About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library, which closed in 2018. I am back working in a consultative role with The Wicklow Wine Company but this is my personal wine blog. There should be no conflict of interest between my work with The Wicklow Wine Company and the opinions expressed herein but 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 member of the Council 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 Committees. 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.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Could you spot a fake pinot?

There is news today that Gallo and Constellation (now Accolade) have agreed to pay out a lrge sum of money over the fake pinot noir scandal. I am sure many people will say how great this is, that these big companies have been made to eat humble pie but I'm not so sure. I happen to like Gallo, even if some of their actions seem clumsy (see items in relation to the Russian River AVA) and while Constellation seems to have imploded as a result of over-expansion in the boom years these are both companies which have done a lot to further wine internationally.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yeast and terroir

An article in Decanter informs us that scientists in New Zealand "have proved for the first time that wine yeasts vary from region to region." This is a idea I have had since I was an MW student - if you check the people who have commented, one is Peter Vinding-Diers and he put on a tasting, in 1994, for a very small group of 2nd year MW students in Sete to highlight the importance of yeast in winemaking. This tasting is mentioned in Patrick Matthews' book, "The Wild Bunch".

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Minimum pricing revisited

The Irish Sunday Tines carried a story today claiming that the government is considering introducing a minimum price for alcohol of €0.55 per unit. I don't buy the paper and don't subscribe to the online edition but it was reported on Today FM news today. Consequently I'm not sure if this measure relates only to beers and own-label vodkas, as reported in the news bulletins, or across the board.