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They [I’m not exactly sure who “they” are, if I’m being honest] say that life is too short to drink bad wine, and I am determined to live by that maxim.
They [them again] also say that everyone has one bottle of wine that starts their love of wine and I can remember exactly what the bottle was. My then girlfriend (now wife), had bought me a one-day Introduction to Wine Tasting course as a birthday present. We started the day being taught the three-step technique for wine tasting (ie: sight, smell, taste) and then we moved onto white wines. The first wine we tried was something I recognised, it was a crisp and dry Malborough Sauvignon Blanc, the like of which I’d tried many time before. I immediately remarked to the person next to me that “this is what I like in a white wine”. The tutor said that he understood that many people liked dry, white wines but that the next wine may change our perceptions. He was very much right. The next wine was a 2008 Max Richter Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett (Mosel) and was an absolute revelation for me. It was sweeter, but with a racing acidity going through it; it tasted of fruit and bags of it; and the finish was incredible – it seemed to go on forever!
After this I was hooked and have wanted to spend as much time learning about new/different grapes/regions as possible. The more that I have learned about the world of wine, the more that I have realised that I don’t know nearly enough. It is a vastly complicated world with so many intricacies and nuances that it really does take a lifetime to master.
Over the last few years I have tried (and failed) to take the advice of the great Michael Broadbent who said that you should make a note on every wine that you drink. However, I do try and make as many as I can, and you will find some reviews on this website from time-to-time.
I have also enjoyed establishing the Camden Symphony Orchestra Wine Society – which is essentially a group of friends from my amateur orchestra who like to meet up and drink wine. We have undertaken a series of tastings at the Theatre of Wine in Tufnell Park including: exploring the Pinot grape, Australia/NZ, N+S America, “outer” Europe (ie: not France, Spain, Italy) and classics wines. In July 2013 we visited Hush Heath vineyard in Kent – which I duly blogged about:
I would classify my main wine passions as being: German wines (a veritable treasure trove) and Pinot Noir from Burgundy (unfortunately I can’t really afford top quality Burdgundy, so instead I scour the world for good quality, cheaper alternatives).
I aspire to one day having a nice, well-stocked wine cellar of my own and a column in a wine magazine.
Since January 2014 I have been a regular column writer for drinks website Vinspire.