News, musings and updates from the world of wine. All opinions my own.



Les Deux Guillaumes meet Rockford Basket Press Shiraz

The garage at Old Stack Yard has recently been converted from a dumping space (bikes, golf clubs, scooters, tents, 100 tins of used paint and Guillaume le Grand’s modest wine collection) into a bar. It’s a heath robinson affair made from some old pallets, some planks of wood and a

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What would Pangloss say?

In his famous and influential mid-18th century book “Candide” the French satirist Voltaire rips into the ruling classes of his society and the commonly held beliefs of the time by following the title character around the globe on an extraordinarily gruesome and fantastical roller-coaster ride.  The naive Candide blunders from

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Brands – The Power of Love

When I was tasting (drinking) an old bottle of Pewsey Vale Riesling the other day I did start to wonder why some brands are held with more affection than others. For the lucky ones who are fans of Pewsey there’s often a great connection to the wine. Why should that

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Grocery Insider podcast – Simon is interviewed!

This week I was interviewed by Hamish Renton for the Grocery Insider podcast. Click on the link to hear the whole interview. It covers aspects of wine business from the current coronavirus crisis to some thoughts on winners and losers in the next 18 months. If you think your business

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Pewsey Vale Contours 2004

It’s a sign of the affection with which Pewsey Vale is held in the Yalumba/Hill Smith/Negociants business that, a few years ago, uproar was caused by the wine being taken off the staff sale list in order to preserve stock for customers. A small harvest and the usual high demand

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Two very different New World Cabernets

This weekend the Thorpe family enjoyed a comparative tasting of two rather brilliant but quite different new world Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wines from very well established vineyards in relatively cool regions of the New World: Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec 2013 and Dumol Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014.

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A decade in the supermarkets

What has changed in the wine aisles from 2010 to 2020? We are still within the first quarter of the first year of a new decade, and it seems, whilst the whole world takes stock of the impact of the coronavirus, like a good time to take stock and reflect

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The importance of mentors and continual improvements

As we progress through our careers there are undoubtedly some specific people who we either work with or for who have a notable impact on our values and the way we go about doing business. Despite the fact that careers are seldom linear, predictable and able to be planned in

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