask Strength Single Malt 

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Episode 70 - Prosecco

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Celebrating Prosecco Day, David talks to expert Neil Phillips and Villa Sandi’s export director, Flavio Geretto, to find out more about Prosecco, what’s made it such a storming global success story and how best to enjoy it.  

DOC Prosecco featured:

Villa Sandi Rose Brut Millesimato 2021 (silver)

Biasiotto Andrea Brut 2021 (silver)

Morrisons The Best Brut NV Prosecco (silver)

Asda Extra Special Brut Prosecco (silver)

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Episode 69 - Italy with Sarah Knowles MW

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to The Wine Society’s Italian buyer, Sarah Knowles MW, covering the length and breath of Italy to find out about the history and also the latest innovations in Italian wine and where to look for the best bottles.

Wines featured:

Tenuta del Buonamico Cercatoja 2017 (gold and trophy)

Anna Spinato Brut NV Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Di Cartizze (gold and trophy)

Fattoria La Vialla, Barriccato Bianco Non Filtrato 2020 (gold)

Cantina Sanpaolo di Claudio Quarta Vignaiolo Riserva 2015 (gold)

Tesco Finest 2018 Amarone della Valpolicella (gold)

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Episode 68 - Winemaker Corinne Seely

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Her winemaking pedigree is distinctively French - her first job was at Château Lynch Bages - and Corinne Seely has made wine all over the world, yet she has chosen to make England her home. David hears why Exton Park is her calling.  

Drinks featured:

Lyme Bay Winery Pinot Noir 2020 (gold and trophy)

Coates and Seely La Perfide, Blanc De Noirs Brut 2014 (silver)

Château de Pellehaut Ugni Blanc 40 YO Armagnac (gold outstanding)

Laphroaig Distillery10 YO Sherry Oak Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky (gold outstanding)

Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat NV (silver)

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Episode 67 - Gin with Olivier Ward

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Is the gin renaissance still flourishing and where should we be looking for the latest innovation? Self-confessed ‘gin nerd’ Olivier Ward, editor of Spirits Beacon, a member of the IWSC spirits judging committee and the gin expert on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, gives David the lowdown.

Gins featured: 

Opihr Aromatic Bitters Gin, Quintessential Brands (gold and trophy)

The Welsh Whisky Company Brecon Chocolate Orange Gin (gold)

Awildian Coromandel Spiced Gin, Coromandel Distilling Company (gold)

Dry As A Nun Gin, Distillers Republic (gold)

Stone Grange Elg Gin Likør (gold)

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Episode 66 - Jessica Julmy

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. The former Commercial Director of Krug, Jessica Julmy, talks to David about her latest project, overseeing the renewal of Provence Grand Cru Classé estate Chateau Galoupet, purchased by LVMH in 2019, putting sustainability front and centre. 

Drinks featured:

Domaine la Chautarde 2021 Coteaux Varois (silver)

Famille Ravoire Manon 2021 Cotes de Provence (silver)

Mirabeau Etoile 2021 (silver)

Aldi ‘Specially Selected” Cotes de Provence rosé 2020 (silver)

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Extra Brut 2013 Champagne (silver)

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Episode 65 - Teresa Heuzenroeder

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David is joined by one of Australia’s most respected winemakers, Teresa Heuzenroeder, who moved from Yalumba to become the new senior winemaker at Petaluma last year, to talk about making wine in the Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra and the Clare Valley.

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Episode 64 - Tom Gamborg and Freddy Bulmer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Drinks entrepreneur Tom Gamborg, the founder of Van Hunks, joins David to talk about creating a successful new brand with Cap Classique bubbles and also why he thinks sparkling mead could be the next big thing. Plus, Freddy Bulmer of the Wine Society is back for an insight into life as a wine buyer.

Featured drinks:

Bacardi 10 Year Old Gran Reserva Diez Rum (gold)

Black Cow Vodka (silver)

Fetzer Vineyards 1000 Stories Chardonnay 2020 (silver)

La Chablisienne 2019 Grand Cru Chablis (gold)

Kilchoman 100% Islay Scotch Whisky (gold)

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Episode 63 - Dermot Sugrue

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. He’s been described as ‘the best winemaker in England’, An Irishman, Dermot Sugrue has changed the face of English sparkling wine. First at Nyetimber, then Wiston Estate and now with his own Sugrue South Downs project. Sugrue interrupts his honeymoon to chat to David about what makes England’s bubbles so special. 

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Episode 62 - Celebrating Chenin Blanc

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. It is one of the world’s most heat-tolerant and versatile varieties and also South Africa’s signature white grape, despite its origins in the Loire. David celebrates Chenin Blanc day, with Richard Duckitt, winemaker at Bellingham, and also hears about South Africa’s groundbreaking Old Vine Project.  

Plus, news of the winners from the IWSC’s South African wine judging, including:

(all the following are gold medal winners)

Kanonkop Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Vergelegen GVB Red 2015

Richard Kershaw GPS Series Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon 2020

Chenin - Quest Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2021

Piekenierskloof Heirloom Red 2020 

Delheim Wines Edelspatz Botrytis Riesling 2020

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Episode 61 - Cocktails with Shannon Tebay

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Until recently, head bartender of The American Bar at London’s Savoy Hotel, Shannon Tebay made her name at New York’s celebrated Death & Co and is now Beverage Director at Outernet London and head judge for the IWSC’s spirits and mixers category. She tells David how she went from the role of pastry chef to master of mixology, her role as a pioneering woman in what was often regarded as a man’s world and, of course, how to mix the perfect serve.  

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Episode 60 - Rosé special with Dirceu Vianna Jr MW

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Rosé is on a roll! David catches up with Master of Wine Dirceu Vianna Junior, an expert on rosé wines who oversees the category for the IWSC, to find out why we’re all sinking the pink, whether colour really matters and the wines we should all be watching out for, including the first IWSC wine winners from the 2022 awards.

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Episode 59 - The Highlights of Series 5

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David reflects on the fifth series of the Drinking Hour, to select his favourite moments, including a tribute to Steven Spurrier, veteran drinks writer Susy Atkins, Yalumba Chief Winemaker Louisa Rose talking Viognier, Alistair Cooper MW on Chile’s renaissance, Madeleine Stenwreth MW on altitude wines in Argentina and an intro to New York’s Finger Lakes from Kelby Russell at Red Newt.

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Episode 58 - Elwyn Gladstone

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to entrepreneur Elwyn Gladstone, a great, great grandson of Queen Victoria’s Prime Minister, who has made a name for himself as an innovator in the drinks world, launching brands such as Malfy Gin, Hotel Starlino and his latest creation, Gladstone Axe Scotch Whisky.

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Episode 57 - Argentina with Madeleine Stenwreth MW

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to Master of Wine Madeleine Stenwreth, international winemaking consultant, expert on Argentina and specialist on the impact of altitude on winemaking, to explore the country’s most exciting wines and styles, including her latest project, Bemberg.

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Episode 56 - Chile with Alistair Cooper MW

David talks Chile with Master of Wine Alistair Cooper, consultant and member of the senior judging committee at the IWSC, who believes innovation is now the driving force in the country with “things changing at a spectacular rate”. David finds out which are the wines, regions and producers you should try. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. 

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Episode 55 - Viognier with Louisa Rose

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. To celebrate International Viognier Day, David is joined by Louisa Rose, chief winemaker at Australia’s oldest winery Yalumba, a pioneer who has worked with the variety for thirty years, earning the accolade ‘the Queen of Viognier’.

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Episode 54 - Cognac

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David is joined by Club Oenologique spirits columnist, author and IWSC spirits judging committee member, Joel Harrison, to talk about what makes Cognac so special, from its terroir, to barrel ageing, blending and beyond, into cocktails.

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Episode 53 - Sensory Champagne with Laurent Fresnet and Freddy Bulmer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. What difference does the shape, colour or size of the glass make to the experience of fine Champagne? And how does what we see, smell or taste impact what we think of it? David seeks to answer the question with Laurent Fresnet, chef de cave at GH Mumm. Plus, The Wine Society’s Freddy Bulmer is back to chat about life as a buyer.

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Episode 52 - The Finger Lakes

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David takes the Drinking Hour on the road, to upstate New York’s Finger Lakes to find out what makes this cool climate, emerging wine region one to watch.

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Episode 51 - Susy Atkins

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to Susy Atkins, wine editor of Delicious magazine, Sunday Telegraph wine critic and author about her thirty years at the heart of the drinks trade.

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Episode 50 - Vermouth, Barcelona style

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David is joined by Alex Virgili, co-founder, with his brothers of El Bandarra, a vermouth, or vermut as they say in Spain, with its roots in Barcelona’s buzzing bar culture.

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Episode 49 - Tribute to Steven Spurrier

To mark the anniversary of the death of Steven Spurrier, David is joined by Adam Lechmere of Club Oenologique to pay tribute to the legendary and much-loved man behind the famous ‘Judgement of Paris’.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. 

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Episode 48 - Highlights of Series 4

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David presents some of his highlights from the most recent series, including some of Australia’s biggest names - Peter Gago of Penfolds, Sarah Pidgeon from Wynns, Larry Cherubino and Katie MacAuley of Robert Oatley - plus, Rollo Gabb of Journey’s End and Rudger Van Wyk of Stark Condé, and also Majestic Wine CEO, John Colley. 

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Episode 47 - Sarah Pidgeon, Co-Chief Winemaker, Wynns Coonawarra.

David talks to the co-winemaker at Wynns Coonawarra, Sarah Pidgeon, one half of one of Australia’s most enduring wine double acts, with Sue Hodder, to talk about the celebrated ‘Terra Rossa’ soils that produce a distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon - plus Freddy Bulmer of The Wine Society is back to talk about his recent buying trip to Austria.  In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. 

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Episode 46 - Rollo Gabb of Journey’s End

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Rollo Gabb of Journey’s End talks to David about South Africa and marks the start of ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ by talking about what fair trade means for wine.

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Episode 45 - Chris Wilson of Gutter & Stars

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to Chris Wilson of Gutter & Stars to find out more about the accolades his new urban winery in Cambridge is already winning and what he plans next.

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Episode 44 - Dan Szor of the Cotswolds Distillery

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to the founder of the Cotswolds Distillery, Dan Szor, to find out more about his plans for England’s biggest whisky producer. 

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Episode 43 - Celebrating Australia Day

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. Celebrating Australia Day, with Larry Cherubino, Director of Winemaking at Robert Oatley and Katie Macauley, Brand Ambassador.

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Episode 42 - Green Wine Future and Freddy Bulmer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David is joined by Green Wine Future founder, Pancho Campo, and programme director, David Furer, to talk about the ambitious and exciting schedule for this global wine sustainability event, plus Freddy Bulmer from the Wine Society returns for his monthly glimpse at life as a wine buyer.  

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Episode 41 - Peter Gago, Chief Winemaker, Penfolds

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David is joined by Peter Gago, Chief Winemaker at Penfolds, custodian of The Grange, he has been described as a ‘wine rock star’. 

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Episode 40 - Drinks in 2022

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David is joined by drinks industry veteran Richard Siddle, Editor in Chief of The Buyer with his predications for 2022, including the impact of the poor harvests of 2021, the shipping crisis, Brexit and the pandemic, plus the latest trends and what they might mean for what goes into our glass. 

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Episode 39 - A Festive Special

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David is joined by regular contributors Freddy Bulmer of the Wine Society and Joel Harrison, spirits columnist at Club Oenologique for a Drinking Hour festive edition, to review an eventful year - including their highlights from the IWSC 2021 judging - and look ahead to 2022.

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Episode 38 - John Colley, CEO Majestic Wine

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to the boss of Majestic Wine, John Colley, about pandemic challenges, the ill-fated pairing with Naked Wines, Christmas trading, new wine ranges and why Majestic staff members are what makes it special.

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Episode 37 - Stellenbosch and New World Whisky

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to winemaker Rudger van Wyk at Stark-Condé about Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon and New World Whisky with Charlie Steel at Distill Ventures 

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Episode 36 - Highlights from Series 3

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David presents the best bits of series 3, featuring the Daily Telegraph’s wine editor Victoria Moore, President of the DO Cava Javier Pages, chef José Pizarro, author Amanda Barnes, Greg Sherwood MW, Cocchi MD and President of the Consorzio Vermouth di Torino Roberto Bava and vermouth expert Jon Lister.

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Episode 35 - The Live-ex Power 100 and creating a new wine brand

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to Rupert Millar about the new Liv-ex Power 100, tracking the most powerful performers in the fine wine market, to see who’s up and who’s down, and he chats to Rob Mathias, French buyer at Bibendum about the creation of a brand new wine range, Fête de Flaveurs. You can read the full Liv-ex Power 100 report free of charge here https://www.liv-ex.com/2021/11/2021-liv-ex-power-100-rebalancing-act/

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Episode 34 - José Pizarro and Freddy Bulmer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to Spanish chef José Pizarro, who’s often described as ‘the Godfather of Spanish cuisine’ at the Copa Jerez 2021 sherry and fine dining competition and he catches up again with The Wine Society buyer, Freddy Bulmer.

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Episode 33 - Asian spirits special

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - David delves into the exciting world of Asian spirits, with a special focus on Shochu and Baijiu with special guests Antony Moss DipWSET MW, Qualifications Director at the WSET, Hannah Lanfear, spirits educator and founder of The Mixing Class and Shuro Kawano, PR Section Manager at Hamada Syuzou Distillery. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 32 - Super-Tuscans and sustainable bottles

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. David talks to Club Oenologique’s Adam Lechmere about the march of the Super-Tuscans including Bolgheri’s awe-inspiring ‘anteprima’ and he talks to writer and presenter Aleesha Hansel about how we should rid the world of unsustainable heavy wine bottles.

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Episode 31 - The perfect Martini and IWSC trophy winners

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net -

David talks to Club Oenologique spirits columnist Joel Harrison about what makes the perfect Martini and hears from Alistair Cooper MW about this year’s trophy winners at the IWSC. As a one off, we mention all of the wine trophy winners - 31 wines in total - see IWSC list. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 30 - Victoria Moore and Freddy Bulmer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

  • David talks to Victoria Moore, wine editor of the Daily Telegraph about her new book, ‘Fried Eggs and Rioja’ and he’s also joined by Freddy Bulmer of the Wine Society for a glimpse into life as a wine buyer.

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Episode 29 - Cava Special

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - David explores the world of Cava, the Med’s distinctive Traditional Method sparkling wine, to hear about its history, how it is made, what makes it special and its gastronomic pairing potential. He is joined by the President of the DO Cava, Javier Pagés and Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, a leading member of the IWSC’s prestigious judging committee. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 28 - A Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG special

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world. A Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG special. David explores Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, to find out more about its character and altitude charm, with Elvira Maria Bortolomiol, President of the Consorzio di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Giulia Pussini, international marketing manager for the consorzio, consultant and expert, Sarah Abbott MW and top sommelier, Matteo Montone MS. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 27 - Wines of South America and Sober October

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - David talks to Amanda Barnes about her new book dedicated to the wines of South America and, to mark Sober October, he chats to Mocktails founder Bill Gamelli about creating enticing drinks without alcohol. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.


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Episode 26 - South Africa, Austria and the shipping crisis

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - David is joined by Greg Sherwood MW to talk about the wonderful wines of South Africa and Freddy Bulmer of the Wine Society chats about Austria and also the challenges of the shipping crisis. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 25 - Vermouth special

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - A celebration of Vermouth - an aromatised wine that’s the mixologist’s hero - with Roberto Bava, MD of Cocchi and President of the Consorzio Vermouth di Torino, Luca Marchiaro export manager of Antica Distelleria Quaglia and Jon Lister, of Speciality Brands. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 24 - The Best of Series 2

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - The final instalment of our second series - and we’re celebrating our best bits.

We’ve been fortunate to welcome some big names, with plenty to talk about, so sit back and enjoy the highlights - in the next hour, we’ll hear from Oz Clarke OBE, an early evangelist for English wine, Fiona Beckett, the Guardian’s much respected wine critic who’s a food pairing specialist, Stephen and Jeany Cronk who gave up their London lives to launch a wine brand in Provence, Domaine Mirabeau, and the legendary Sacha Lichine who gave up his Bordeaux First Growth to launch a wine brand in Provence, Whispering Angel from Chateau D’Esclans, then there’s Dr Jamie Goode, talking wine science and how to make sense of it and the brilliant Deano Moncrieffe, a Tequila and Mezcal specialist, who’s on mission to make the drinks world better reflect those it serves. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 23 - Sacha Lichine and Roger Jones

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net -

David talks to Sacha Lichine, the head of Chateau D’Esclans and creator of Whispering Angel, the world’s most famous rosé and also Roger Jones, for years a Michelin-starred chef and a celebrated wine connoisseur.

Drinks featured:

Château Tamagne Collection Madeira de Kuban Reserve 1991, Russia (gold)

Monteoro 2019, Sella & Mosca, Vermentino Di Gallura DOCG (gold)

Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut NV (silver)

Château Paul Mas Clos Des Mûres 2019 (silver)

Black Stallion Estate 2019 Pinot Noir, Los Carneros (silver) @4089Silverado

Le Naturel 2020 Aroa Bodegas Garnacha Blanca (silver)

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 22 - Dr Jamie Goode and Freddy Bulmer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - David talks to Dr Jamie Goode about the latest edition of his book, Wine Science, and finds out which wines give him a thrill, plus Freddy Bulmer’s back for his monthly insight into life as a buyer.

Drinks featured:

Cuvee Monsignori 2018, Estate Argyros (gold)

Limne 2020, Tenuta Roveglia, Lugana (silver)

Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2019, Domaine de la Motte, Chablis (silver)

Ledaig 10 YO Single Malt Whisky, Tobermory (gold)

Angostura 7 Year Old Rum (silver)

Frapin Cognac VSOP (silver)


In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 21 - Armagnac and Guy Woodward

Spirits expert Joel Harrison on the wonders of artisanal Armagnac and David talks to Guy Woodward, editor of Club Oenologique about a life in wine writing and what he loves to drink.


Drinks featured:

Waitrose & Partners No.1 Armagnac VSOP (Gold)

Bas Armagnac 1991 Château de Lacquy (Gold)

Blend XO Armagnac, Armagnac Janneau (Gold)

La Rioja Alta, Viña Ardanza, Rioja Reserva 2015 (gold)

District 7 Chardonnay 2019, Scheid Family Wines, Monterey (silver)

Lustau Brandy De Jerez Solera Reserva, Emilio Lustau (gold)

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 20 - Bordeaux and wine investment

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - Bordeaux, the Hot 50, the wines to search out and how to find real value in the world’s most famous wine region with Richard Bampfield MW. Plus, Anthony Maxwell of Liv-ex tells David about the latest trends in the fine wine market.

Winning drinks featured:

Tesco Finest Margaux 2015 Chateau Boyd Cantenac (silver)

Waitrose No 1, Château Suduiraut, 2013 Sauternes (silver)

Crème De Cassis De Dijon, Gabriel Boudier (gold).

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 19 - Vins de Provence rosé special

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - David hears about the incredible success of Vins de Provence rosé, exploring the nuanced styles that come from the 3 appellations and their sub-regions and rosé’s amazing food pairing potential.


Guests:

Brice Eymard, Managing Director of the CIVP

Keith Murray, Château Routas, Routas 2020, Coteaux Varois en Provence

Emeline Codeluppi, Château Saint Maur, Clos de Capelune, Côtes de Provence

Eric Kurver, Maison Saint-Aix, AIX, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 18 - Deano Moncrieffe and Freddy Bulmer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - David talks to Deano Moncrieffe, creator of the cocktail of the year, about the magic

of Mezcal and the importance of diversity in the drinks trade, plus Freddy Bulmer of

the Wine Society reflects on a buyer’s life.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 17 - The Guardian’s Fiona Beckett and hail Sollasa!

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - David talks wine pairing with The Guardian’s critic, Fiona Beckett and finds out about Sollasa, a brand new drink to match Indian cuisine, was designed.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 16 - Rum Show Special

A Rum Show Special: Dawn Davies MW and Mitch Wilson of Black Tot Rum discuss how rum is made, its history and look ahead to the Rum Show.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 15 - Mirabeau founders, the Cronks, and buying spirits

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David talks to Stephen and Jeany Cronk, who gave up the rat race to start a winery in Provence and spirits buyer Dave Roberts.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 14 - No/Low alcohol, Marlborough Sauvignon shortage and beer

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David talks to Christine Parkinson about the revolution in low and no alcohol drinks, Freddy Bulmer from the Wine Society on dealing with a shortage of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and buying beer, with Alex Davies of Virgin Wines. 

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 13 - Oz Clarke OBE and William Lowe MW

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David talks to the legendary Oz Clarke OBE about a lifetime in wine and his passion for English and Welsh wine and William Lowe MW, Master Distiller at Cambridge Distillery on what makes the perfect gin. 

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 12 - Highlights from Series One

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David presents a highlights selection, including Jancis Robinson OBE MW, David Gleave MW, Sarah Abbott MW, Dawn Davies MW, Mick O’Connell MW, Kelly Stevenson and Freddy Bulmer.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 11 - Going East, Portugal and own-brand wine

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David heads to Eastern Europe with Freddy Bulmer of the Wine Society, talks Portugal with Dirceu Vianna Junior MW and looks at how own-brand wine is chosen with Rebecca Palmer of Corney & Barrow.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 10 - Champagne, Sherry and Cider

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David celebrates Champagne with Essi Avellan MW, enthuses about Sherry with Martin Skelton of Gonzalez Byass and finds out why Cider is Wine!

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 9 - Old vines and single malt v blended whisky

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – Sarah Abbott MW talks to David about a project to protect endangered old vines and Joel Harrison has the lowdown on single malt versus blended whisky, plus medal winners from the IWSC.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 8 - The perfect glass, New Zealand and fine Cognac

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David talks to Victoria Burt MW about what makes the perfect glass, Rebecca Gibb MW has the story of New Zealand wine and Cognac connoisseur David Brown on hunting down the finest examples.

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Episode 7 - Being biodynamic, Chile and making a mixer

David talks to Yangarra’s winemaker Peter Fraser about being biodynamic, plus Alistair Cooper MW in Chile and the Double Dutch duo, Raissa and Joyce on making the perfect mixer.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 6 - Jancis Robinson OBE MW and Nebbiolo

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David talks to Jancis Robinson OBE MW about a life in wine, plus David Gleave MW extols the virtues of Nebbiolo.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 5 - English sparkling, Chardonnay, Tequila and Mezca

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – David talks to Jacob Leadley of IWSC gold medal winner Black Chalk, Mick O’Connell MW on his love of Chardonnay and Dawn Davies MW has the lowdown on Tequila and Mezcal. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 4 - Natural Wine, Burgundy and Turkey’s grapes

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – Talking ‘natural wine’ with Freddy Bulmer, hearing why Burgundy would be Giles Burke-Gaffney’s Desert Island Drink and Isa Bal MS on the wines of Turkey. 

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 3 - Urban wineries, Riesling and King Edward vodka

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – Setting up an urban winery, the wonders of noble Riesling and the king of potatoes in a new vodka. In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net - using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 2 - Gin, Pinot Noir and the wines of Georgia

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – What makes a true Master Distiller, is Pinot Noir the perfect desert island grape and getting to know the wonderful wines of Georgia, plus IWSC medal winning recommendations.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Episode 1 - Airline drinks, sustainability & groovy grüner

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – How to buy for the sky, how airlines choose our drinks, what makes a wine sustainable and what makes grüner veltliner a groovy grape, plus IWSC medal winning wines and spirits.

In partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Pilot Episode

David talks festive drinks with Freddie Bulmer, The Wine Society, in partnership with the International Wine and Spirit Competition www.iwsc.net – using the best in the world to judge the best in the world.

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Presented by
David Kermode