Wine writers' ethics were under the spotlight in 2012, and seem likely to remain so indefinitely: see my blog column on May 14th 2012: Princes, Princesses and Paupers.
As I wrote there, "objectivity and ethical conduct in wine-writing are, in any strict sense, illusory."
I haven't been able to write about whisky since leaving the UK in 2008 - but the part of the UK I miss most is Scotland, and each time I get the chance to down an Islay malt brings the memories drifting back. It's hard for me to dissociate place and flavour, so intimately are the two bonded in my experience - but does the former really have a hand in creating the latter, or is this marriage the result of a long suite of historical chances?
I will get the chance to revisit this topic on January 30th. If you can get yourself to Bloomsbury, you can help tease it out, too.
Smashed glass, pigeon feathers, guano:
every man in his palace,
We, the creedless, peer through the mist,
share love and doubt,
trace the rumoured path.
Invisible energy, daemon,
even in settled lives:
She gave, he gave; they joined, in loss;
while the taker, alone,
The groaning of train couplings;
brakes hissing; oil, sticky, on the tracks:
The child's coffin -- that boat,
its tears, toys, songs, gone early
to the ocean.
This is a written version of the speech Andrew gave at the EWBC Digital Wine Communications Conference on November 9th in Izmir, Turkey.
I’m going to begin by talking about sources in general, and what ‘source’ might mean to those reporting from the multiple front lines of the wine world. Then I’ll get on to some practical matters concerning those of us who write about wine, which I guess is most of us. Then I’ll be quiet.
I will be helping tutor a web-based wine course on Bordeaux wines this autumn -- for the US-based French Wine Society. My good friend Matthew Stubbs MW, also based in the Languedoc, tutors for the same organisation. Other tutors for the Bordeaux course include Masters of Wine Fiona Morrison, and the convivial Charles Curtis, who I met recently in HK. If anyone is interested in the course, here is a link:
If you quote coupon code BXAJ, there is a 10% discount.
This is a transcript of the lecture Andrew gave to the Wine Communicators of Australia in Sydney on May 22nd 2012, in Melbourne on May 24th, in Adelaide on May 29th and in Perth on May 30th. An edited version appears in issue 36 of The World of Fine Wine.
The Mistral dropped away:
leaves pause, still being.
Autumn has lost its breath.
His teacher’s open gaze:
the salts of life
in osmosis. Time’s slow gift.
Father … my moon:
zany, snow-bright -- or absent.
Uncle: low Orion.
The ancient road:
a line on the land’s worn face …
so deep we walk unseen.
What have you done? Cold, still
in the dark drawer.
What music falls? What chaos?
Our son: cinema,
bag of sweets … learning
that darkness is alluring.
Bread is home. Grain, water,