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Join our very own Wine Bluffer (AKA Nic Ricketts) as he explores the exciting but vast world of wine.

Here we are keen to share a little about what is happening in the wine industry, showcase our wines and the makers behind them and maybe leave you with a little nugget of ‘wine knowledge gold’ as you venture ahead on your journey.

  • Ceramic artist and maker, Ruben was born in Asturias, a province in the north of Spain, and his work echoes the beauty of that region. The area is a mixture of rugged cliffs, lush vegetation and wild, unspoiled beaches. The colours and textures he uses are inspired by these surroundings. Swirls of g

  • Guerrieri Rizzardi makes full use of the region’s best native grapes - Corvina, Corvinone, Garganega - but also plant other Italian and International grape varieties including Barbera, Sangiovese, Merlot and Chardonnay due to their suitability to the local soils. Daniel believes in producing wines a

  • At OAK N4 we like to tell you about different varieties and producers and take you on little forays into new-ness. This time around we are introducing wines from places like Oregon, Greece and Georgia. Here are three temptresses from our recently rotated list for you to try.

  • If you like wine, then you are bound to notice when a wine is off. The general term for this is ‘corking’ or that the wine is ‘corked’.

  • Now that we’ve established how a good – or indeed a bad – vintage comes about then we start to think why is it that some wines age better than others and how we can select a great year.

  • Today I’m going to talk a little about vintage and what that term means and why it’s important. I’ll also chat a bit about ‘bottle age’ which is another wine term that is often mentioned in the same breath as vintage.

  • Orange wine is not new, centuries old in fact, but it has been growing in popularity over the past few years or so. Even the most distinguished and conservative lists like that of The Ritz have been updated with orange wines, so I read recently.

  • Sherry, as we all know, is a fortified wine. This means a wine that is strengthened by the addition of neutral grape brandy. Huh? Neutral grape brandy is the juice of ripe, red wine grapes, distilled to just below 95% alcohol, and then adjusted down to 40% b.v (% by volume).

  • Now here’s something that you might not have thought about when you’re drinking in a wine bar, Japanese Sake. OAK N4 in Finsbury Park is leading the way by introducing sake and it’s typical of the challenge – always gentle of course – that they lay down for their clientele. To expand knowledge and b

  • As yours truly walked the streets of town yesterday, collar turned up against an icy easterly straight from the Baltic and beneath leaden skies, I was pensive about the number of people I know who are undertaking a ‘dry’ January. Certainly, to my mind, the most cheerless of seasons is not the time t

  • Along with Champagne, Bordeaux is one of the best-known wine regions in France and produces large quantities of very fine wine. In that respect it is probably the foremost region in the world for famous and high-quality wines.

  • Christmas is a coming and typically at this time of year you may be thinking about laying in a bottle of champagne or two. It’s a very special thing a glass of good fizz and always a great way to break the ice. Raul Diaz – who runs monthly masterclasses at OAK N4 – recommends it above all else to ge

  • Family favourites, I guess we all have them. You know those recipes that you could make with your eyes closed but somehow you always get the recipe book out for? You have to check the exact amounts, even though you’ve cooked it a thousand times. To get them wrong would bring down family approbation

  • Dão comes from a region of Portugal south east of Porto. One of the oldest wine regions in the country it is comprised mainly of a temperate plateau surrounded by mountains, where the Rio Mondego and Dao rivers flow.

  • Wine label naming takes three approaches. The main feature is either to name the grape variety, the region or the name of the wine. The latter is used especially on single varietal wines (wines made specifically from a single wine grape variety). This is to differentiate a producer from others with

  • Oh dear I hear you cry with headlines like that you’d better not give up the day job…but please do bear with me! As the nights draw in and we start to search out our winter coats, we naturally start to think about the mellow fruitfulness of autumnal dishes. Coq au vin and beef stew with dumplings

  • Like Ross and Demelza Poldark, pairing up wine with food can make for a more powerful performance as the one plays off against the other. Some commentators have said that the most important thing is to simply choose what you like to drink, but that can lead to getting stuck in a rut. And intuitio

  • Body is a term that’s used all the time in the wine trade. It’s not a scientific expression but a way to describe the way a wine ‘feels’ from light to heavy, or as some wine writers like to put it, lightness to boldness.

  • I popped along to the OAK N4 Wine & Friends evening the other night and was warmly welcomed by our host for the evening Raul Diaz. You may have seen him on Sunday Brunch as their wine expert. Now Raul’s running these monthly Wine & Social Evenings where you can socialise and learn about wine in

  • I am going to write more about wine pairing in future blogs. But to cut to the chase there is a simple rule to help you make a decision. Ignore the age-old advice on colour and think about body instead. What sort of food you will be eating? Will it have delicate flavours, such as an omelette or a sa

  • Saint who? Elisabetta Fagiuoli is the legendary force of nature behind the Montenidoli vineyard, overlooking the truncated towers of San Gimignano, south west of Florence. To quote the great – and late – Italian gastronome and wine critic, Luigi Veronelli, ‘Elisabetta is the living metaphor of her l

  • You may have heard of the term Terroir, pronounced tear-wah. It is the term used to describe the combination of climate, soil type and the terrain where vines are grown. The importance of location as sign of quality goes back as far as the ancient Greeks who stamped their amphorae with the names of

  • Vinho Verde does not mean ‘green’ wine. The word ‘Verde’ refers to it being a very young wine and the fact that it is bottled and on the market between three and six months after harvesting. It comes from Portugal’s largest wine region in the very top left-hand corner of the Atlantic seaboard alt

  • In the summer, and especially on this cloudy collection of islands on the edge of Europe, sun and blue skies are a rarity. When it happens though there’re few places we’d rather be. How many of us say that we’d staycation if only we could guarantee the weather? So, when the sun has got his hat on it

  • A standard wine bottle contains 750ml of wine, which equates to six 125ml glasses of wine, the type that typically - and throughout history - have been found in simple Italian restaurants or osterie. But while the origin of this wine bottle sizing – introduced into European legislation in 1975 –

  • Ahhhh, Toscana, bella, bella, bella! The Tuscan hills, a gentle rolling landscape, a white gravel track winding through the vines. Off in a corner a rustic pantiled farmhouse with driveway dotted by needle-like, black cypresses. The sun dipping at the golden hour of near dusk, warmth rising out of

  • We’ve all heard of Riesling (pronounced ‘reece-ling’) but what do we really know about this commonly grown variety of grape? It is up there with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as one of the three cornerstones of so many great white wines. Riesling is grown extensively in Germany, especially the P

  • It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. If variety truly is the spice of life then why do we always order the same dish in the Indian restaurant on a Friday night? Could it be that we are all working so hard and making so many decisions every day that when we find a wine variety that we like we stick w

  • It wasn’t all that long ago that, if you ordered a glass of white wine in a pub you’d be asked whether you wanted dry or medium. This was when gin and tonic was served in dumpy little wine glasses with a single cube of ice and a slice from a bottle. Well, perhaps it was a little while ago now, but

  • Meet Manu, OAK N4’s gregarious and super friendly manager. He hails from Macerata in Le Marche, just inland from Ancona on Italy’s Adriatic coast. He left for the United States at the tender age of 19 to train as a commercial airline pilot but somehow wound up running teams of DJs for dance club

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