MY TOP WINES OF 2019 – MAY

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Not to be one always looking back, whenever I start a new year I try and think about all the great times of last year and it helps me get really up for all the challenges and possibilites for 2020.

So whilst most of you are doing Dry January or something equally as healthy to overcome the post-Christmas and New Year booze/chocolate/meat comas, I thought I’d start the year with a quick recap of the wines that meant a lot to me in 2019…

MAY – DOMAINE DUSEIGNEUR

Bernard Duseigneur’s excellent Chateauneuf Du Pape

MY TOP WINES OF 2019 – APRIL

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Not to be one always looking back, whenever I start a new year I try and think about all the great times of last year and it helps me get really up for all the challenges and possibilites for 2020.

So whilst most of you are doing Dry January or something equally as healthy to overcome the post-Christmas and New Year booze/chocolate/meat comas, I thought I’d start the year with a quick recap of the wines that meant a lot to me in 2019…

APRIL – CHANGYU MOSER

The new range from Lenz at Château Changyu Moser, Ningxia, China

MY TOP WINES OF 2019 – MARCH

Uncategorized

Not to be one always looking back, whenever I start a new year I try and think about all the great times of last year and it helps me get really up for all the challenges and possibilites for 2020.

So whilst most of you are doing Dry January or something equally as healthy to overcome the post-Christmas and New Year booze/chocolate/meat comas, I thought I’d start the year with a quick recap of the wines that meant a lot to me in 2019…

MARCH – CEDRO DO NOVAL

Qunita Do Noval’s new range of red wines

MY TOP WINES OF 2019- FEBRUARY

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Not to be one always looking back, whenever I start a new year I try and think about all the great times of last year and it helps me get really up for all the challenges and possibilites for 2020.

So whilst most of you are doing Dry January or something equally as healthy to overcome the post-Christmas and New Year booze/chocolate/meat comas, I thought I’d start the year with a quick recap of the wines that meant a lot to me in 2019…

FEBRUARY – MILLTON’S CLOS STE ANNE CHARDONNAY 2015

James and Annie Millton's Clos Ste Anne Chardonnay
James and Annie Millton’s Clos Ste Anne Chardonnay

MY TOP WINES OF 2019 – JANUARY

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Not to be one always looking back, whenever I start a new year I try and think about all the great times of last year and it helps me get really up for all the challenges and possibilites for 2020.

So whilst most of you are doing Dry January or something equally as healthy to overcome the post-Christmas and New Year booze/chocolate/meat comas, I thought I’d start the year with a quick recap of the wines that meant a lot to me in 2019…

JANUARY 2019

Cloudy Bay’s Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc

I couldn’t believe my luck as I was kindly invited out to the Sauvignon Blanc conference in Marlborough, New Zealand.  Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand has a very “on the fence” reputation right now in the UK, with plenty of wine snobs scoffing at the famous Kiwi style. Fresh, vibrant, iconic wines?  How dare they!

Well I still love the stereotypical Kiwi style, but those that think it’s a one trick pony need to think again. Amazing wines are being produced with lees contact, barrel ferments and ageing, reductive winemaking, and many more flicks and tricks. Cloudy Bay’s Te Koko is one of the best on the market, but keep your eyes out for more!

Cheers!

DOES ENGLISH WINE NEED TO SHAKE OFF SOME DEAD WOOD?

UK

Morning all

Just flicking through some of the headlines from the weekend and came across this article from Patrick Schmitt MW writing in the Drinks Business.  He had a chat recently with Richard Balfour-Lynn, owner of Hush Heath winery in Kent.

Big take home from the article is that it’s not good enough for English wine to just “expand”.  We need to develop the markets and the method of selling, be it cellar door, wine tourism or retail here and abroad.  Going into this blind, thinking it’s just an easy lifestyle industry is a sure fire way to lose your shirt, and you’ll be lucky to survive the next 5 years.

I’d like to add that setting up vineyards and wineries right now without any consideration to sustainability initiatives is criminal and destined to be on the wrong side of consumer trends.  But that’s just me.

Check out the full article on the Drink’s Business Website…

DRINK’S BUSINESS ENGLISH WINE ARTICLE

Cheers

How ‘Mindful Winemaking’ taps into on-trade’s changing ethics

biodynamics, Organic, sustainability
Is now the time to highlight subtle differences? Or collectively market greener wines?

The following is an exert from a piece I wrote for The Buyer recently on the UK wine buyers buzz words of the day as we move towards a greener future for wine. Comments welcome 🙂


“Towards the end of my time in the office job, I used to sneak out for an hour a week and head to Harley Street to see a wonderful and wonderfully expensive (God bless medical insurance) psychotherapist. At the time it was about mentally patching me up enough to get back to the desk, a bit like giving a sports person a shot of painkiller, strap the leg up, and send them back on the pitch. Over my time with her it got more in depth and hugely useful, and one of the best things was a book she gave me on Mindfulness.

These days you see the word everywhere, but this was six or seven years ago and relatively new. The whole premise of it is about being more thoughtful about your day, the situations you’re in, and how you react to them. When you’re teaching yourself you end up staring at raisins for a ridiculously long time, or battling your willpower to not just scoff down a chocolate bar, instead letting it melt in your mouth and enjoying the sensations. You’re trying to engage your brain to appreciate every moment of your day, and not get down about your past, or anxious about your future. It might not work for everyone, but it did for me and I love it.

Fast forward six or seven years and I’m staring at a tasting booklet from Bibendum with “Mindful Winemaking” emblazoned upon it. It’s a bit of a worry as it’s one of the buzzwords of the day and I was sitting there slightly dubious that they were just ripping it off for the sake of it. But then, I thought, what they’re using it for makes a lot of sense…”


FIND OUT WHY I THINK “MINDFUL WINEMAKING” MAKES A LOT OF SENSE BY READING THE REST OF THE ARTICLE ON THE BUYER

Is pushing wine into the digital age leaving too many behind?

Digital Media
My brilliant digi-savvy wine mates making it all look very easy!

The following is an exert from an opinion piece I wrote in The Buyer this month on those being left behind in the digital media drive in the wine trade. As ever, comments very welcome 🙂


“The ever-evolving landscape of digital media and the opportunities it offers is seemingly endless.  Whatever trade you’re in you’re always looking for, and often finding, new or improved ways of communicating with your target audience. All kinds of e-marketing strategies, pioneered by the fashion trade or the music industry, has all us wine-os drooling over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and all the rest.

We take pictures of bottles and share it round our mates. Will that lead to a sale or increased brand awareness?  Probably not, but right now it appears no-one gives a shit?! We’re embracing new technology and feeling like we’re a more engaging industry because of it. We’re shaking off the label of a stuffy camp of oenophiles in the salmon pink chinos and boldly telling the digital world that we’re here and here to stay.

I’m a huge admirer of guys like Paul Mabray. We don’t know each other personally. He wouldn’t know Mike Turner from Adam, put I’ve seen him ‘perform’ a few times now. He’s up there on the stage, in front of a room of winemakers and journos and showing us the endless possibilities of embracing digital marketing and the success that lies in wait for you if you just nail that online strategy. He’s also written a fabulous piece for our very own The Buyer on the joys of monitoring consumer trends and how he, rightly in my humble opinion, believes it’s the future of the wine trade.

I wrote a piece a while back about embracing the value of social media to bring international winemakers to your very own screens through Google Hangouts, or Facebook Live events. No need for those expensive and ridiculously eco-damaging long haul flights when we can sit round a nice evening dinner in London, and rustle Kiwi winemakers out of bed in the morning and ply them with questions about their 2014 Pinot vintage.

Wow, what an age we live in, all these amazing things we can do…

…but I’m afraid I might have to slap the brakes on a bit here. We’re forgetting something. Or someone. Or both…”


TO FIND OUT WHO’S BEING LEFT BEHIND, HEAD OVER TO THE BUYER TO READ ON…