About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm Dermot Nolan, and I became a Master of Wine (MW) in 1997, and resigned from the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2023 after being an MW for exactly 26 years. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library, which closed in 2018, and this is my personal wine blog. I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. I was a Director of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events Committee, founder of the Trips Committee, and member of the Governance Committee. Having had problems with potentially libellous 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.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Comments to blogs

I have an issue with people commenting on blogs. Mainly it's about the whole anonymity of it all - my Google ID is DermotMW so it's fairly clear who I am and my profile is open to all to view. If I leave a comment then you can check who I am. However a lot of people leave comments without any way of checking who they are; further, the quality of many comments is poor. Let's look at one I've just deleted from my blog, made in response to an article about the cost of wine in Irish supermarkets.

The bigger they are...

News today that Constellation has finally managed to sell off some of its Australian assets, including the historic Leasingham winery in Clare Valley. For those of you who don't follow the business of wine, Constellation was, not so long ago, the biggest wine company in the world. Formed by a series of mergers (Canandaigua and Beringer, I think) it bought up BRL Hardy in Australia (itself a merger between Berri Renmano Ltd and Hardy's) and acquired gigantic status. However, its fervent acquisition of both production and distribution channels in the period leading up to a major recession left it in a fragile position.
I guess big isn't always better!
PS there's a very interesting contrast with Gallo (see my post from 9th October) who are now back in the position of being the biggest winery and, possibly the biggest wine company in the world. They just kept on doing what they always did!
PPS It's seriously good to see that Tim Adams has acquired Leasingham as he was really exercised about it when I visited in June 2009.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How low can you go?

One of the best wine bargains I've seen this year is in Tesco, where Mount Pleasant's two excellent Hunter Valley wines, Elizabeth and Philip, are currently available at €10 per bottle, down from €19.99. These are, respectively, a classic semillon and shiraz and are wines of great quality, with Elizabeth certainly capable of aging for 20 years or more (good job there's no wine called Charles, then!). However, it's worth wondering how a wine can be sold at half-price and still be profitable.