Can I still sip with you? Talking Instagram, influencers, and expertise.

Last week I shared my thoughts on haphazard labelling and the need for better collaboration in the wine world. Following this, my friend, and peer, Charlotte, introduced me to Sarah, who had enjoyed the article. Fuelled by a glass of Albarino, a quiet apartment, and miserable Miami weather, Sarah develops upon the topic. She talks #youcansipwithus, the need for sensible criticism, and self-reflection …

Influence, it ain’t all bad.

Since our migration from the plains of Africa, humans have influenced one another. The unprecedented growth of the internet has drastically amplified the reach of this influence, so much so that monetising one’s influence is now a sought-after occupation. But the associated title (Influencer) is loaded, overflowing with negative connotations. In the wine industry, individuals are haphazard labelled influencers, and their work, in turn, stripped of credibility. This is a HUGE mistake. Non-established new-age influence (when done properly) can, and does, work in harmony with established professional content to fill strategic voids. I think it is time that we drew some battle lines and recognised the roles we all have to play in this ever-changing industry.

Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 3: Consider the growth in demand for vegan, organic and sustainable wines. What can and should the wine industry be doing in response?

As consumer interest in wellbeing, sustainability, and environmental impact increases, in turn there exists a rising demand for organic, biodynamic & vegan wines. All of the aforementioned are hot topics in both the popular media and social media, and whilst they are not exclusive to the wine industry, winemakers are most certainly responding to this demand by increasing production and availability of wines in these categories. Andrij Jurkiw joins me this week and contributes his attempt at tackling this topic from the recent MW exam …

Manchester’s best wine bars

Birmingham is officially the most populous city outside of London; however, polling shows that most Britons consider Manchester to be the nation’s second city. You may remember last month, we discussed Birmingham’s best wine bars. Well, this month we look north and explore the go-to spots for wine lovers in Manchester. Francesca Gaffey lives just outside Manchester and is a wine hobbyist in her free time. Check out her selection of corking wine bars in the city centre …

Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 2: Discuss the role of the following factors in the production of high-quality grapes: aspect, vine density and row orientation

It is often said that one can produce bad wine from good grapes but cannot produce good wine from bad grapes. There is little room, if any, for debate when it comes to the importance of viticultural decision-making in producing high-quality wine. From the very beginning of a vines life the decisions taken in the vineyard, from planting to clonal selection, will go some way toward determining the quality of the finished wine. Factors often principally touted amongst fact sheets are aspect (direction) vine density and row orientation. But exactly what role do these factors play when it comes to producing high-quality grapes …

Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 1: Are yield restrictions necessary to produce high-quality wine?

Fruit thinning, green harvest, restricted yield, whichever name it may go by there are few canards as distinctly pervasive as yield-restriction. Across Europe, the belief that yield restriction is directly correlated with amplified wine ‘quality’ is so widely held that one can almost predict the nature of questioning at any tasting, visit or seminar. Let’s stop for a second; just how accurate is this belief? Is yield restriction really a fundamental requirement of high-quality wine production or is this hypothesis flawed?

Organic vineyards, Chiara Boschis and blind tasting with Claudia Cigliuti

Returning to Piedmont was inevitable, my first visit in October of 2019 lit an unquenchable flame. The region is captivating. For many of the same reasons as Burgundy, wine lovers are drawn like moths to a flame. Generations of history, innovation, stylistic turmoil and nuanced intricacies between vineyard sites. Piedmont is also home to some of the most influential women in the world of wine and I was lucky enough to meet two of them this week.

Microsoft Excel tasting note template

Protracted, confusing, challenging and intrusive. Writing tasting notes is not always an enjoyable experience. Whether you’re taking notes for personal record, independent learning, employment requirements or in order to teach others, I want to help you make the process more efficient, valuable and effective, giving you more time to enjoy the wine in hand. What started off as a personal project is now available to you all for FREE …

Bodies of water and their effect on viticulture

Where beautiful wine is produced it is often remarked that one will also find beautiful places. Rivers, lake, oceans and seas feature almost synonymously amongst many of the worlds best wine regions. The river Moselle, the Saône, the Rhône, the Douro, the Gironde, Margaret River, the Loire, Lake Garda and the North Pacific to name a few. These bodies of water are located at the very heart of the worlds most illustrious wine regions. However, they offer much more to our favourite wine than just a picturesque backdrop, they play a fundamental, and oft-overlooked role.