In your glass in sixty minutes

Whizzing home in my driverless car, I zip past yet another boarded-up wine shop. I suspected this one wouldn’t last much past 2020. You couldn’t sample the wines or buy food, and they didn’t have any wines you couldn’t find elsewhere. Some small chains are still going strong, but you can’t actually enter their shops anymore; they are just storage depots and delivery hubs. Walk-in customers…

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The shock of the new

When tasting my way through a large number of unfamiliar wines, there are a few tell-tale signs that I’ve encountered something special. Firstly, an involuntary smile creeps over my face. Secondly, I find myself hurriedly writing a long note. But I know that I’ve come across something truly singular when scoring the wine feels pointless; after all, if a wine has no peers then how do you rank it?…

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The wine trade’s annual health check

Every year, after an overindulgent Christmas, the wine trade books an appointment with me for its annual health check. Though most of its vital signs are entirely typical for a patient of its age, it suffers from a certain… anxiety. Normally I just let the patient talk – and my god can he talk – but the same worries crop up, year in, year out. This year I intend to take him to task on three…

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