The customer always defines value. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Whether it be a process, product or service, the voice of the customer must, at its core, be the driving force in defining the end-to-end value stream. Whilst restaurants may vary in their individual approach to the customer experience, common elements almost always remain, access to a wine list is one of them. Serving not only as a functional tool but also as a source of excitement, conversation and fun, the wine list plays a key role in the overall experience of many diners. Recently, a small number of restaurants have, for various reasons, decided they will no longer offer diners access to a physical wine list of any sort. Instead, diners will be required to discuss all wine choices with the front of house staff. Regardless of motive, this decision risks unnecessarily alienating customers and makes little practical sense. Whilst restaurants are of course entitled to make changes suited to their own ethos they ought not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. This kind of absolutism redefines value from the perspective of the restauranteur, not the customer. Recently, I polled 187 wine lovers, capturing their feelings toward wine lists, judging whether they consider proposed replacements suitable, and ultimately asking whether they think removing a diner’s choice is a good idea or not.
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?
PwC and think tank Demos recently named Birmingham the most rapidly improving city in the country in which to live
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.
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 …
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.
Burgundy, oh Burgundy. There are few, if any, regions which are more desired, romanticised and fascinatingly complex as Burgundy. With a total of 100 AOCs, for me at least, it is the concept of terroir which most attracts wine lovers to Burgundy. Rich and enticing history, vast communal diversity, subtle intra-communal vineyard nuance, juxtaposition of winemaking styles and plenty of colourful characters are amongst a few of the reasons we wine lovers seem so drawn to Cote. Whether you’re at the very beginning of your wine journey or already someway down the rabbit hole, there really are very few people to better guide you through all things Burgundian than Nicolas Potel.
The aromas and flavours associated with particular grape varieties and regional specific wines are more often than not a result of large numbers of compounds, of varying origin, interacting with one another and forming various olfactory and gustatory qualities. There are however a number of compounds (in this case sesquiterpenes) which have an individual aromatic quality associated to them. The distinct aroma of pepper so often associated with cool climate Shiraz/Syrah is the result of one of these sesquiterpenes …
The most fantastic of experiences often occur out of chance encounters. After being impressed by the several great reviews I had read about Champagne Paul Launois, his philosophy and his wines I decided to try my luck and request a last-minute visit with him.
There is a somewhat small range of primary descriptors used by those in the industry which subsequently become the go to guidelines for a broad range of consumers. Whether a wine is dry or not is amongst the most popular characteristic used to judge whether one does or does not favour a wine. But what does it really mean? What makes a dry wine?
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognised, enjoyed and planted red wine grape varieties and is grown in nearly every major wine producing region in the world including France, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Lebanon, Australia and many more. But what do you really know about this grape?