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Letters: Burgundy needs to look at the Diary

Published:  18 January, 2007

I read with dismay your report on Jancis Robinson MW's letter to Harpers (16 December, p.7) concerning the plethora of Burgundy tastings at the beginning of January. At a time when France needs all the vinous friends she can get, this kind of thoughtless planning is not helpful. It would appear that the crux of the problem is that some UK importers are completely ignoring that great and efficient institution The Wine Trade Diary (free to all users!), or they are using it with pointlessly short notice. I declared' our (daytime) Bouchard Pre & Fils tasting on 11 January to the Diary on 10 August 2005, and John Armit registered his (evening) tasting (also due to take place on 11 January) on 27 October 2005 - still plenty of notice and no clash with our event.

In light of Jancis's letter, I checked with the Diary this morning to see when the three other Burgundians had thrown their berets into the ring. One registered with the diary on 8 December, another on 9 December and the third could not be bothered to register at all. This really is self-defeating behaviour that does not further the cause of Burgundy and alienates the very people whom we are courting. Finally, I think that midweek tastings tend to attract a wider audience, but not when they arrive like a Number 14 bus!

Perhaps Sopexa/BIVB could step in to make sure that this kind of overkill does not occur in the future?

Yours etc,

Tim Stanley-Clarke