Many people are afraid to give me their opinion about a wine. Uncertainty, insecurity, fear – I know these feelings well. They are my constant companions when I travel around the world; they are there every day when I wake up to my kids and the unknowable world of parenting or when I have to deal with multi-country tax regulations. I feel like a dope. Like I’ll never ‘get it.’
Most people don’t give much consideration to what they’re drinking beyond its functionality as an alcoholic beverage (remarkable, when you consider that the world consumes around 24 billion litres of wine a year) but for those who do want to know more, the world of wine can feel like an impenetrable bubble, rigged with booby traps waiting to expose you as the imposter you believe you are. Varieties, vintages, domaines, VDLP, IGT, AOP, DOC DOCG. BA, TBA. Even once you’re ushered inside the wine world’s hallowed halls there’s still something Hogwarts School about its moving staircases and vanishing doors.
Take, for example, the lexicon of the wine elite. In my opinion, wine descriptors and wine ‘speak’ can be a serious barrier, leaving many consumers feeling disempowered and afraid to comment. When we hear people bleating on about typicity, terroir and ‘brett’ (no, not Murray’s brother) our ego’s leap to the rescue, telling us that it’s all just nonsense (but to zip our lips nonetheless!) … Read more >
As someone who routinely loses wallets, phones, sunglasses, and has even lost sight of his own (admittedly very small) child on occasion, my wife finds it alternately absurd and ironic that I should choose a wine closure that … Read more >
Late last year I wrote a very personal guest post on top London wine merchant Berry Brothers & Rudd’s blog. It was about the leap I took in starting my own wine label whilst continuing to consult … Read more >
As I sit here re-hydrating with a kale smoothie (to compensate for last night’s over-indulgence) I am reminded of the effect of what I choose to put into my body.
The closer we get to the holiday season, … Read more >
In all but a handful of regions, rosé has traditionally been a winemaker’s afterthought. Red blended with surplus white, add plenty of sugar and there you have it. Sweet and pink. Served chilled on a hot day. Can’t … Read more >
When I was a kid there was no such thing as the healthy heart tick – we grew up on dairy products. With potentially average ingredients or limited cooking expertise, a glug of cream or a chunk of … Read more >
Picture the scene: On your way to a dinner party you stop to buy a bottle of wine. For some reason your usual confidence in a well-priced but relatively unknown wine is replaced by a gnawing feeling of … Read more >
Not that long ago, a study by Stanford neuro-economist Baba Shiv proved that when people are told a product is expensive, they extract more pleasure from it.
This is not a hugely surprising revelation, particularly in relation to … Read more >
“Wet stone. Matchstick. Vibrancy. Slate. Exclusively textural. Alcohol sensitive. Schist. Possibly the only true measure of greatness in wine.”
The popular definitions for the term ‘minerality’ are many and varied. It is a term that means different things … Read more >
It feels surreal to be writing this before I’ve even opened the doors of the tasting room: I have almost sold out of my first vintage – Cedalion 2013 Single Vineyard Chardonnay from Waiheke Island.
When I was … Read more >