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 Born Digital Wine Awards 2016 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2016 Online Drink Writer
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!
- Guy Farge Saint-Joseph Blanc 'Vania' 2016, Northern Rhône, France
Just 6% of Rhône Valley wine is white, but it’s well worth exploring. This Saint-Joseph was a stand-out during my recent masterclass on white Rhône at the London Wine Fair. Guy Farge is a fourth-generation winemaker at his family estate and is making some stunning wines. This has aromas of honeysuckle, apricot, toasted almonds and lemon pith. It’s full-bodied, but there's a wonderful tension in the wine, and a balance coming not just from acidity, but also subtle bitterness and a saline streak that I often find in wines grown on granite. Not hugely complex right now, but energetic and textural, with a long finish. Hugely drinkable, deeply satisfying. It’s not cheap but it is fairly priced for this level of quality at £23.99. The 2016 hasn’t quite reached the UK yet, but Bybo have the 2014 (click through).
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