News and a new book

(by peter)

Many things have been happening lately, much of which has passed under the radar of our usually all-seeing site, so I thought I’d put together a brief round-up.

As those close to me have been all-too-painfully aware of late, I’ve been slaving away on my Master of Wine dissertation this year. It’s been a gruelling but ultimately enlightening experience – which came to an end last week with formal submission and a large sigh of relief.

Now I have to wait with all digits crossed for the results in early September. (If I pass, I’ll become a Master of Wine like Susie. If not, I’ll have to re-submit.) You can read all about the results and reactions here in due course…

We’ve also just moved house in Winchester and are busy preparing for the arrival of child number 2 (official due date is this Friday but nothing doing at the time of writing).

The latter means we’ll be taking things a bit slower than usual this summer on the work front – so apologies in advance if the posts aren’t quite as frequent as usual (though we certainly won’t be letting things slide). The former means we may be announcing some more exciting news on the wine school front sometime soon – keep your eyes peeled.

Another exciting announcement of things to come concerns the launch of a grand (and grandly titled) new wine book which goes by the name of The Wine Opus.

This ambitious project – scheduled for publication on 1st October 2010 – has at its heart a series of profiles on all the major wine producers of the world, organised by country, with some impressive maps and other bits and bobs to boot.

I oversaw the South America section, writing the Chile and Argentina bits in the process (hence a slew of such tasting notes published on this site earlier this year).

Publishers Dorling Kindersley have kindly agreed to donate some copies as prizes for those attending our wine courses in the autumn. There will also be special money-off deals available via our website. More information will follow shortly.

Finally, I couldn’t resist finishing on two slightly leftfield items.

The first I saw on my recent trip to London to submit my dissertation. I took advantage of some rare free time in London to go shopping – and happened to stumble across some wine in the most unexpected of locations: the overcoat section of Diesel on Bond Street (see pic).

It looked expensive. I just hope the associations of wine and car/rocket fuel don’t hinder sales…

And if you ever wanted to know how to open a bottle of wine with a shoe, all you have to do is click here.

You don’t have to understand French to appreciate the genius of this clip (which some readers may already have seen in action on another YouTube classic, wherein the same manoeuvre is performed by a very drunk Frenchman in the street). You may not want to try this at home, or wearing smart cream-coloured jumper…