Wine trade bug

The original #wineday….

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
beaujolais VillagesHeadlines take many different forms in the drinks trade; there are the attention grabbers “strap on booze baby seeks funding,” the David & Goliath tales of “Champagne Jayne” and the softer, sweeter entrepreneur success stories of the likes of The New Zealand Cellar but the ones that catch my attention the most centre around the wine trade’s ability to shoot itself in the foot.
Take Beaujolais for example. Once the envy of wine regions around the world for its Beaujolais Nouveau marketing masterpiece it is now the underdog of the trade, fallen out of favour with the wine drinking fraternities the mere mention of it’s sorry existence is whispered these days with a pitying tone.


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The booze and the bump….

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

When you taste as many wines as I do for a living, pregnancy was always going to be a tricky time. I was prepared for the expected upsides like an enhanced palate and a more sensitive nose as well as positives unrelated to work like going up a bra size or two! On the other hand some surprising side effects have been my insatiable desire for melon and curry, albeit not at the same time, and the savoury palate I’ve always credited my filling-free teeth with is now a distant memory. Sugar cravings have replaced the need for anything other than shortbread, chocolate chip cookies and the occassional packet of Haribo.
Then there’s the obvious downer: not drinking wine, I emphasise the word drinking because spitting is accepted as fine, or so you’d think.


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Tantrums and trophies….

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Three of the world’s largest international wine competitions are held in the UK and across the year the wine calendar is divided into a delirium of sample sending, extreme tasting, result announcing and the grand finale of award dinners where the ‘super’ trophies are revealed.

I was invited this week to one of the super trophy finales, the first in a series of three black tie dos. It was the turn of the youngest of the UK accolade collectives: the Decanter World Wine Awards run by Decanter magazine. As the only surviving consumer printed wine publication on our shores it’s a magazine I’m desperate to love but I’m guilty of chastising for its old school approach. It’s heavily dominated by Bordeaux and old world wine categories which isn’t necessarily a bad thing except for the fact that there isn’t an equivalent rival to balance the picture with new world wines. But behind the façade of a magazine designed for your Dad they’ve been quietly building what’s become the most visited wine website in the world creating meaningful content delivered in a modern medium.
Now I’m impressed. ………
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Wines to make you feel young (again)

Friday, May 18th, 2012

What is it about age that makes us feel uncomfortable? Too old. Too young. Acting too old for one so young. Acting too young for one so old. The hot topic in the general press of course concerns a society that increasingly measures a person’s worth by their youth, or lack of it, which shouldn’t be much of an issue unless you’re a BBC TV presenter. Guess it’s lucky that I’m not. Guess I’m also lucky that for now anyway aging doesn’t bother me, for some reason I’m just enjoying the journey of getting older. But many of my friends are not, and judging by some wines I’ve tasted recently neither is the wine trade. ………

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Wine is a busman’s holiday….

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

I know things are getting a bit much when I make time to have my nails done. It gives me at least an hour to concentrate on sitting still. I spend a lot of that time wondering what my nails are going to look like when I walk out the door. If the state of the beautician’s fingers is anything to go by my hands will have aged a decade and be flaking at the tips.

The distance between painting nails for a living and giving a monkey about your own reminds me of a friend whose dad was a handyman but spent her childhood in a house full of odd jobs that needed doing. There are people that work to live, others that live to work, and then there are the lucky few aboard the ultimate busman’s holiday who rarely distinguish between the two.

Like me. ………

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Judge a wine by its cover. It will not make you shallow….

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Last night I caught the end of Britain’s Got Talent. Don’t judge me…. I just caught the bit after The Voice on BBC1 had finished. Please don’t judge me…! I’m not into reality TV shows at all (with the exception of Master Chef of course!) but last night was different.

In case you didn’t see it, The Voice is the musical equivalent of a blind wine tasting. The judges get to hear the singers and musicians without seeing them. Just like a wine taster uses their nose and taste buds to pass judgement on a wine, Tom Jones and les autres use their ears. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be staying in next Saturday to catch the second episode but I do like the twist that The Voice is bringing to people that have the guts to put themselves out there without their looks, weight or choice of clothes messing things up for them.

This point was made more pertinent when I switched to BGT to find a young brunette standing with a 17 year old incarnation of Hurley from Lost both quivering at the “fat guy + pretty girl does not = profit” scowls from Simon Cowell. This followed by a Susan Boyle moment as ‘Hurley’ opened his mouth to reveal a stunning voice à la Paverotti. Cue jaw drops from the crowd and a standing ovation from the Judges. It was the outcome everybody was yearning for but that the audience (myself included) were still shocked to witness. Hide it as we may think we do, there is a little bit of Simon Cowell in all of us.

In the world of wine there isn’t an equivalent to Simon or Tom Jones for that matter. ………

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