The Internet and its impact on wine communication

Here is the abstract of a talk I am doing in Spain next month, on the impact of the Internet on wine communication. It is aimed at wineries. I wrote it on my phone on the way to the airport, where I am now blogging via my phone. It takes a while. It means I […]

Judging in the Concours Mondial Sauvignon Blanc

The Loire at Blois

I’m just back from a few days in the Loire, where I was part of a large international jury judging the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon competition.

The location of the tasting

We stayed in Blois, and tasted in the rather spectacular castle of Blois. We were some 60 judges, divided into teams of […]

Dinner at La Trouvaille in Blos, with interesting Loire wines

On Friday night, I had dinner at La Trouvaillle in Blois. By its decor, this doesn’t seem a terribly high-end restaurant, but the food is really good and the wine list adventurous.

I was dining with an interesting group: sommelier Henri Chapon, winegrower Lionel Gosseaume, and Dutch journalists Lars Daniel and Chris Alblis. We enjoyed some superb beef, and […]

In the Loire


This is going to be one of those slightly frustrating, short-on-words, big on pictures posts. It’s just that I am in the Loire, in Blois, not far from Touraine, and – as often happens on these sorts of trips – I’m so busy that blogging is tricky.

The Castle of Bois

I arrived yesterday evening, […]

Port, Beer and Meursault

I’m off to the Loire tomorrow for three days. Today, though, was filled with a mix of activity.

After walking the dogs in lovely spring sunshine, I headed off to London Bridge for the Big Fortified Tasting. I love fortified wines, and the big draw was a chance to taste some 30 samples of 2011 Vintage […]

Quinta do Vesuvio 2011, and Capela da Vesuvio 2011

Tonight I’m sampling the remains of two bottles of port from last night’s declaration tasting of the various Symington properties. It’s the pair of wines from Vesuvio, the regular vintage port and the special cuvee Capela.

I was visiting the Douro during the 2011 harvest with my colleagues Chris Losh, Richard Woodard, Emily O’Hare and Patricia […]

The Symington 2011 Ports

So, the headline news on the 2011 vintage Ports from the Symingtons. [I’ll be writing these up in more detail, hopefully this evening.]

It’s a very good vintage indeed. Potentially a great one. The samples we tried yesterday were the final blend, but not final bottled samples, and some of them showed much more open fruit, […]

A first glimpse of 2011 Vintage Ports

So tonight was spent getting acquantied with the hotly anticipated vintage Ports from 2011, which has just been pretty universally declared.

First up, Sandeman, owned by Sogrape, who were showing their wines at The Don, in the City of London.

Luis Sottomayor (above) of Sogrape describes 2011 as a typical, classic vintage. ‘It’s not an elegant, harmonious […]

Exploring the language of wine

I’m very interested in the language we use to describe wine.

Could it be that our possession of descriptors for wine actually shapes the way that we experience wine? Can language shape perception?

I have just looked through my first wine notebook. It dates back to when I was first getting into wine, just after I’d finished […]

Video: the International Wine Challenge 2013

A short film to give you a feel for the judging process of the International Wine Challenge, filmed on the last day of tasting at Lord’s yesterday. There’s even a glimpse of cricket action (Finny bowling).