Dinner at Arbour with lovely wines: Felton Road, Vieux Telegraphe, Kumeu River and Quartz Reef

Arbour is widely regarded to be the best fine dining option in the Marlborough region. I visited with friends yesterday evening and we had a really good time. The kitchen here is currently on a roll. We chose the ‘feed me’ option on the menu: you choose 3, 4 or 7 courses and the kitchen […]

Do Parker points matter any more?

Do Parker points matter any more? This was the question that started a big thread on facebook today, and it got me thinking.

Points, points, points. It’s such a complicated and polarized discussion. I can see a good reason for not using points to score wine (how can a score even pretend to be a useful […]

A world without mirrors, and the importance of receiving criticism well

Imagine living in a world without mirrors (and, of course, cameras and smart phones sort of count here, too). How would you see yourself?

To catch a reflection of yourself in any sort of reflective surface, such as still water, would have been intriguing, because we cannot see ourselves. So that’s what I look like! Is […]

How are you?

How are you?

This is a question most of us are asked frequently, but it’s a difficult one to answer.

Of course, when we’re normally asked this question, there’s an expected answer, and unless we’re speaking to a good friend in the right context, then it would be unusual not to give this expected answer: I’m good […]

Wines of the year, as decided by Instagram (2)

Following on from my earlier post, looking at the most popular wines on my Instagram feed in 2017, here’s the next batch of wines. We begin with the Jura, and a hot favourite is Ganevat.

I begin with this Vines de Mon Pere, drunk with Mr Wregg. Only in magnum. Amazing.

This is a red – Plousard […]

Take part in a wine study

Dr Wendy Parr is an academic researching the way we perceive wine, based in New Zealand. She and a research group from France are looking for participants in a study. All you have to do is answer, anonymously, a set of questions.

The link is here.

Wendy and her colleagues are serious scientists and the research they’ve […]

Wines of the year, as decided by Instagram (1)

It’s just turned February, and I realise that I’ve not done a wines of the year compilation for 2017. This is a major oversight: such a list is pretty much compulsory for anyone who writes about wine on the internet. But rather than select my favourite bottles, I thought I’d leave it to Instagram to […]

Interesting Marlborough: exploring Gewurztraminer with Spy Valley

Paul Bourgeois, Spy Valley

Spy Valley is a medium-sized winery in Marlborough terms, with 250 hectares of vineyards spread over four sites. The home site is in the Waihopai Valley, and when Bryan and Jan Johnson first began their winery, they were pioneers here, planting most of the vineyard in 1993 and then doing some […]

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. […]

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 […]