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 [...]

2017 in pictures (3)

Continuing the summing up of 2017 in pictures, July saw some cross-Atlantic action. First of all, Niagara, Canada, for the international cool climate chardonnay conference, 14C. This was my second time here, and it’s a great event, bringing together trade and consumers to celebrate Chardonnay in all its forms.

The Friday night Flights of Chardonnay event [...]

2017 in pictures (2)

Carrying on the review of my year in Pictures, we’re beginning part 2 in late March:

And late March is Prowein time. It’s a hectic but fun few days in Dusseldorf. Pictured here is Daniel Niepoort showing off one of the Rieslings that he’s making with Philip Kettern in the Mosel.

Also spotted at Prowein: Eben Sadie, [...]

2017 in pictures (1)

Time to take a look back on 2017. Quite a year. I’ll do this in chunks, beginning with January to mid-March.

After a quiet early January it was off to New Zealand for three weeks. I began with a couple of days in Hawke’s Bay, and this picture shows Syrah in the Gimblett Gravels region: this [...]

A mixed case of whites from The Wine Society

Just been looking through my notes from the recent tasting put on by The Wine Society, which is one of the very best places to buy wine in the UK. Here’s my choice of 12 whites. I’ll select some reds, too, later in the week.

Santa Venere Vescovado Guardavalle Bianco 2016 Calabria, Italy
13% alcohol. This intriguing [...]

My birthday bash with lovely wines and even lovelier people

Me, David Shaw, Emily Harman, Natalie Christensen, Greg Sherwood

I had a big birthday recently. I’m not going to bore you with some intense post on time, ageing and pseudo-profound thoughts on how age brings more than it takes away, and that we are just playing a role, and we pass the baton on – [...]

I have another new phone - this time, it's love

We’re so used to our smart phones that it’s hard to imagine what we’d do without them, and it’s hard to remember what it was like to have really terrible smart phones. But it wasn’t all that long ago that we got quite excited and paid lots of money for handsets that now we’d never [...]

Château Pichon Baron 2013

Recently I was lucky to be able to taste all the Pichon Barons from the current era, 2001 until 2014. They were lovely wines, but one was missing: the 2013. This is widely regarded to be the weakest Bordeaux vintage of recent years (perhaps alongside the 2007), but I had a bottle lurking, so I [...]

Some thoughts on Minimum Unit Pricing of booze

Big news in the drinks trade yesterday, although this is less relevant to readers of this blog: Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of booze has been ruled legal, and Scotland are going to roll it out.

It’s a big deal, because now this is legal (it was claimed by opponents that it broke EU competition law), it [...]