Advice to emerging wine writers: be known for something, but be careful

Would you like to be a wine writer? Are you already a wine writer, but would like to take the next step?

Normally, I’d say you shouldn’t listen to advice from modestly successful people, but I reckon that the properly successful wine writers haven’t go enough time to dispense this sort of advice, so [...]

On flying and films

Just got home from Hong Kong. Had a lovely flight back, and it was in economy class. This was the first time I’d flown with Cathay Pacific, and I was impressed. I don’t know about their entire fleet, but the new 777s they fly on the London route are very nicely configured.

As long as you [...]

At the Rugby World Cup final!

On Saturday I was a lucky boy. I got a late invite to the Rugby World Cup final from Wakefield/Taylors, the Clare Valley winery, via new Wakefield employee Adrian Atkinson. It was a remarkable day, beginning with lunch at the Bull’s Head in Barnes (above, the view from Barnes Bridge – it was a glorious [...]

The Manchester derby

So, today was fun. It was the Manchester derby.

Some explanation is needed. In the English Premier League, this is one of the biggest of all derby games (when two teams from the same city play each other). And at the moment, arguably the two best teams in the country are the two Manchester clubs. City [...]

Press trip dynamics, and Tuckman's model

I’m on another press trip. This time, it’s to Champagne.

One of the most interesting things about press trips is the group dynamics, especially when you are travelling with people you don’t know. On my last trip (the group picture is above), I mentioned this to our Wine & Partners host, Andrea, and she told me [...]

Exploring a limited creative space: black and white and wine

I have recently been playing around with black and white photography. Although I would never claim to be a serious photographer, I enjoy taking pictures, and I love images that look good (to me, at least). The decision to switch my EP-5 to black and white (there’s an ‘art’ setting) has made me think about [...]

On bias, dogma and fashion in the wine world

It’s very easy to lose perspective. In wine as in life. And none of us are totally immune to fashions, to trends, and the latest movements. And if we get swept up by these trends, we can drift easily into dogma. It’s something that’s best avoided. [The problem is, if we realized our loss of [...]

Writing a new book: time to do some research

This week I had a new book commissioned. It’s one I have wanted to write for a while.

Entitled ‘I taste red’, it explores the interesting topic of the flavour of wine, and its perception. There is so much to explore here: taste, smell, perception, psychophysics, philosophy, synaesthesia, the language of wine, aesthetic appraisal, ratings, competitions, [...]

On going back, and beginnings and endings

Yesterday I went back to the building that I’d worked in for 15 years. It was for the Gonzalez Byass tasting, which was held at 41 Portland Place, an 18th Century Adam-style terrace that is now home to the Academy of Medical Sciences. I started working there – it was then another scientific charity, the [...]

Some lovely affordable bottles from the Co-operative

Tasted at the Co-op press tasting on Tuesday. Some nice affordable wines, and one slightly pricier bottle.

Trapiche Pure Malbec 2014 Uco valley, Mendoza, Argentina
14% alcohol. This unoaked Malbec is just so lovely and drinkable. It has a floral violet and blackcurrant nose with some black cherries. So pretty on the palate with pure cherry fruit. [...]