The Mirabeau YouTube miracle

Wine videos on YouTube don’t usually get all that many views. Mine occasionally go into four figures (unless it’s about labradoodles, where I can hit six!), but some recognized wine journos regularly fail to get to 100.

It’s everyone’s dream, of course, that their video will go viral. For Stephen Cronk, of Provence producer Mirabeau, the dream [...]

Free e-book on grape varieties

This is interesting. It’s a free e-book on grape varieties from Kym Anderson, a wine economist at the University of Adelaide. It is packed full of statistics, and represents and amazing resource. This will be incredibly useful for writers and students of wines. You can access it here.

My wine predictions for 2014

Predicting the future is a mug’s game, but it’s fun, and I’m a bit of a mug. So here goes – my wine predictions for 2014.

The commoditization of wine will continue apace
Supermarkets do their job well. For most people, wine is just wine, and they want a glass of something red, white, pink, or fizzy [...]

My take on the global wine shortage story

Wine is in the news again. Apparently there is soon going to be a global shortage. More people are drinking wine while vineyard area is decreasing. At the moment, consumption is higher than production, but we aren’t feeling the pinch yet because there’s still plenty of wine from previous vintages in the pipeline: remember, it [...]

Red Obsession, a film about wine

Warwick Ross, filmmaker, and Simon Staples

Red Obsession is a compelling film. It tells the story of the rise in interest in the top wines of Bordeaux, and how China has fallen in love with wine. With the 2009 and 2010 vintages, prices reached unprecedented levels. The Chinese market has embraced these wines and is now the  [...]

The online future is a social one


I am fortunate that my brief career as a media sort of person has coincided with some of the most dramatic changes in how media is delivered. [Pedants: note that I am using media here as a collective noun, so it's OK to use singular or plural.] People have changed how they consume media, too. [...]

Are flavoured wines a good thing, or completely evil?

Are flavoured wines the solution at the bottom end of the market?

Victoria Moore’s wine column focused this week on the phenomenon of flavoured wines. Apparently, they are on the rise. The French are falling for grapefruit-flavoured rosés and passionfruit-flavoured whites, and someone has just launched a red wine flavoured with cola. It has sparked quite [...]

Time for some statistics

I like statistics. I found some on the OIV website today, so I popped them into a spreadsheet and produced some graphs. First of all, the top 10 wine producing countries. France, Italy and Spain are massive. No surprises there I guess.

Next, the top 10 consuming countries. This shows how important the US is. Of [...]

Competition, price and why cheap wine will never be profitable


Have you ever tried to buy a mobile phone on contract? Or choose an energy supplier? The pricing structure is deliberately complicated, making direct comparisons incredibly difficult. And the various suppliers NEVER compete on price.

This is, from their perspective, a sensible choice.

As soon as one player comes in with simple, understandable pricing, and begins to [...]

Bordeaux prices, then and now

Was Bordeaux more affordable in times gone by? With the help of a 1909 price list from Berry Bros & Rudd and the website, I thought I’d find out.

Here’s the 1909 BBR Bordeaux list, with prices in shillings per dozen (there were 20 shillings in the pound, until 1971):


Ch. Talbot … … … … 30/-
Ch. Pichon [...]