Appellations don't need tasting panels

There’s an issue in the wine world that I think needs discussion, and it’s tasting panels in appellations.

Throughout the wine world, appellation laws exist. There are various reasons for them.

The most important, is to ensure integrity in labelling. If a wine has a name of a place on it, then it should come from that […]

Working for free

Lots of chat at the moment, both in the wine world and also the wider world, about working for free. We live in the intern culture. We get offered gigs that pay by giving us experience; the writing jobs that pay by means of exposure.

This is a tricky area. There’s nothing new about the concept […]

Why wine is a bit like cricket, and both are fabulous

For the last two weeks I have been judging wine at the Oval. It’s one of the most famous cricket grounds in the world, and was home to the first test match between Australia and England on English soil, in 1880. [We won.]

I’m a big fan of cricket. I fell in love with it aged […]

Are wine recommendations important?

Every now and then I get a request from a student of wine to answer some questions for a dissertation of some kind. I try my best to answer, but one way of justifying the time spent is then to use my answers in the form of a blog post, which is what I’m doing […]

Mining the seam

The world is changing fast. Nothing is forever: we know that. But the pace of change seems to increase every decade. Sometimes it seems that change is so rapid that it’s hard to keep up. And cope with it, to. It messes with your head.

Technology has been the driver for a lot of the recent […]

Beware the wine consumer champions

There is a new breed of consumer champion loose in the world of wine.

They are a band of vocal marketers, commentators and ‘thought leaders’ who are upset and outraged by the way that the wine industry is expressing loathing, hatred and disregard for ‘the consumer’, leaving large swathes of the drinking population feeling criticised, belittled […]

Wine marketing: choice doesn't equal preference

There is a common assumption that people’s buying patterns (or consumption) are the same as their preferences. But this isn’t always true. Choice isn’t the same as preference.

Let’s think about coffee. I might drink a Starbucks coffee because I can’t find a Pret (I prefer Pret, although it’s rare that you can’t find one because […]

Domaine des Roches Neuves Clos Romans Saumur 2012

I love this wine so much. I had it with Doug Wregg at Terroirs. It’s Chenin Blanc at its best.

Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Clos Romans Saumur 2012 Loire, France
Chenin Blanc on tufa (limestone). Very spicy, smoky and linear with a hint of hay and bright lemony acidity. Such precision here with amazing linear acidity. […]

UGC: the real reason that wine writers are an endangered species

The wine writer as a species is endangered. This has been discussed quite a bit within the wine media community. I remember at a bloggers conference in Ismir, Turkey, back in 2012, when Andrew Jefford delivered a keynote speech announcing the death of wine writing. That went down well.

And more recently, at the 2016 Symposium […]

Why English Sparkling Wine producers need to export

There’s a lot of excitement about English sparkling wine at the moment. Justifiably so. But there is one small cloud on the horizon.

It’s called route to market. Soon, because of all the new vineyards that have been planted over the last decade, there will be quite a bit of wine that needs selling. And the […]