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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Wine Controversies: Wine writing about what consumers want is bunk

July 11, 2018

Each one of us is a consumer. We express our choices individually and buy we like, or what we can afford. Wine journalists – and people throughout the wine trade – invent a consumer-archetype; they may characterise (or caricature) them as “my readers” or “the paper’s readers,” or “my customers”, which not only gives them […]

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Doug Decants: Nacho Gonzalez’s La Perdida Wines

July 9, 2018

Waiting for Godello Nacho Gonzalez farms his family’s vineyard, which his grandmother had worked all her life, and is patiently restoring its vitality. He has also purchased other small plots and rents a couple more, with the total vineyard holdings comprising some 3ha – all old vines (40 yrs minimum). He released his first vintage […]

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Chatting with: Bronwen Percival of Neal’s Yard Dairy

July 9, 2018

Bronwen Percival is one of the UK’s leading cheese experts. She is Neal’s Yard Dairy‘s buyer and technical manager. She also co-authored, with her husband Francis, the book “Reinventing The Wheel – Milk, Microbes and The Fight For Real Cheese”.  Would you please give us a potted biography? I come from a dairying family: my […]

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Wine Controversies: Wine Faults versus Wine Flaws

June 28, 2018

Statement: There are discernible wine faults, there are also legitimate wine flaws. Wine cleanliness is wine godliness. This notion of the paramount important of cleanness in winemaking is inculcated at every stage in every wine course. No wonder wine professionals believe there are strict lines in the sand. On one side of the line are […]

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