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Natural History Part 4. ‘Voltaire’s Bastards’ On Reason and Nature

I noted with interest that a special 20th anniversary edition of John Ralston Saul’s jeremiad, ‘Voltaire’s Bastards’ had been released, a book that provoked in me a great deal of thought when I first read it, (ironically) almost twenty years ago. The tome is a sustained, agitated and sometimes aggressive tirade; a rant, an anatomy […]

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Communities philosophy Wine Articles Wine Suppliers

Natural History Part 3. The Opimian Falernian, One Wine to Rule Them All

  “In vino veritas, (in wine, truth)” ― Pliny the Elder As we approached the end of the second millennium, huge growth in wine production in some countries saw a sort of industrialization of grape growing, of the farming of grapes: hand picking, hand pruning, hand tending was out and mechanization, irrigation and the use […]

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Communities philosophy Wine Articles Wine Suppliers

Natural History -part 2. A Hegelian Dialectic

  “Nothing great in the world was accomplished without passion.” ― Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Consumer preferences in wine are a bit like hem-lines in the fashion industry, just as sure as they will rise, they will one day come back down again, for every action there is an opposing reaction. In fact, it seems […]

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Wine Gangs

  I have just returned from Vinexpo in Hong Kong, where I was invited by my friend and colleague Robert Joseph, (of Le Grand Noir Wines) to attend an insightful presentation he called, ‘The Future of Wine Has Changed’. His seminar and wine tasting looked at emerging trends through all levels of the wine industry, […]

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The Chardonnay Set

  The Chardonnay Set The Chardonnay grape variety is arguably the most famous white grape variety of them all; as Master of Wine Jancis Robinson recalls, during the last decades of the first millennium -when New World producers began putting grape varieties on the front labels of their wines, it was Chardonnay that made the […]

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The Best and Wurzt of Wines

    Gewurztraminer, few can pronounce it (Gee-Worse-tram-inner) and even when they can, it generally fails to inspire much excitement. A rather motley looking grey, rose coloured grape in the vineyard its wines are perfumed, spicy and highly aromatic. A controversial wine amongst critics, the legendary Christie’s wine auctioneer and Master of Wine, Michael Broadbent […]

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Jacob’s Ladder

‘And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon the place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold […]

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For the Love of Grenache

The winegrape variety known as Grenache has long been derided as common and somewhat ordinary: in Spain, (where it is called Garnacha) it was widely planted to make all manner of inexpensive wines: In France it was used merely to bulk up thin Burgundian wines in poor years and in Australia it was an unimportant […]

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Roasted Slopes

  The Wines of the Cote Rotie, (Roasted Hillside) on the sharp rising slopes at the Northern end of the Rhone Valley are some of the most seductive and alluring wines from all France and indeed the world. Elegant, yet richly concentrated and with characteristic roasted nuts, pan juices and mixed spice, they have a […]

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A Doctor in the House

A recent trip to Phnom Penh by my old McLaren Vale Vineyard manager, Adam Jacobs -now the owner of his own vineyard and wine label, Doc Adams wines- brought back a flood of memories of the many harvests we lived through together and the many wonderful wines we made. After first meeting in the wine […]