Monthly Archives: June 2012

Regionality, commodities and brands (brief thoughts on appellations #3)

   Anyone who knows about the 1960s cult UK drama series, The Prisoner, will recall the repeated claim by the protagonist that he is not a number. The theme of the programme was the clash between individualism and collectivism, a dichotomy that occurred to me while considering the way some producers choose to stand outside […]

Why are appellations like the euro? (Three brief thoughts on appellations #2)

Okay, cards on the table: I’ve always liked the idea of the Euro. I have no more nostalgia for the lira, escudo and deutschmark than I have for the sovereign, or the louis d’or. And, after living for nearly six years in the heart of Burgundy, I believe in terroir and appellations. A glass of […]

If there were no customers there would be no whores (Three brief thoughts on appellations #1)

   The Burgundy negociant Labouré Roi has been charged with fraud. Apparently, some 500,000 bottles of its wine did not contain what the label promised. I have no idea whether the Cottin brothers who run the company are or are not guilty of the crimes of which they have been accused. Over the years I […]

Asymmetrical warfare: Ross Brown and private-label wines

      “ROSS BROWN, the former boss of the 120-year-old winery Brown Brothers, has attacked [Australia’s] leading retailers for flooding their stores with private-label wines, that he said were hollow, copycats and masquerading as real brands…” Sydney Morning Herald, June 7, 2012 Dear Ross,We’ve known each other for a long time – since 1984 I […]

Location, Location, Location… Or why moving the London International Wine Fair would not be the answer

As someone who has made no secret of his fears for the London International Wine Fair – unless some very big changes are made – I have inevitably  been at the receiving end of many visitors’ and exhibitors’ comments. Extraordinarily, to judge by the majority of them, the only thing the organisers need to do […]

The imaginary Indian wine boom

Hold the front page! Indian wine taxes finally due to fall! Stand by for a China-style Indian wine boom! Except that it isn’t going to happen. Or at least not yet anyway. First there’s the inconvenient little truth that every time a wine tax goes down in India, another one is levied to prevent wine […]

Won’t get fooled again

An adapted version of a column in the current edition of Meininger’s Wine Business International This is the story of a rather wealthy Hong Kong-based businessman we’ll call Aaron (choosing a random name at the top of the alphabet). Aaron is a regular En Primeur buyer, who places an order for a reasonable number of […]