When Wines, Grapes and Vines by Jancis Robinson MW first came out to great acclaim in 1986, it was a book of its time. It was important because the New World was turning the European model of terroir on its head and placing the emphasis on grape variety. Until then, as Wine Grapes puts it, ‘virtually all wine was named after the region, vineyard, village or property where it was grown’. Not surprisingly, this simple and successful form of marketing (for consumers) was frowned upon by the snooty French.
The Wine Gang Christmas Fair buzzed and hummed in London's Borough Market yesterday. After a sampling of Roederer's Cristal Champagne with Mark Blingly MW, Allegra Antinori, Javier Hidalgo and Serge Hochar strutted their stuff on the masterclass catwalk. Throughout the day, 600 tasters spat (mostly) their way through over 3,000 bottles under the giant Victorian brick arches of the newly refurbished Vinopolis.