About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I have worked in wine education, mostly, but also retail and consultancy. I am currently a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) and am also a member of the Events, Trips and Governance Committees. Having had problems with potentially libelous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fit for purpose...

Are Harpers wine blogs fit for purpose?
No. Not a bit, judging by a recent example, namely one entitled “Is the Institute of Masters of Wine fit for purpose?” by Mr Stephen Forward. The main reason for my negative response is that he states the Institute (IMW) is an elitist club, accessible only by invitation and is not fit for purpose. He further states that IMW is not relevant to the modern wine industry.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

From Botticelli to Bond…

We did a lot on Saturday – too much to detail but here's the headlines.

Who ever heard of...

Early Saturday morning, drag yourself out of bed, put on suit (battledress all day as no time to change before tonight’s dinner), struggle to café for breakfast, feel refreshed (just), move on, find seat and ask yourself if you want to sleep or do a tasting of 46 wines?
But then…start with a pinot gris from the Valle d’Aosta and wow! where did that come from? Then a red made from the well known fumin grape (?) and the next thing you know you’re happily smiling as you taste one more new grape after another…
Old and well known such as trebbiano but being made into really good wines then new to me varieties such as schioppettino, tintilia, centesimino, mantonico, magliocco, timorasso, croatina, frappato, carricante and many more. I blame Jancis – it’s obviously a plot to sell more copies of J3… we all wanted to dip into it during the tasting!
Some stunning wines – centesimono is a red wine that basically tastes like gewürztraminer and there are only 20 Ha planted. Somebody found this old vine many years back and planted cuttings. A few other growers did the same and then got it DNA tested, discovering that it’s unique. Not knowing what it was they called it after the guy who first found it and whose nickname was “centesimono”!
Eventually, struggle back to the auditorium but enlivened and uplifted – what a revelatory tasting. You may be tired but when you get real quality allied to interesting and unknown wines the effect is amazing. Tiredness dissolves and happiness evolves…