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 [...]

The 1855 Classification of Bordeaux's Médoc

When I was first getting into wine, one of the things that fascinated me most was the 1855 classification of Bordeaux’s Médoc. Coming to wine with little knowledge and no education, I all found it rather daunting. I remember reading Robert Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide that a friend had by their toilet, and finding it [...]

Why private label/own brand is bad for wine

There are few absolutes in the world of wine. The words ‘sometimes’, or ‘often’, or ‘may be’ usually need to be appended to statements such as the title of this post. With that said, onto the thorny subject of own or private label wines.

Private label is on the rise. Increasingly, supermarkets are filling their shelves [...]

The race to the bottom

An observation. Not backed by firm data, admittedly, but an observation of a trend in the UK’s wine market. There seems to be a race to the bottom, and it’s not good for wine, or wine producers.

First, let’s clarify: in our discussion we need to segment the marketplace appropriately. Fine wine is doing well. Interesting [...]

Brands and reassurance

I’ve been thinking a bit about brands of late, and it is coffee that prompted my thoughts.

I was in Washington State in June, and you just couldn’t get away from Starbucks. Every hotel had Starbucks coffee, aside from the ubiquitous Starbucks stores. My coffee geek friends tell me that Starbucks coffee isn’t very good. But [...]

Nomacorc's owners diversify, adding natural cork, glass and screwcap to their portfolio

In an interesting development, Vinventions, the parent company that purchased the leading synthetic wine closure company Nomacorc earlier this year, has acquired Rudolf Ohlinger, a screwcap and natural cork manufacturer/distributor. This marks the beginning of the diversification of Vinventions, away from being a single closure-type company – and this is a significant step.

Nomacorc has been [...]

The Petainer 'wine on tap' system for restaurants

Is wine on tap the future for the on-trade? At the London wine fair I had a chance to check out the Petainer Keg wine delivery system, which was being demonstrated on the Roberson stand. I quizzed business development manager Adam Green about it, and tried some wines.

Petainer is a wine delivery system for restaurants [...]

Limited success: the enemy of real success

My view is that limited success is the enemy of real success. Many wineries are selling enough wine that they just keep going with their current strategies, even though these are not optimal, and are actually limiting their future success.

The problem is that when things are sort of working, people are reluctant to make the [...]

Thinking aloud about wine marketing

I’m in an airport. It’s a place where you are bombarded by marketing messages. It’s made me think about wine marketing.

Spirit producers tend to do a lot more marketing than wine producers. It’s not the fault of wine producers: it’s just that the world of spirits is a much more branded space than that of [...]