I recently read a restaurant review in a national newspaper and after gushing about the service, food, wine list and décor, the reviewer then slagged off the clientele, writing
Ewan Lacey
Misery me? Never!
something like, ‘it’s a pity the miserable locals don’t look happier about the arrival of such a wonderful gastropub…’

It got me thinking; are wine producers or even merchants allowed to complain about the people who buy their wines; or wine writers entitled to criticise people they think might drink the wines they review.
 
Let’s imagine an example: ‘This Pinot Grigio has a delicious weight of fruit and is gorgeously well balanced with a delicious honeyed finish. Pity that the kind of people who buy Pinot Grigio don’t like wine. This is wasted on them, so if you’re reading this, save yourself that extra 99p and just buy the same old crap you usually do.’I’d be surprised to see that, it’s too easy, like a Dad scoring a hat-trick in the Father and Son football match.
Maybe your local wine merchant might take a slightly different stance. Try buying some 2003 Red Burgundy from your local bottle shop and see what reaction you get.

My guess is that if you’re spending well on Nuits Saint Georges or Chambolle Musigny they’ll happily take your money. But if you’re shopping for Bourgogne Rouge from the same vintage he might tell you it’s a bit of a Pamela Anderson; which admittedly is great if you like that kind of thing, but not everyone’s cup of tea.
 
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As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.

 

 

Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!

 

Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.

 

Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.

 

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.

 

Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch. 

 

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