Why Big Red Diary?

Random Ruminations

For a while I’ve thought that there was something missing from my monthly subscriber reports – eventually I worked out what it was – something to tie together the often, seemingly, disparate parts of the report. Indeed I thought some manner of explanation might also be of value.

I’ll keep it short for this first one, but there are a couple of things that I’d really like to mention:

My March Explanation!
You might be forgiven for thinking I’m pretty useless as a critic, because almost whoever I visit, whether in Vosne or in Mâcon, I seem to always like the wines – well I can answer this in 2 ways!

  • Firstly, there has always been some method in my approach: basically I always try to avoid visiting domaines where I know I won’t like the wines – just occasionally I fail, but generally I have a good bunch of friendly winemakers who are very helpful in pointing out the good and the bad!
  • Secondly, there is something of a strategy afoot when visiting ‘strange places’ – i.e. ones outside the Côte d’Or. I’m a firm believer that you have to keep on visiting a region, over and over again, to gradually build up a useful picture of who, what and where to visit. For instance in the last 18 months I’ve been a frequent visitor to the Chablis, Chalonnaise and Mâconnais regions. In each I’ve started small with a core group whose wines I already know, or who have been successful already in tastings. I based my first trips in each of the above regions on visiting the wineries who featured in the BIVB’s last published ‘cave prestige’ – i.e the winners of blind tastings. Or alternatively the BIVB put together some blind tastings just for me, and then afterwards I made a list of the domaines I wanted to see. That was my starting point, and I think you’ll see that each time I visit, I’m augmenting that core group of vignerons and looking in new corners. It seems to be working – at least from my perspective…

So I may well still be useless as a critic, but I still try to visit only the good places!

Alerts for subscribers
Some subscribers have mentioned to me that, despite new reports always being published at the end of the following month and me tweeting as much, when they were online, they are too busy to keep an eye out for tweets – even mine! So they would prefer an email alert when a new ‘issue’ comes online. Unless I get an overwhelming ‘please don’t do that’ from you all, I’m planning to start doing that from next month – the April issue.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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