Books, Maps, Magazines, Films even Podcasts!

cuvée magazine…

By billn on September 25, 2017 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

I bought this, because it’s about Chablis, and Chablis is my day-job! For €20 there’s virtually no advertising across Cuvée Magazine’s 120 pages of content, though the text is large and the pictures are page-filling. You could certainly buy a more in-depth book for that.

There is much about this magazine that reminds me of my dear and departed TONG. The concept seems very similar here; a premium-priced magazine with no advertising – or in Cuvée’s case, virtually no advertising. Where Cuvée differs, is that there seems just one writer/photographer behind this magazine – Épernay-based Stefanie Köhler. TONG had specialists/MWs for the writing though I was never sure about their images – but TONG’s was obviously a more expensive approach than the one taken by Stefanie’s Cuvée.

TONG lasted about 5-6 years in its hard-copy format before seemingly imploding / dying on the vine. I hope that Cuvée does a little better; some of the explanatory pieces are certainly bite-sized soundbites rather than offering much depth, but the domaine profiles – and there are 14 of them in this issue – are as good as you will find anywhere, as there is insight into the characters of the wine-makers themselves, not just their roots. I could complain that some of the tasting notes are too ‘adjectivey/flowery’ but others resonate.

I assume that, in the end, TONG failed because it couldn’t hold onto enough people willing to pay about €25 an issue – a premium price – with generalist content. Indeed, that was what finished me; I stopped subscribing after about 3 years as the content went further and further away from my zones of interest. I don’t know how long Cuvée/Stefanie can keep it up – Issue 1 was about Champagne, where Stefanie is based, and it seems that there is a ‘special’ in December about …Champagne – but it’s not issue number 3… I’m sure I will eventually understand what’s happening.

As a standalone issue, I would whole-heartily recommend this. And before people get on their high-horses about the price – it costs the same as a decent bottle of Chablis – which is 25% of the cost of a decent bottle of Burgundy these days! Just pay and enjoy…

mapping beaujolais

By billn on July 18, 2017 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

First published in 2015, I’m happy to have a full, physical, set of these useful maps – and you can now find them all – here online – courtesy (& of-course copyright!) of Inter Beaujolais; though I’m still prevaricating over having those physical versions framed – as it will cost well-over €1,000 to do them all!

I believe that these maps are an important first step in the improvement of both Beaujolais wine and therefore its the market too; they will breed interest in the detail, in knowledge of the subsoils and eventually they will help expand today’s standard cuvée formulas of Cru or Cru Vieilles-Vignes or even worse Cru Fût de Chênes to bring more ‘Cru Climat‘ labeling such as done for a long time by Château Thivin.

They are not just beautiful maps, they are important maps…

a new title…

By billn on March 20, 2017 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

Looks worth trying to get hold of a copy…

world of fine wine – two great articles…

By billn on September 14, 2015 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!


I get to see copies of World of Fine Wine relatively infrequently – probably less than half of those issues that are published. I’m not pushed to improve on this ratio, as I often struggle to find articles to suit my interests, but the current issue (48) has a couple of beauties.

  • First, a relatively short article by Michel Bettane about Guy Accad. Accad has always been something of a personal hero for me and somebody I’d love to meet. I know he was a great pioneer in the vineyards, but this is often forgotten in preference for discussing his approaches in the cuverie – these were and still are more controversial, despite such a large uptake of many of his ideas in modern winemaking. Bettane was working in Burgundy at the time of Accad – also something I learned – so has super insight. I should also commend the translation, as I think Bettane doesn’t speak or certainly write English to this level.
  • Second, is an article on geology and the naming of rock-types/timescales – Alex Maltman makes a potentially dreary subject come alive, indeed his writing resounds with (my!) interest. A bigger, feature article this, and really worthy of your time. Alex seems the type of teacher we all wish we’d had during our studies, as his throwaway references to diverse topics such as radioactive decay are clarions of clarity and ease of understanding…

PS An honourable mention should go to Jon Wyand’s critique of Johan Bergund’s new book of photographs. Real, constructive, interesting discussion from a professional perspective!

Book: Recipes from the French Wine Harvest

By billn on September 08, 2015 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

Rosie-HansonThis book has been waiting for more love than I had time for for, there were simply too many things to do, but now the timing seems perfectly appropriate as the home domaine is approaching mid-harvest.

Rosi, just in case you hadn’t made the connection, is clearly the better half of Anthony Hanson, author of what remains my Burgundy reference: ‘Burgundy’ was my companion for many years as I took to discovering some of this region’s many roads, always aided by Anthony’s text.

This book, a compendium of harvest recipes, is something of a Tour de France, though starts with both feet firmly in Burgundy. Actually, I didn’t realise until opening that this is the 20-year update, having first been published in 1995.

Anyway, I’m still wondering if some of these suggestions from the kitchens of Lafarge, Olivier Leflaive, Pamela & Aubert de Villaine, and Raveneau might make it to our harvest Paulée… 😉

Amazon link
Apple link

producer map of meursault-perrières…

By billn on June 17, 2015 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!


I’m really happy to have my hands on a copy of this.

Two weeks ago (maybe 3…), Laurent Gotti made a presentation in Beaune of some of the producers’ wines and discussed a little of the complex terroirs of Meursault Perrières – illustrated with this new map. The syndicate of Meursault producers were very happy to help Laurent produce the map, as the only other maps of this style are for much lowlier wines; Montrachet and the Clos de Vougeot!

If you want a copy of the map, it will cost you €19.90 from @laurentgotti – it’s worth it. Now a trip to the picture-framers…

‘museum-ification of wine’

By billn on December 16, 2014 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!#other sites

“Have ultrahigh prices distorted our understanding and enjoyment of wine?”

Well, have they?

I think so. I didn’t used to think and then re-think whether to open a bottle from, for instance, DRC 10-15 years ago. Today it is hard, because it’s not just great wine, it’s a new garage door or a fancy new refrigerator – or in some cases, even a new kitchen.

Good writing, and more importantly, thought-provoking writing, from Matt Kramer – he still has it

NYT – best winebooks of 2014(?)

By billn on December 05, 2014 #books, maps, magazines, films even podcasts!

I’m guessing that editorial deadlines didn’t leave space for Jon Wyand’s ‘A Year in Corton’ – or maybe because the prose is in French – but the words are only a minor part of this book; a pictorial view of the producers and vines of that famous hill. Worth more than an honourable mention I think 😉

Burgundy Report

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