Interviews and copyright, a grey area?

A travel writer, Mike Gerrard, is in potential legal trouble with Bill Bryson.

Mike interviewed Bill a few years ago, and recently released this interview as an ebook. Bryson’s publishers have demanded that he withdraw the book from sale, claiming that Bill owns the copyright to the words he spoke that day.

Let’s explore the implications of [...]

Knackered Mothers' Wine Club, from blog to book to TV gig!

Last week I attended one of the events at the Henley Literary Festival, titled Blog to Book. It was a session with two bloggers who have gone on to secure book deals, and one of them was Helen McGinn, a fellow wine blogger. I thought it would be interesting to hear Helen tell her story [...]

Some more thoughts on authenticity in wine

I have been reading an interesting paper in which some researchers from the University of Oxford scanned the brains of people using fMRI while they were looking at paintings.

Now we have to be a little careful here. FMRI is a technique that shows which areas of the brain are most active, and there are correlations [...]

Why I don't post negative reviews

There was a comment on twitter this week suggesting that the lack of negative reviews by wine writers (in contrast to restaurant reviewers, for example) is because we’re afraid to bite the hand that feeds. The implication: we’re a cowardly bunch afraid to speak our mind because we are in the pay of retailers/wineries/agencies, and [...]

The Coravin in action, a video

Today I caught up with my buddy Daniel Primack of at a tasting. Rather excitingly, he had with him a Coravin. The Coravin isn’t yet available in the UK (there are a couple of them in the country, apparently), but will be from March. It has already been released in the USA, where it [...]

Scoring wines: peer group or absolute?

There’s an interesting discussion on Twitter, concerning the scoring of wines. It was prompted by a Decanter blog by the usually brilliant Andrew Jefford here. Jefford starts off on fire:

“Scores for wines are philosophically untenable, aesthetically noxious – but have great practical value.”

That’s entirely my view. I hate them. But I use them. Those who [...]

Skin contact whites, the next big thing

I am really enjoying skin contact whites at the moment. These are white wines that are made like red wines, with the skins present during the fermentation, rather than pressing the juice off before fermentation begins.

As I write I am drinking Tom Shobrook’s Giallo, and loving it. It’s an Aussie skin-contact Sauvignon Blanc, and it [...]

Privacy in the internet age

Occasionally I allow myself the luxury of a non-wine-related post. This is one such occasion.

I have been thinking about the issue of privacy recently. Basically, I don’t have any, as a user of the internet, with a Gmail account, and publishing a large part of my life on social media. I doesn’t bother me, and [...]

Learning to run

On Saturday I will be embarking on one of the biggest physical challenges I have ever faced: running 42 km in Bordeaux.

I have never been a runner. Although I have played a weekly game of football for the last few years (interrupted regularly by travels), I’ve never really got into running. It always seemed boring, [...]

Are smartphones bad for our souls?

I have been a smartphone user for three years. I started off with an HTC Desire, because all my techy friends said that Android was the way to go, and I had never seen myself as a Mac person. But in March I made a considered switch to iPhone, with the 5. It is a [...]