A year in the life of a wine writer (in pictures)

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.

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