Some lovely wines with the Noble Rot guys

It was a sort of Christmas party. It was pretty epic.

Noble Rot founders Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling threw a dinner for some of the people involved in the magazine, and I was thrilled to be invited. We headed to Mission E2, bottles in hand, for some banter, food and blind tasting.

The wines came thick [...]

Grapeful, a new wine app

There’s a problem with wine. It’s just too confusing for normal people to deal with. There are tens of thousands of different products, ranging widely in price and quality, and pretty much all of them packaged the same way. So how do you make a choice? I suppose you could invest lots of time and [...]

Do we overstate the importance of terroir?

Do we make too much of terroir?

Once in a while, it’s good for us to question ourselves. Far too often we assume that our perspective is the only one, and we fail to acknowledge that others can see the world quite differently, without necessarily being wrong. So I’d like to begin to question some of [...]

Vichy Catalan mineral water

In Spain last week I was introduced to Vichy Catalan mineral water. This is the most remarkable and tasty water I have ever experienced. It tastes a bit salty, but more than that – really mineral, with a very distinctive texture. This is really interesting to me, as I’m quite obsessed by the concept of [...]

Wine critics and wine writers

On Friday I wrote a piece for Tim Atkin’s website on the future of wine writing, considering the differing roles of critics and writers. In it, I suggested that if the future of wine writing is a move to wine criticism, where wines are assessed outside their context, then it’s not one I’ll welcome. My [...]

Judging at the International Wine Challenge, 2015, Tranche 1

For the last couple of days I have been at The Oval (one of London’s two major cricket grounds) judging in the International Wine Challenge. It’s the second year where the judging has been divided into two tranches. This is tranche 1 of 2015, and the second (and larger) tranche will be held in April [...]

A week as a wine writer

Hush Heath

So what does a week as a wine writer consist of? It’s hard to say. Every week is different. There’s travel. Attending tastings. Writing articles to deadlines. Lunches. Dinners. It all depends.

This week? It began on Monday with a day clear to write, and then dinner with Ryan and Michael at The Remedy, [...]

Just pick earlier!

I had a remarkable tasting a few weeks ago with Marcelo Papa of Concha y Toro. He did an experiment: picking some of the grapes for Marques de Casa Concha a month earlier than they are currently picked. He says that he had to close his eyes when he looked at the seeds: they were [...]

Unwritten rules for wine writers

I was recently at a supermarket press tasting, and one of the buyers – new to the game – commented that he was surprised how well we (the wine journos) all got along. ‘After all, you’re competitors,’ he noted.

I was pleased he made this observation. We do get along. But it hadn’t really occurred to [...]

Sorry for the absence

Apologies for being a week without updating this blog. Normally I update daily, so this has been very uncomfortable for me. It was a technical issue to do with the maximum permitted size of my database. It was

It got too big. I updated my WordPress install to the latest version and this pushed the [...]