Wine should never be cheap

I recently made a post on Twitter:

What I have learned from my travels: wine should never be cheap

Although it has picked up more than 130 likes, it also caused some controversy. One well known American critic replied, ‘Completely f***ing wrong.’ I was a little surprised by this.

But I think it’s in response to a misunderstanding. […]

The wines of François Lurton

François Lurton

It was great to meet and taste with François Lurton. His father, Andre Lurton, is a very important figure in Bordeaux. Lurton senior, who owns Château Bonnet, was active in establishing the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation and helping improve the quality of the affordable white Bordeaux wines that come from here. The family also own […]

Why wine must be wine

I’ve been involved in a few social media discussions about whether or not it’s time for wine to modernize. In order to appeal to a wider audience – and recruit new consumers – shouldn’t we welcome a new sub-category of flavoured wines? This would usher in a new golden era of innovation into a category […]

In Porto (2): dinner at Pedro Lemos with astonishing wines

Teresa and Vitor outside Pedro Lemos

It was great to eat at Pedro Lemos, considered by many to be Porto’s top restaurant. We dined with Vitor Bento and his wife Teresa. Vitor is an Airbus 330 pilot and a complete wine nut. When he’s not on duty, he’s usually eating and drinking well in Porto, […]

My journey into wine

The Wine Lover’s Discussion Group: a thread list of topics from 2000. This bulletin board helped me take my first steps in wine geekdom, starting around 1996

How do people discover wine? What proportion of non-involved consumers end up morphing into involved consumers? And how do people make this transition? These are all very interesting […]

Four affordable, lighter reds for summer smashing

Back to the UK and I’m working through some samples on a balmy summer evening. I’m really into lighter red wines at the moment and these four fit the bill for some summer smashing. And they are affordable, too.

Villa Blanche Piquepoul Noir 2016 IGP Pays l’Herault, France
13% alcohol
£8.49 Waitrose
Part of Calmel and Joseph’s Cepages Anciens […]

We don't want our wines to taste nicer, but truer

When I started drinking wine as a student, I was bottom feeding. Buying cheap wines from supermarkets. Most tasted bad. Now wine tastes better, even at the bottom end. That’s a good thing. But let’s explore the issue a bit further. I’d argue that generally speaking, we don’t want our wines to taste nicer, but […]

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 […]

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 […]

Some thoughts on Prosecco

Prosecco is one of the wine world’s success stories. I’m drinking one now. It’s the Bella Covina Prosecco from Tesco, which is as cheap as Prosecco gets at £5.85.

Is it bad? No.

Is it good quality? Well, quality is judged by fitness for purpose, and for most people drinking Prosecco, including the company I’m with, it […]