What's the role of emotion in the perception of wine?

One of the aspects I didn’t cover much in my discussions of perception in I Taste Red, is how emotion affects the perception of the world around us.

When we are consciously aware of things around us, we create a model of the world that is a seamless, unified representation that includes input from all the [...]

For food and drink at the airport, forget the lounge, and let's rethink the flight experience

I had a good experience in Toronto airport this evening. Arriving quite early, I got through security, and then wandered around Terminal 3. Because I was flying WestJet (saving my client money!), there was no lounge access. This forced me to check out the various food and drink options in the terminal, and I found [...]

A major award for I Taste Red

I’m so thrilled that I Taste Red, my latest book, has just won an a major award. Last night, at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards, it was successful in the Wine Book of the Year category. Unfortunately, I had to fly to Canada for some work yesterday so I wasn’t there. But my [...]

Adding features: why the bolt-on approach to growth rarely works in wine

Recently I was driving a hire car. Back in the day, cars used to have radios, and perhaps a cassette player. Then there were a few knobs to control the heating, the airflow, the heated rear window, windscreen wipers, indicators, and that was about it. With small variations, every car was pretty much the same, [...]

Dinner at Neo Bistro with chums: an exciting new west end restaurant

The Neo Bistro tasting menu

It’s always nice to find a really good new London restaurant that also takes wine seriously. Neo Bistro, a stone’s throw from Bond Street tube, is an absolute gem. I went there on Tuesday night with wine buddies Ben Henshaw (Indigo Wine), Greg Sherwood (Handford Wine) and Daniel Primack (the [...]

Let's stop hiding behind subjectivity

In the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris, there’s a wonderful interchange between the hero from the 21st Century, Gil Pender, and Ernest Hemingway, in 1920s Paris. Pender has written a novel and he asks Hemingway if he might read it for him and give his opinion. He’s told Hemingway the subject, a curiosity shop, [...]

The Lidl Prosecco giveaway, and why we need Minimum Unit Pricing for booze

 

Yesterday people queued for hours outside branches of discount supermarket Lidl, all for a six-pack of cheap Prosecco.

If you were one of the lucky first 20 or so in the queue, you’d be able to get a six pack of an already cheap Prosecco for just £20. This is pretty much the cost of the [...]

Nine BA lounge whites, a bit of a mixed bunch, but some surprises

There are quite a few bottles open in the BA lounge (I’m off travelling again…), so I did a tasting. I’m following the example of one of my wine heroes, Oz Clarke. Whenever he’s in an airport, or on a plane, he makes a point of trying all the wines. I admire his dedication, and [...]

Winemaking ideologies, my contribution to the Texsom debate

Yesterday at Texsom I took part in a discussion on winemaking ideologies, with a very good panel. Each of us was asked to prepare something to say, so I wrote something. When it actually came to it, I didn’t cover all this ground, but I thought I’d share it, anyway.

Market segmentation is important here. For [...]

Texsom: exploring the wines of Mexico

Serafin Alvarado and Wayne Belding presented this seminar on Mexican wines, a subject I’ve virtually no experience of.

Mexico isn’t an obvious place to grow high quality wine grapes: it’s a warm country at a latitude of 30 degrees north. There’s very little wine grown at these latitudes in the northern hemisphere, but the key thing [...]