Anyone who has followed my writing over the years will be familiar with my repeated mantra that people who have been bitten by the wine bug dramatically overestimate others’ interest in wine. I go on repeating the mantra because I truly believe that this widespread delusion is a huge handicap for the wine industry: if you mistakenly believe that someone fancies you, you don’t make much effort to seduce them.
I don’t often get much support for my view, so I really appreciated the following contribution from Adrian Atkinson, one of the most experienced and thoughtful members of the UK wine trade. Atkinson has over 20 years’ experience as Senior Wine Buyer at Oddbins and Senior wine buyer/Trading Manager at Sainsbury’s and Wine Development Director of Allied Domecq and most recently Pernod Ricard. He has recently been on sabbatical while, as his Linkedin profile says, ‘actively seeking new challenges’. He lives in a small village on the outskirts of London. Perhaps, if his home were close to Los Angeles, Lyon or Melbourne his experience might be different, but the UK is one of the biggest wine markets in the world, with a reputation for the vinous sophistication of its populace. I doubt that it is really all that unrepresentative of the rest of the wine drinking planet.