Sunday, September 29, 2013

Is wine journalism a load of nonsense?

A SPAT on Twitter between wine journalists and wine merchants exposed the journalists to accusation of lazily filling their columns with lame reviews of favourite wines from The Wine Society. "To do otherwise would be perverse," one writer tweeted in defense of the 'what to drink and where to find it' dumbed-down approach to wine journalism. But if sensible wine writing resembles an internal memo for members of The Wine Society, what would "perverse" wine writing look like instead? Hugh Johnson wrote about wine with sensuous prose; Kermit Lynch wrote about the pleasures of wine and never engaged in contrived tasting notes.

Full article first published in The Connexion (October, 2013)

Photograph of Kermit Lynch by Peter DaSilva

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Historic vintage for French appellations?

AS FRANCE casts off its 78-year old appellation system in favour of an EU-approved scheme, should wines lovers mourn its passing? No, they should not. With AOCs proliferating and industrial production widespread, France's leading consumer magazine says 40% of French appellation wines are unworthy of their discredited labels and 65% communicate nothing about terroir. Inspection will go beyond sniffing the odd vat sample under new EU rules. The new labels are changing buying habits. But never buy a wine that showcases its appellation - the producer is selling it based on the appellation's perceived quality, not his/her skill.

Full article first published in The Connexion (September, 2013)