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Showing posts from June, 2006

My Round: Richard Ehrlich cracks two cases of oenological obsession

Published: 25 June 2006 in The Independent on Sunday Who would choose to go into the wine business? By and large, it remains people who love wine. I've talked recently to two people working in very different areas of the wine industry, and both fit that description to a T. One is a Dutch wine enthusiast named David Bolomey, whose website ( ) I first learnt about from the excellent wine blog at . David hasn't yet made a penny from his arduous labours. But they have certainly paid off for us wine drinkers - or for those who like to buy the wines of Bordeaux en primeur. The 2005 vintage has attracted loads of enthusiastic comment from all the people who cover this area. How do you find out what they're saying, without buying every single publication where they're published? By going to David's website. He has assembled a list of the major estates with rankings from most leading commentators. Using a sy

Four big bottles from small suppliers - by Tim Atkin MW

Published: Sunday June 25, 2006 in The Observer When the email arrived, I wasn't sure what to make of an invitation from the Association of Small Direct Wine Merchants. Had a group of vertically challenged importers banded together to stand on each other's shoulders like some vinous circus act? Or were they just referring to the diminutive size of their businesses when set alongside mail-order giants like Laithwaites and The Wine Society? I was intrigued enough to go along to their first ever tasting. The ASDW was set up last year to protest against some of the anomalies in the 2003 Licensing Act and their effect on small businesses. The organisation has since grown from seven founders to 20 members and has expanded its remit to become a trade association with its own website ( and an appealingly amateurish newsletter, Grapestalk Most of the members are enthusiasts. By this, I don't mean the sort of people who bore you witless at parties about the Ch

ASDW's inaugural wine tasting

In June 2006, BRW participated in the first ASDW press tasting in London. It was well attended and we were pleased to met and spend considerable time with Steven Spurrier (who later emailed me with the kind words "congratulations on your selection") and other leading critics. We were fortunate to have been written up in the following weeks by Richard Ehrlich in the Independent on Sunday and, together with ASDW colleagues, by Tim Atkin MW in the Observer both on 25th June. Susie Barrie also featured one of our wines on Sunday Lunch Live. Other articles appeared later in the year.