The Words You Use Make a Difference

Brianne Day had some feedback about the women in wine article she featured in. A man emailed to admonish her for using coarse language (‘sucking dick’). He put it in the nicest possible way while reassuring her it had nothing to do with gender.

Brianne’s response, I think, is important as it highlights how difficult it is for some people to grasp the essence of the argument.

It’s quoted in full…

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The Trouble With Amari

It was supposed to be an introduction to aromaticed wines as digestifs. But it quickly got complicated, trying to negotiate the shifting sands of distinctions and categorizations. Read how it worked out here.



Why I Needed to Interview This Man

elijah_hasan_2016_abbeycreek_0010Interviewing Bertony Faustin, a winemaker who happens to be black, there was a moment when I thought how dumb this is that I am interviewing a man just because he is black. It was like being a kid when you cut through the adult bullshit and question the core suppositions and supposed logic of their world with a simple question. But then the frustrating answer: because it’s more complicated.

And obviously it’s more complicated. There are only a handful of black winemakers in Oregon – and there is a history why that is the case to do with racism and power. Innocence maybe applauded but isn’t always a virtue in the messy and sticky world we have created.

Should be enough for the weekend…


There’s a 1995 Poco do Lobo from Caves S Joao in there. Needed time to open, but then it wasn’t taking prisoners. Acid as bright as the sun, oodles of citrus with a high five of minerality. Great mouth texture and a finish almost as long as War and Peace. It did require a fish dish to do it justice.




Sometimes You Don’t Want to Go Off Piste Without an Expert

I’d interviewed Brent Braun, wine director at Castagna, and was supposed to meet up with him to sample a bottle as part of the article I was writing (this one here). Except that our days crossed and I made the visit without a wine expert-in-charge. Still, he’d told me about the Rieslings that he liked to collect on his list, so all I had to do (I thought) was pick one. And I’ll admit I was pleasantly dazzled by the choice…

Continue reading “Sometimes You Don’t Want to Go Off Piste Without an Expert”

Gamay v Gamay

Gamay throw down between Beaujolais and Oregon (hosted by Feast and Inter Beaujolais). Great wines and reminder what a versatile grape it is. Evening Land’s Seven Springs Estate was incredible, with red fruit shot through with a citrus freshness it seemed at first as though it was at the wrong tasting.

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