July 11, 2020

Lockdown started with good intentions. I wrote a list of jobs. Painting various parts of the house, build those planters that have been sitting in their box since they arrived a few months ago, build that shelving unit for the cellar, sort out the filing cabinet. Ooh, I’ll have time to some wine articles too.

I came across the list the other day and was able to tick off none of them.

I tried to come up with excuses in my head to explain why I had failed to deliver my home improvement plans. Home...

February 21, 2020

This article was originally published in Issue 22 of Root + Bone magazine in January 2020.

Technology in wine? Now that’s a tough brief. Many winemakers avoid technology at all costs. In the age of minimal intervention, technology’s impact on wine is a thorny topic. But as with most things, there are degrees of acceptance. More interested in passing the winemaking methods of their forefathers on to their children than benefitting themselves from modern technology, many winemakers are actively wo...

June 27, 2019

An edited version of his article was originally published in Issue 21 of Root + Bone magazine.  

Whilst the “in your (rich, elitist) face” rampage of the gilets jaunes through Paris has been front page news, another French revolution has been quietly building through the ranks of France’s winemakers.

To understand what has caused this ripple of discontent, one must look at the laws that govern the wine industry in France. The AOC (Appelation Origine Controlle) system, governed by the INAO (Instit...

June 11, 2019

Another family holiday, another vineyard trip craftily sneaked in.

I am the booker of holidays in our family, a role which allows me to strategically map my way around Europe’s wine regions under the guise of family time. As long as I can spin a story that there is something the kids really want to do in the general vicinity, I can usually create a gap in the family schedule to get my fix of talking to winemakers and tasting fermented grape juice from barrels.

Last year we went camping in the Ard...

April 21, 2019

An edited version of this article was originally published in issue 20 of Root + Bone magazine. 

I find the concept of biodynamics a bit weird. The belief that burying manure filled cow horns over the winter, digging it up in spring and then spraying it on the vines will somehow work with spiritual enlightenment to improve the performance of the vineyard sounds to me like some sort of voodoo shit. 

But what do I know? Some of my favourite wines have been made following the biodynamic methods of a...

November 22, 2018

This article was originally published in Issue 19 of Root + Bone magazine. 

There is a view that wine geeks like me are little more than socially-acceptable train spotters. Speaking from a personal point of view, I think there probably an unhealthy level of obsession to my interest in wine. I am not talking about alcoholism here, although my wife has banned me posting wine bottles on Instagram on Mondays and Tuesdays to at least pretend that we don’t drink wine every day.

I’m talking about my obs...

November 21, 2018

Wine is the essence of life. In the countries where there is wine, they did not need to reform the church and they have the best kitchens.

I don’t know if this is exactly what Luigi Tecce said when he and I shared a salami and tasted his life-changing Aglianicos in his kitchen earlier this year. But I don’t really care. It is just one of the nuggets I scribbled down as I listened to him talk.

When you meet someone as passionate as Luigi it doesn’t really matter that he can’t speak a word of Engli...

October 17, 2018

Hello. Yes, I am still here. Apologies if the content on this site has dried up somewhat, but I've been busy creating a new wine magazine. Yes, a proper magazine, made of paper and everything. Its called Root + Vine and has been published by the lovely folks at Root + Bone.

Fed up buying wine magazines and not reading them, I decided to create one that I wanted to read. Most of the wine writing I enjoy is stories about wine. Not the formulaic; I visited a wine region, I met some winemakers, it...

July 8, 2018

A little over a year ago I moved jobs. My old job was based in central London and although I like to think I was just very good at managing my time, if I am completely honest it was a little bit dossy. 

This meant that, in what I know look back upon all misty-eyed as "the good old days", I was a regular lunch break visitor to London trade tastings.

I didn't take the piss. It wasn't like I spent three hours every lunchtime swirling a glass and staining my teeth in some posh old buil...

July 8, 2018

I recently tasted through the latest set of wines from Tenute Sella, a family owned estate in Biella, Alto Piemonte. I first discovered the estate when I met owner Marco Rizzetti on a press trip in Biella and visited Tenute Sella's beautiful vineyards in Biella a couple of years ago.

Their wines are generally released under the Lessona and Bramaterra DOCs or the more generic Coste della Sesia DOC. The wines are typically Nebbiolo based blends, with varying amounts of Vespolina and Croatina....

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ABOUT WINELOON

My name is Simon Reilly. I am a wine writer based in South East London. I am passionate about discovering new and exciting wines which offer value for money. I write about the wines I taste and other related wine stuff that I think is interesting, brilliant or annoying.

 

My aim is to write about wine in a straight forward way that is accessible to everyone.

 

I have had my writing published in Root+Bone magazine, Root + VineJancis Robinson's Purple Pages, Glass of Bubbly and Decanter.

I have been shortlisted for a few awards for my writing; the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards 2017 in the "Emerging Writer" category and the 2017 Millesima Wine Blog Awards in the "Wine Reporter" category.

 

I also came second in the Born Digital Wine Awards 2017 in the "Best Investigative/Journalistic Wine Story" category.

 

One of these days I might win one, but as an Aberdeen FC fan, these days I am happy enough with second place. Stand Free. 

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