In Oregon: heading to the coast and Cannon Beach

In a gap between visiting wineries in the Willamette Valley, I had the chance to visit the Oregon coast for the first time.

We stayed at Cannon Beach. It has a spectacular beach, with a distinctive feature – Haystack Rock. This looms up some 230 feet from the beach and is home to seabird colonies, including [...]

Flying long haul budget: what's the WestJet experience like?

I’m flying quite a bit at the moment. This year I’ve been to New Zealand, Portugal twice, France three times (Beaujolais, Alsace, Champagne), Germany, Spain, South Africa (twice), California (twice) and Canada. And, as I speak, I’m on a plane to Vancouver, from where I’ll be heading down to Seattle and Portland for some conferences [...]

Unintended and unexpected consequences

I was at a dinner last night when I heard the news.

I really wasn’t expecting the British people to vote to leave the European Union. I was shocked.

So, now: we will begin to see the unintended and unexpected consequences of leaving, which will be a difficult and perilous process.

With every big change there are unintended [...]

Elitism and accessibility

As I was waiting to board a recent flight, a group of young people in front of me were singing. Harmonising competently. Not too loudly, but for a moment it was quite beautiful. I’ve been in situations with colleagues where we’ve done some communal singing. Mostly bad and not entirely sober. But it has been [...]

Travelling again, off to Germany

About to get on a plane. The destination? Germany. A wine country that I visit all too rarely, but which I always enjoy. My most recent visit was to the Ahr Valley, and I’ll be going back there this week. And previously I did a trip round Germany’s wine regions that was great fun.

So, the [...]

At the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium

Greg Jones presenting at ICCWS 2016

570 delegates, three tons of ice, 22 000 glasses. Brighton in May. It’s the 9th International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, and it’s being held in the UK for the first time, and everyone is quite excited. I’m currently sitting in a session on Day 2, so I thought I’d [...]

Money and wine

Money lies at the roots of our society. It is a structural entity – a skeleton around which much of what happens is built. It is also symbolic. Of itself it has trivial value: the notes and coins in your pocket are only worth something because society has agreed that they should be. But this [...]

Raising the bar behind us

There’s a human tendency which many of us fall prey to. It’s to do with how we got to where we are today. Putting it metaphorically, we got here by jumping over a bar (I’m thinking the high jump bar here, not the booze-dispensing type). Then we progress, and jump over the next bar, as [...]

What are my 12 most popular recent Instagram posts?

I love Instagram. I post pretty much every day, and interact with quite a few folk there (here’s my Instagram account). What’s interesting is looking at which posts get the most likes. Yes, it’s shallow, but it’s fun to see which pictures resonate most with the people who follow me. So I went back a [...]

Grower Champagne focus: the remarkable Gimonnet Oenophile 2005

I’m quite a Gimonnet fan, so I was delighted to find this in a wine shop in Reims at a sensible price. It’s just beautiful. 2005 isn’t the best ever Champagne vintage (it was actually quite tricky), but this wine has developed really nicely and is now at something approaching peak drinking I reckon, although [...]