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 [...]

The wine trade bubble

I love the wine trade. It’s fun, full of interesting people, and it’s incredibly open and friendly.

But it is a bit of a bubble. We talk to each other all the time. We assume everyone is like us. And as a business, it’s not so sharp. It’s more like a group of hobbyists.

The chief problems: [...]

How much can we drink without risking our health?

Lots of chat on the internet today about a study that has just been published in the 0pen-access version of the British Medical Journal. (Article is here.) It made front-page headlines in The Daily Mail, a British tabloid newspaper targeted at right-leaning women, and designed to keep its readership in a state of heightened fear about [...]

How to manage a Champagne brand, some thoughts

I’ve been thinking a bit about wine branding recently, and specifically about Champagne brands.

The large Champagne houses are skilled brand managers. It has taken a lot of hard work to get Champagne positioned the way it is now, occupying an elevated space in the wine world, and much of the work has been done by [...]

Bordeaux pricing is actually all about sex

Let’s talk about the pricing of top Bordeaux wines.

It’s the subject of intense current discussion, but I think there’s some misunderstanding here. We’re not just talking about the price of wine. At the high end, it’s rather more than this: it’s a discussion about sex.

High-end fine wines are an example of a Veblen good. Named [...]