Where preference fails, and why giving people what they want can be elitist

Try this: you might like it!

It’s common to see market research on wine where people are given samples and asked which they prefer. The common implication of these studies is that the wine trade should give people what they prefer. Producers should discover peoples’ preferences, and then use this information to shape their offering. […]

Two superb Kiwi Chardonnays: Black Estate Home and Tony Bish Golden Egg

Just been for a short break in Akaroa, and tried a couple of very nice Chardonnays. One was from Tony Bish, long-time Hawke’s Bay winemaker with Sacred Hill who has begun making wines under his own label – and this one is fermented and matured in concrete eggs. The second is from Black Estate in […]

2017 in pictures (4)

October saw the New Wave South Africa tasting in London. It was a brilliant event with lots of energy, and some great folk in attendance.

Eben Sadie looked smarter than usual when he presented a vertical tasting of his wines!

Also in October, I spent a week in Japan. It was a chance to give a lecture, host […]

2017 in pictures (3)

Continuing the summing up of 2017 in pictures, July saw some cross-Atlantic action. First of all, Niagara, Canada, for the international cool climate chardonnay conference, 14C. This was my second time here, and it’s a great event, bringing together trade and consumers to celebrate Chardonnay in all its forms.

The Friday night Flights of Chardonnay event […]

2017 in pictures (2)

Carrying on the review of my year in Pictures, we’re beginning part 2 in late March:

And late March is Prowein time. It’s a hectic but fun few days in Dusseldorf. Pictured here is Daniel Niepoort showing off one of the Rieslings that he’s making with Philip Kettern in the Mosel.

Also spotted at Prowein: Eben Sadie, […]

Champagne Dom Pérignon: the extreme years, with Richard Geoffroy

Richard Geoffroy introduces Dom Pérignon vintages 2003, 2006 and 2009, underlines why each is an extreme wine, tells us which is his favourite vintage ever, and explains why vision is more important than vineyards.

‘It has been such an exhilarating period,’ began Richard Geffroy, Chef de Cave of Dom Pérignon, referring to the string of releases […]

2017 in pictures (1)

Time to take a look back on 2017. Quite a year. I’ll do this in chunks, beginning with January to mid-March.

After a quiet early January it was off to New Zealand for three weeks. I began with a couple of days in Hawke’s Bay, and this picture shows Syrah in the Gimblett Gravels region: this […]

Some Kiwi Pinot: Seresin, Astrolabe, Saint Clair, The Elder

I’ve been drinking a fair bit of Kiwi Pinot Noir of late. Here are a few notes of good bottles consumed.

The Elder Pinot Noir 2014 Martinborough, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Supple with lush, textured sweet black cherry fruit and some plum and damson notes. It’s leaning towards richness but also has a nice grainy, stony undercurrent. […]

Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal 2006

It’s so nice when legends live up to expectations. I had six bottles of this, as payment for judging the Roederer awards a few years ago. But my teenage kids broke into a locked wine cupboard and had necked four bottles with their friends before I discovered the loss! So just two bottles left, and […]

New releases from star Marlborough producer Dog Point

Dog Point Vineyard in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys

I tried these new releases from Dog Point, another of the leading wineries in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, where I’m staying for a while. They are such characterful wines. As many readers will already know, Dog Point was started by Ivan and Margaret Sutherland and James […]