About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library and this is my personal wine blog. There should be no conflict of interest between my work with The Wine Library and the opinions expressed herein but I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. From June 2013 until May 2017 I was the Retail Manager for The Wicklow Wine Company. I was a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events, Trips, and Governance Committees. Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Do "experts" matter?

Many years ago, I submitted a bottle of wine to Chelsea FC as I thought it might be a good wine for them to serve. It was Blue White, the groundbreaking South African chenin blanc made by my very dear friends at Old Vines Wine Cellars in Stellenbosch. The wine was in a blue bottle which I thought would be a good fit for the club. Ken Bates wrote back, telling me the wine was too acid (!?) and that he wasn't interested. A short while later, I saw an interview with him where he stated that he didn't believe wine experts knew anything. I often wondered if he felt the same about the doctors who treated him, or the people who made the car he drove! In this day and age of blogs and the like, so many people wonder if wine experts are in any way valid so it's nice to come across a piece explaining why we are!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Australian fortified wine terms

Just a brief note relating to an article in Hospitality Magazine in relation to terms introduced a few years back for Australian fortified wines. Like many countries, Australia has a long tradition of making wines in both the Sherry and Port styles and, as with other countries, these wines were often referred to using Sherry, Port etc. Naturally, the European Union has been negotiating for countries not to use protected terms so the Australians came up with two new terms: Apera, which is a fino-style fortified wine, and Topaque, which covers wines formerly known as Liqueur Tokay. To see what these wines can be like, why not read one of my posts from Landmark 2009?