In Vancouver

For one night only. I arrived in Vancouver yesterday afternoon, just in time to watch the second half of England v Uruguay at a bar in the airport with my host David Scholefield, who I am driving down to the Okanagan with this morning. It wasn’t the right result.

Then, after checking in to the new [...]

Why judging super-expensive wines is difficult

I always like Emile Peynaud’s quote about how expensive wines tasted blind frequently disappoint. Along similar lines, there’s the well known scientific experiment where subjects had their brains scanned while they were tasting the same wine, but being given different price information each time. They liked the wine more – and their brains responded differently [...]

Success is an enemy

Whether you are a winemaker, a winery, a wine brand or a wine writer, one of the biggest threats can be success itself. It’s made more dangerous by the fact that it would never be suspected of being a threat, because it is a goal.

You begin to believe your own hype. You get complacent. You [...]

Caves d'Auvergne Gamay 2012

This is a sensational wine for the price, if – like me – you have a fascination with lighter, more elegant red wines. I’ve written about its sibling Pinot Noir before, which is equally good, but in 2012 I love the Gamay from this winery, which has a bit more weight than most Beaujolais, while [...]

Why I love working in wine - some unrestrained positivity

I love working in wine. For lots of reasons. Here’s some unrestrained positivity about the wine community, and why it’s a good place to earn a living.

I have such wonderful colleagues. So many positive interactions, such collegiate spirit!

Wine is endlessly fascinating, and you can never grow tired of it, as long as you have an [...]

More on the Coravin, a remarkable wine serving device

Back in October, I wrote about the Coravin, having seen one in action for the first time. Yesterday at a tasting of high-end wines at London merchant Roberson, I had my first proper encounter with the device as a tool of the trade. It’s such a game changer.

From the point of view of the Roberson [...]

Les Clos Perdus Le Blanc 2011

Paul Old and Hugo Stewart’s Les Clos Perdu makes some really interesting wines from biodynamically managed vineyards across promising terroirs in the Languedoc and Rousillon. This is a varietal Macabeo from 60 year old vines grown in the Agly valley, Roussillon. It’s fermented half in stainless steel and half in wood. It’s not expensive (mid-teens [...]

Some nice wines at cricket

So yesterday was the first Wine Trade XI cricket match against the Gents of Essex at Coggeshall, Essex. It was a good day out, with perfect weather. We got hit about a bit, and the Gents declared shortly before tea at 278-6. But then we hit them about a bit – a magnificent opening stand [...]

What do I really think? Some unfiltered opinions on the world of wine

I am not short on opinions. However, as I get older, I have learned that some opinions are best kept unspoken. I am also a kind person at heart who doesn’t want to upset anyone unless it is strictly necessary. And I have learned that my own perspective is exactly that: things look a certain [...]

Some highlights from the Asda press tasting

So yesterday was the Asda press wine tasting, held on the top floor of the Royal Festival Hall, with great views of London’s Southbank. The main range is good, but unlikely to be of too much interest to readers of this blog. But the highlight was a selection of wines from Asda’s new online wine [...]