Who is this blog for?
People who drink. From those who are just vaguely aware that wine and spirits are things worth investigating, to those who are already well into them. Wine is an endless Aladdin’s Cave of treats for the most underindulged senses – smell and taste. And the mental, physical and emotional feelings that go along with drinking alcohol can be hugely pleasurable (so long as we don’t go nuts). It is surely one of the only sustainable, healthy, hedonistic pursuits that both feels great and tastes amazing. Why on earth wouldn’t you want to get stuck in?
Why would you bother listening to me?
I’ve worked in wine for fifteen years and I’m still tasting all the time – dozens of wines a week. The more you taste, the more you know, so I have a grasp of what represents good quality and fair value. I’ve helped with wine selection and buying for award-winning wine companies, and I judge for international wine competitions so I feel confident about giving advice. And I’m completely independent, so you can trust what I say (if I ever write about a wine or winery that I am in some way commercially involved in, I will say so).
Why am I writing it?
I write for my friends, and anyone else who might be interested, to help them get into – and get the most out of – what can be a pretty big and confusing subject. But just because it’s big, it isn’t that difficult to understand, and it is well worth exploring because there is so much pleasure to be had. In fact, that it’s a big subject is what makes it endlessly fascinating.
And anyway, it’s all a good excuse for me to get out there and taste loads of new wines, which is one of my favourite things. I’m pretty much obsessed with wine and spirits, and always want to find out more. I enjoy writing about it, and like to think it might be useful for other people who share my affliction.
I hope you enjoy it.
Shortlisted for The Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards 2017 Food and Wine Writer of the Year
Shortlisted for the Born Digital Wine Awards 2016 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2016 Online Drink Writer
Winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2015 Blogger of the Year
Shortlisted for The Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards 2015 Online Communicator
Runner Up in the Born Digital Wine Awards 2015 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Harpers Wine & Spirit French Wine Awards 2014 Best French Wine Writer/Critic
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014 Blogger of the Year
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013 Blogger of the Year
Off Licence News Top 25 Policy and Opinion Formers 2013
Winner of The Drinks Business Awards 2013 Communicator of the Year
Winner of Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2013 Newcomer of the Year
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2012 Blogger of the Year
Matt Walls first got into wine working in an off-licence in Brighton. He has since worked for Bollinger Champagne and helped manage and buy wines for The Sampler, one of London's best wine shops. He now spends half his time writing about wine and the other half collaborating on various wine-related projects. His first book, Drink Me!, was recently published by Quadrille and has sold over 10,000 copies.
- Buy my book!
- Kunin Syrah 2015, Santa Barbara, USA
Santa Barbara has a relatively cool climate for California, and Seth Kunin was one of the first to see the region’s potential for Syrah. This is deep aubergine in colour, with a touch of vanilla pod oak on the nose, alongside bacon, black olive and some balsamic touches – more Syrah in style than Shiraz. Medium-bodied, eminently smooth and silky on the tongue. Nicely drinkable, ends fresh, lifted and slightly resinous. Good Californian wine is rarely a steal, but this is fair value at £22.99 at Roberson (click through).
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