Let’s be frank. Tastings are pretty tedious, aren’t they? You might make a discovery or two at one, or have a chance to have a chinwag with a grower at another, but, by and large, they are predictable, occasionally frenetic, affairs, from which you emerge barely the wiser and with the feeling that you have […]

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Read Doug Does: Slovenia (Day One) HERE. A Wreath of Sonnets – France Preseren (one of Slovenia’s great poets) Send but your rays their glory to renew And let me not look for dawn’s light in vain In your dear face, to hold back night’s domain And calm the wildest storms that ever blew. Fall […]

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Chatting with: Heidi Nam Knudsen, Founder of A Thousand Decisions

August 7, 2018

Heidi Nam Knudsen is the founder of the A Thousand Decisions, a wine course focusing on natural winemaking and growing methods. She is also the Operations and Wine Director for Farmacy, London and former buyer for the Ottolenghi group/former General Manager of Nopi restaurant. There are a lot of words buzzing around in the wine world: authenticity, natural, sustainability. […]

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Doug decants: The Ever So ‘Umble Aligote

August 7, 2018

I am greatly obliged, and I should like it of all things, I assure you; but I am far too umble. There are people enough to tread upon me in my lowly state, without my doing outrage to their feelings by possessing learning. Learning ain’t for me. A person like myself had better not aspire. […]

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Doug Does: Slovenia (Day One)

August 6, 2018

Read Part one (Croatia) HERE. Day Two: As The Slo-Cro Flies As we were driving through Croatia towards Slovenia I reflected on the conundrum about why places that are not so distant geographically, or different geologically, or that share similar climates, can have such different wine cultures. Why is it, in this case, that two […]

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Wine Controversies: Fashionable debunking and the over-appliance of science…is bunk

August 1, 2018

Over the past few years we have seen numerous attempts to debunk the rationale behind concepts such as biodynamics, terroir, natural wines and minerality. The spirit of disinterested interrogation is one thing; faux-intellectualism, anthropomorphising science and imbuing it with higher-authority deity-status to give a critical bunk-up and corroborative quasi-credibility to all dismissive arguments, is something […]

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Doug Does Croatia

July 23, 2018

Day One: As The Cro Flies We love a good cliché and to stereotype the wine potential of a country. When you think of Croatia you imagine the grand sweep of the Med from Istria to the Dalmatian coast, its turquoise seas studded with islands, the picturesque villages with gaily-painted houses and bustling waterfronts perched […]

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Doug Decants: polOpuesto wines

July 23, 2018

The Uco valley is a semi-arid desert region in a rain shadow created by the high mass of the Andes range, which blocks the passage of westerly winds that would bring precipitation from the Pacific Ocean. (The annual average rainfall is around 250mm) The majority of days are warm and sunny but with a drastic […]

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The History of Les Caves de Pyrene in 10 ½ Chapters

July 20, 2018

Introduction A couple of years ago I was in a San Francisco natural wine bar and proffered my card to pay my tab at the end of the evening. The young French manager looked at it and handed it back to me with a shake of his head. “I’m sorry, but I can’t accept this.” […]

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Wine Controversies: Mark Ups in Restaurants? Blame the Bean Counters and the Government

July 18, 2018

Accountants and purchase managers are employed either to protect margins or ratchet up the gps. This usually entails pressing the supplier for greater discounts, trying to prevent price rises, deferring payment and a host of sleight-of-hand clawback methods. For the true bean-counter a net strong gp is as important as a busy restaurant, because economic […]

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