Monthly Archives: July 2014

The N Word

I love words and the way they can behave differently depending on the context in which they are used. So, if a middle-aged white TV presenter recites an old nursery rhyme that used to contain the N-word, he has to ‘beg forgiveness’, while a black musician who calls himself ‘Handsome Ass Nigga’ has attracted over a […]

2014 Roederer Awards Short List

Congratulations to all of the 2014 Roederer Awards shortlisted wine writers and photographers from across the world. Choosing them with the other judges yesterday was a very tough but amicable process, rounded off by a great lunch at Chez Bruce, my favourite London restaurant Jacques Lardière by Matt Wilson Tasca d’Almerita vineyards by Andrew Barrow Labours au […]

Clever wine marketing from Vilafonte in S Africa

There are no tasting notes or reviews on this blog. Never have been. Never will be. Some people like writing them and, I guess, some like reading them. Chacun à son goût. So, I’m not going to tell you how impressed I was by the first 10 vintages of Vilafonte wine Mike Ratcliffe, Zelma Long […]

No brands please, we’re wine lovers. Why the Chinese are cleverer than us. Part 4

Putting your name above the title Where’s the brand? “Where are the brands?” I was walking an Australian around Vinexpo. He had just got the job as CEO of a big wine business after experience in other fields, and wanted to get a quick fix on the industry in which he was about to immerse […]

More about Robert Joseph than you want or need to know

When I was in Hong Kong for Vinexpo, I was asked if I would mind being interviewed by a delightful local journalist called Robby Nimmo. It’s always interesting to see what other people do with your words – especially when you’ve interviewed as many people as I have.Here, for what it’s worth and for anyone […]

Looking at the world through wine glasses

Every time Margaret Thatcher met someone whom she believed to share her views, she apparently used to underline their names on a piece of paper; privately she would refer to them as ‘one of us’. Those who disagreed with her were, by contrast, thought to be barely worth talking and listening to. That confidence in the rightness […]

Why wine writing is just like wine labels

So, do you know what this wine tates likeand where it comes from? How mind-numbingly boring can I make this first paragraph? Which sets of colourless words can I summon up that will be guaranteed to make all but the most obsessive readers give up and head off to do something else with their time? Baldly-presented […]