2012 was quite a year. I’ve chosen some pictures to illustrate some of the key points of the last 12 months. This is what a wine writer’s life looks like (although, I suspect we wine writers have all had rather different experiences this year).
January saw the Sipnot tasting - the Stonier International Pinot Noir tasting, which compared new and old world Pinot Noir in a blind-tasting format. The new world Pinots did pretty well.
January: the first of many good feeds, this time at La Trompette in Chiswick. This middlewhite pork was washed down with Scali Pinotage.
February: the 2009 DRC tasting at Corney & Barrow.
February: the Primum Familiae Vini lunch at the Square, London. Each family bought two wines to drink: one current and one old.
February: Paul Pointallier conducts a tasting and lecture on in-house research at Chateau Margaux
March: off to the Loire to judge Sauvignon.
March: in Stellenbosch, South Africa
April: the International Wine Challenge – 2 weeks at a very rainy Lords
May: judging Hungarian wines at the Pannon Wine Challenge. This is Budapest.
May: at the London wine trade fair, where I am chairing a discussion on how wines can stand out from the crowd.
May: one of the highlights of the year was the Real Wine Fair.
May: my first trip to Alsace was memorable. This is Colmar.
May: a dinner at the Square to honour Paul Symington, with some great old Port.
June: how about a vertical of Vega Sicilia, back to the 1920s? Oh, go on then.
July: a great visit to Torres’ estates in Catalonia, including my first trip to Priorat.
September: back to Cape Town, for Cape Wine.
September: a memorable lunch at Cafe Dijon in Cape Town. Not fine dining, just really great food, great wine, and great company.
September: in the Douro at vintage time to do some filming. Magical place.
October: a brilliant Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs lunch, cooked by Brett Graham
October: off to Australia to judge the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, including a great dinner with old Aussie wines.
October: memorable visit to Michaeal Dhillon’s Bindi in Australia’s Macedon Ranges. Great wines.
October: Back to Alsace again, for some great food and a few lovely visits. This dinner was at la Nouvelle Auberge.
October: fun with wine trade peeps at the Cotes du Rhone Halloween quiz night
November: Izmir, Turkey for the bloggers conference. It was great. Met lots of people and had a lot of fun.
November: at the IWSC dinner where I got blogger of the year award!
December: Nuno Mendes cooks at the Krug Institute of Happiness, a remarkable personalised pop-up dining experience.