Wine writers ripping off wineries, a disturbing trend

A rant. I don’t rant often, but I’m driven to do it today.

As a wine writer, I’m alarmed by the recent trend for other wine writers to behave parasitically by charging wineries to reproduce reviews.

I’m not going to name names, but it’s morally questionable, and I think wineries shouldn’t put up with it.

If I am [...]

Narrative and perspective, and how we understand wine

John Lambie, who was the manager of Scottish football club Partick Thistle, is credited with one of the most well known sporting quotes. On being informed by his medical team that the Thistle striker was concussed to the extent he couldn’t remember his own name, Lambie replied, ‘Tell him he’s Pele and get him back [...]

Joe Wadsack makes his debut on Series 3 of BBC's Food and Drink

So, tonight: good buddy Joe Wadsack makes his debut on the first episode of series 3 of Food and Drink, the BBC’s flagship food/drink programme. We’d been waiting to see this for a long time. It’s an all-new team. The show is hosted by Tom Kerridge after previous host Michel Roux Jr had to leave [...]

2014 in pictures (3)

So, the final part of my review of the year, in pictures…

July saw a visit to South Africa to take part in the Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc Challenge. It was a good experience.

Also in July, a trip to Oregon wine country – my second visit, after a six year gap. Some memorable visits: [...]

2014 in pictures (2)

Continuing the year…

April is the International Wine Challenge, which takes a couple of weeks –  it’s a nice time of year.

It was also the Real Wine Fair, which is epic. Carla and Craig of Lammerschoek/Testalonga above.

And here’s the Noble Rotters, Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew. They may be UTD fans, but they’re OK apart from [...]

2014 in pictures (1)

2014 has been a remarkable year. Here’s my year in review, in pictorial form.

The January tasting season began with the Burgundy 2012 tastings in London. This was a new discovery for me: the amazing white Burgundies of Arnaud Ente. As with any top Burgundies, the chances of (a) being able to afford them and (b) [...]

Wineanorak on University Challenge, I've finally made it!

So cool to see wineanorak featuring on University Challenge last night (a television program on the UK’s BBC). Paxman reading out content from my site! I’ve made it. Distressing to see how little these otherwise incredibly smart people knew about wine, though. The Charente??? Here’s the clip:


Some lovely wines with the Noble Rot guys

It was a sort of Christmas party. It was pretty epic.

Noble Rot founders Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling threw a dinner for some of the people involved in the magazine, and I was thrilled to be invited. We headed to Mission E2, bottles in hand, for some banter, food and blind tasting.

The wines came thick [...]

Grapeful, a new wine app

There’s a problem with wine. It’s just too confusing for normal people to deal with. There are tens of thousands of different products, ranging widely in price and quality, and pretty much all of them packaged the same way. So how do you make a choice? I suppose you could invest lots of time and [...]

Do we overstate the importance of terroir?

Do we make too much of terroir?

Once in a while, it’s good for us to question ourselves. Far too often we assume that our perspective is the only one, and we fail to acknowledge that others can see the world quite differently, without necessarily being wrong. So I’d like to begin to question some of [...]