# Wine of the Month : February

February 11, 2015
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This month, 2 wines: Both in tier 1! Enrico Serafino Barbera D’Asti 2011 Piedmont, Italy For us, this is the most interesting sub-¥150 wine in Shanghai. Big Statement? Well, it is more refined and interesting than anything costing ¥40 to ¥60 more, from both the old and new world. Astonishing quality at an astonishing price […]

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2011 Wine Region of the Year: Rioja

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glorious news…about time this region got attention…relevant to us in Shanghai, with so many over-hyped, over-priced French wines. …commentators spotting the values in Italy & Spain and calling it.

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2012 Wine Region of the Year: Ribera del Duero

April 7, 2013
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Brilliant. 2 years running a Spanish Region takes the crown. Find out why and is anyone else paying attention. How long can we keep banging on about Spain’s value and quality before someone starts to take proper notice.

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About Us: Consultation Visits

May 14, 2016
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This service will appeal to clients expecting a budget in the region of upwards of ¥50,000.

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Basic Wine Guide : Infographic

April 3, 2017
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Here is a clear simple and pretty well thought out infographic that covers all the major spectra in wine differentiation. by madelinep.  

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Blind Tastings: an objection to a subjective view: redux

August 26, 2016
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For the most part, groups often displayed elements of disharmony, brought about by some perceived skill and knowledge disparity. Rather than an open, exploratory forum fostering growth; simplistic, defensive positions often arose. In short, attendees felt unsettled during the experience and I had no desire to be in a room full of people who either didn’t want to be there or who wanted to crow louder than anyone else

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Christmas Future at Present

October 30, 2013
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I know it’s early to mention this but Christmas preparation comes early for expats. To help make sure customers are aware of the values around the world for this years upcoming Christmas Dinner (and the like), here’s a little guide to just that. What you eat in a Christmas meal tends to be very flavoursome. […]

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Taste Test Report: #2 c/w updates

October 18, 2015
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 This time; some pleasant surprises and 2 disappointingly faulty wines. Zut alors!An interesting theme concerning poor label design emerged, so the wine simply must have been better than that (?). No entries were blind tested. Read my views on that pseudo-science here. All wines were paid for, including all taxes. No other agent was involved […]

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Taste Test: #1 revisited & updated

September 18, 2015
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This is the first of a series of reports into the latest wines tasted and (more importantly) tested.

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Taste Test: #3 : revisited with updates

November 17, 2015
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Here is the third instalment of a series of reports into the latest wines tasted and (more importantly) tested. No other agent was involved in our choices or tastings or opinions, nor have they been sought. We don’t care what our suppliers want us to write. Some wines we don’t even sell! But we’d like to mention them anyway for general interest, plus for current and future reference. We are always looking to add value to what we do by building a better picture.

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Taste Test: #4 : revisited

December 6, 2015
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Over time, as these articles emerge, common threads start to emerge within posts. In this one noticing noticing the poor labels or unimpressive glassware that belie gorgeous wines inside recurs. Judging the book by its cover? Again and again. Over and over. Year in: Year out. Can’t help it. Its what we all try not […]

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Taste Test: #5

January 24, 2016
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A theme always seems to pop up whenever we collate one of these taste tests. This time we did seem to be drinking a lot of wines that are un-trendy, maybe with negative associations, some justified; some errant. Pity, as they did come across rather nicely, but sometimes good things really don’t control their own […]

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Taste Test: #6:

March 4, 2016
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There’s a tendency in complex, intelligent human brains (and in our tasting sessions) to try predict what a wine might taste like even before we even open it. We all do it. All of us. Even you. Always have; always will. That guesswork can have profound influences on expectations, being based on subjective issues like […]

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Why we love Italy

July 19, 2016
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Italy has it all. Variety In wine terms, few countries offer the vast range and sheer variety as Italy. Its versatility seems boundless. As does the romance, the variety of styles, the integrity and innovation. Others do come close. I mean France is pretty diverse too, perhaps more-so. But French wines come with a caveat […]

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Wineducation: Beginner’s Guide to Wine: An Infographic

November 7, 2016
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Here’s an infographic we found. It’s a little bit ‘hit and miss’, but worth a look. To be honest, we don’t see no value at all in the ‘colouring’ area of the chart, given that Malbec is certainly about as far from being Pink as can be imagined…and personally think the glass shape issue is […]

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Wineducation: Biodynamic & Organic wine

March 22, 2012
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Introducing the healthy pleasures of Organic wines. If you look for the ‘green in the red’, as it were; understanding that wine is largely natural, less due to the operating framework of commercial globalization, then it’s a short hop to the biodynamic & organic wine world paradigm…

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Wineducation: Changing styles

March 16, 2012
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…the fact that more people are drinking more wine more regularly (and maybe even more importantly), on its own, without considering its interaction with or matching it to food.

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Wineducation: Choosing Wine (with a little less science)…

September 18, 2012
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As I pointed out in my 5 part series on choosing wine last year, many people are intimidated by having to choose a wine, even before the issues of fakes, dubious provenance, poor handling, etc. I branded it the ‘Wine field’. Here are some further guidance, food paring ideas and suggestions related closely to the contemporary Shanghai experience.

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Wineducation: Choosing Wine 1: Know Thyself

November 11, 2011
Who is your inner voice?

How do you choose wine? It’s not an exact science but sciences are involved. Psychology, chemistry, anatomy, physics are at play and you are the architect: “You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” Abraham Maslow

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Wineducation: Choosing Wine 2: Presentation Matters

November 25, 2011
looks very nice

When one considers the numbers of wines to choose from, perhaps with no knowledgeable guide around to help, its easy to see how many can come to feel uncomfortable about the guesswork involved. Indeed, a conundrum, so marked, has developed, which fuels in many consumers, negatively charged notions about wine being either unknowable, somehow misleading, or at best, infuriatingly confusing.

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Wineducation: Choosing Wine 3: What is it?

December 2, 2011
Should it be made simple?

Wine is the product of sun, soil & hope, held together by water; with the power to dazzle our senses & move us to other places. Grapes grow on vines & ripen under the sun. They are squeezed of their juice, fermented to produce an alcoholic liquid which is enjoyed all over the world. It all sounds quite simple really.

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Wineducation: Choosing Wine 4: Your ‘Wine Type’

December 6, 2011
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A bit of science: We contain chemicals. Wine contains chemicals. There will be a ‘reaction’. The outcome of that reaction will vary according to the particular prevailing conditions at the time. We all aim for a reaction that’s rewarding, pleasant. But it can go awry. Why? Body Chemistry is one part of the equation.

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Wineducation: Choosing Wine 5: Price

January 15, 2012
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Phrases have sprung up that give indications as to a wine’s taste that can help to navigate the ‘wine field’. The tier system is our first step based on The Wine Man’s experiences & conclusions about how the majority of people make that purchasing decision: Price.

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Wineducation: Driven to Tiers: our hierarchy explained

January 22, 2013
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…while Price can reflect Quality, it is more often a function of the cost of production and the ease of supply. Over time high end wineries build reputations that help establish them at the pinnacle of price demand. This is where hype and marketing can blur the edges of reason.

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Wineducation: Exploring Wine

March 26, 2013
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How best could one grow one’s knowledge base, around the world of wine (if starting from scratch). Here’s a mix of various practical & intellectual threads; online and ‘hands-on’. Pucker up &bottoms up, as it were. You can follow any gourd that fits the purpose. “Well I say, he is The Messiah: And I should know, I’ve followed a few.” (Monty Python).

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Wineducation: France’s Vini-Factoid-graphics: An Infographic

April 10, 2017
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A fascinating infographic that informs as it amazes as it shocks! The Tour de France not to pass near Bordeaux or Rhone in the centenary year!? Mon Dieux! Pour De France – Some Corking Facts About French Wine infographic  

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Wineducation: Paradigm Shift Surprises Own Palate

March 23, 2014
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Why, as much as what There comes a time in everyone’s year (or other relevant time-period), when it’s important to look at initiating better personal experiences. Put another way: a means of attaining better prospects, and rewards. Recently, yours truly re-set one such paradigm at home, on his own palate. Without labouring the point but […]

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Wineducation: Party Wines 1: sparkling

March 13, 2012
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Sparkles cause parties to smile. Bubbles bring on the cohesion. Fizz gets the crowd going. At a gathering of friends, Sparkling Wine is the way to go to get that special feeling going quickly. And it need not cost the Earth.

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