Tips from a frequent flier

I fly a lot. I’m just about to get on another flight, this time to Hong Kong, via Munich on Lufthansa. Although I occasionally get treated to premium cabins, much of my flying is at the back of the plane. In fact, given the frequency with which I fly, I reckon I’d be quite high […]

Should wine scores be absolute?

Another article about wine scoring! It’s such a tedious topic, I know, but it’s an important one. Let’s recap:

Scoring is flawed but it is useful. A tasting note without a score doesn’t tell us how the wine stacks up. If I give a score and you are familiar with my scoring patterns, you can tell […]

Commercializing social media, and being honest with readers

The landscape of wine writing has changed quite a bit since I first started earning money writing about wine. [This is a subject I’ve written about before here and here.]

When I started out there were quite a few people making a good professional salary writing about wine. Several writers had specialist columns in newspapers that paid […]

What makes for a healthy, dynamic wine region?

I’m just preparing for a seminar on The New Faces of Beaujolais, and it has got me thinking about what it makes to create a healthy, dynamic wine region?

As wine journalists, we can be a bit obsessed by the novel, or people working at the boundaries. Does this distract us from recognizing and celebrating the […]

The dangers of negativity

One of the perils with my line of work is that it can be so easy to allow negativity to seep into my writing. I’m strongly convinced that negativity is poisonous and it can easily taint a writer’s output if it is allowed to take control.

Of course, this is not unique to wine writing, and […]

Some red wine highlights from Bibendum

Following my round-up of white wine highlights from the recent Bibendum (major UK agent/wholesaler) tasting, here are some nice reds from their range. A few real gems here.

Gal Tibor Titi Egri Bikaver 2016 Eger, Hungary, Eger
A blend of Kékfrankos, Kadarta and Syrah. Beautifully packaged. Fresh, stony cherry and plum fruit nose with a damson twist. The palate […]

The importance of the stuff around wine, with reference to West Ham United

It’s not just about a liquid in a bottle. The stuff around it matters more than we realise.

The BBC recently put together a short film about the effect on fans of moving a football (soccer) team from an old, traditional stadium to a new one. The club in question is West Ham United, and two […]

Some white wine highlights from Bibendum

These were some of the white wine highlights from a recent portfolio tasting with major UK agency business Bibendum.

Litmus Element 20 2013 Surrey, England
This is lovely: really expressive with a subtly nutty edge to the grapefruit and pear fruit, together with some citrus brightness. Complex and beguiling with a subtle hint of green and refined fruity […]

Lovely wines with Daniel and Eric at 67 Pall Mall

Had a lovely dinner last night with Daniel Primack and Eric Solomon at 67 Pall Mall. We enjoyed some really nice wines, and these are brief notes from memory: I was too busy chatting to take notes (although I did manage one on my phone for the last wine). All three of us like to […]

Week one of the International Wine Challenge

Week one of the second tranche of the International Wine Challenge is complete! There’s a weekend break for the judges, and then we meet again on Monday for four more days. Once again, we have been at The Oval (one of the UK’s top cricket grounds), and today we even saw some cricket, although it […]