Be a wave catcher

There’s a lot of luck involved in success. I think it’s Gary Player, the legendary South African golfer, who came up with the famous line: ‘the more I practice the luckier I get.’

It’s a good philosophy to have. Rather than blaming others for our lack of success, it gets us working hard and persevering in […]

Are the fake half-price wine deals returning?

A few years back wine writers in the UK campaigned against the fake half-price supermarket wine deals. I even did some filming for Rip Off Britain where we went undercover to a few supermarkets to expose this rather dishonest practice.

Using price reductions to promote products is nothing new. Some industries – such as kitchens and […]

2018 in review: quite a year (part 2 of 2)

June finished with a five day, four city trip to Ireland to promote Beaujolais wines with a series of masterclasses. We did Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick. Here I am with Phoebe and Christina, my fellow travellers, and Mick, who showed us some good spots in Dublin.

The Gilda, at the fab Fish Shop, where we […]

2018 in review: quite a year (part 1 of 2)

2018 began in New Zealand, where I’d been staying for Christmas. It was to be the first of several joy-filled trips to this wonderful country. This time last year, I’d been planning to relocate there. The picture above is looking from the top of the Clayvin Vineyard in the Marlborough region.

I was allowed to attend […]

Why wine must be wine

I’ve been involved in a few social media discussions about whether or not it’s time for wine to modernize. In order to appeal to a wider audience – and recruit new consumers – shouldn’t we welcome a new sub-category of flavoured wines? This would usher in a new golden era of innovation into a category […]

Why it's worth entering wine writing competitions

Back in 2007, while I still had a full time job!

I enter wine competitions. Not all of them, but many, if I feel I’ve done something that year that’s of merit.

It’s worth the effort of entering. It takes a while to decide what to put forward, then to fill in the entry form (they […]

You don't drink the same wine at home

Wine is situational. Wine doesn’t exist outside of a drinking experience, and that experience is part of our perception of wine.

Often, in the wine world, people talk about the significant extra cost of drinking a wine in a restaurant. ‘It’s an outrage,’ they say. ‘I’m paying three times retail – or more – in order […]

Champagne Pommery's English sparkling wine

This is the first English sparkling wine launched by a Champagne producer. It’s the result of a partnership between Champagne Pommery and Hampshire-based winery Hattingley Valley. The wine is named Louis Pommery, which is Pommery’s new brand for its non-Champagne sparklers, which now also include a Californian wine. The Pommery chef de cave Theirry Gasco […]

Just because I'm learning it doesn't mean I'm stupid

Most introduction to wine books are deeply unsatisfying. Why?

It’s because when people try to take the role of educator, they forget that many of their readers are actually quite smart. In many cases, the educator is dealing with people who are significantly smarter than they are.

Educators usually patronize their readers. They make the mistake of […]

Resisting the puritans

When I was much younger, one of my favourite TV shows was the Rowan Atkinson comedy Black Adder, and of the various series, the second, set in Elizabethan England, was perhaps the funniest. In one episode his puritanical aunt and her husband came to dinner, and in this classic comedy of errors Black Adder is […]