Christmas Wine Bargains 2022

(By Peter) I took part in a blind tasting in late September 2022 for Which? magazine to find some great value sparkling and red wines for Christmas. Full results are in the magazine or the PDF below. It's quite a handy guide if you're on the lookout...

Why Covid Didn’t Kill Wine Shops

Here's a column I wrote for Decanter on how Covid has changed wine retail. It was based partly on my experiences chairing the Decanter Retailer Awards. Here's an excerpt: 'Far from blighting wine retail, the pandemic has created openings for a new breed of ambitious wine purveyor [...

Winemaker Lockdown Stories

Wine is all about being social and sociable - so the various pandemic lockdowns around the world have had major ramifications on an industry that relies on global and personal interactions. This feature for Decanter was fascinating to research and write, relating how people all around...

Decanter Retailer Awards 2020

Judging awards in a pandemic lockdown is a strange affair. But we wanted to press on with our annual Decanter Retailer Awards more than ever in 2020, to reward and champion those people who had worked tirelessly to keep our spirits up and our glasses full...

What’s hot in Chile

Back in February 2020, just before the world started locking down due to Covid-19, I enjoyed an eye-opening trip round Chilean wine country. These trips are always eye-opening. Chilean wine is a scene seemingly stuck on fast-forward, such is the pace of change and novelty. And...

South American Syrah tasting

Is Syrah the Cinderella of South American wine? That's the question I ask at the start of this piece, noting how often Syrah is overlooked in favour of more glamorous rivals (Cabernet, Malbec, Tannat etc). But it's a shame because Syrah has huge potential in South America,...

Lighter Wines for Summer Drinking

I don't know about you, but one of our greatest pleasures is discovering a wine that's packed full of flavour - but under-delivers on alcohol. And even better if it's reasonably priced. Quite simply, it means we can drink more without falling off our chair or,...

Top South American Chardonnay under £20

According to the US parenting website BabyCenter, the girl’s name Chardonnay (with connotations of ‘popularity’) saw its usage peak in the 1990s, at 47 babies per million. Its frequency has declined since, to the point where Parents.com ranked it as the fourth worst baby name...

On no-alcohol wine

Did you know that the winners of the FA Cup, one of Britain's biggest sporting events, now celebrate (and dutifully spray each other) with non alcoholic sparkling 'wine' rather than champagne? It's a small detail, a pub quiz oddity if you like, but it made headlines...

Decanter Retailer Awards 2019

Wine's brilliant. So selling it must be easy, right? Wrong. It's a crowded market. Brexit hasn't helped. Consumer confidence is low, we have a fluctuating currency and a punitive tax regime. On top of all this, people are drinking ever less. All this means we need our best...