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Richard Siddle blog Sepbember

Published:  05 September, 2010

I am not normally one for taking the day job with me on holiday. The idea of a wine-based novel is a bit too close to home, but this year was different.

On my last day in the office a new book arrived on my desk by a certain David Smith, ex-ITN and Channel 4 foreign affairs correspondent, and his story of not only covering wars around the world but his new life starting a winery in Argentina.

This looked a bit different. A book about an intrepid journalist with a bit of wine thrown in for good measure. A few days in the company of Mr Smith takes you behind the scenes of many global events of the past 20 years, and is also by far the most inspiring book around wine I have read.

Smith's memoirs take you back to those innocent days before you even knew there was such a thing as a wine trade and all the nuances that go with it. Never mind someone setting out to be a wine producer with no experience at all.

His story is everything you read on the back of book covers. Inspirational, rewarding, unputdownable. It makes you appreciate, all over again, what a special world the business of wine is. Something we can all lose sight of in the daily rigours of working life.

Holidays are partly about recharging the batteries for the work battles ahead. At least that is how it feels for me. David Smith's book Dream On is not out until the end of September (published by Quartet Books) but I urge you to recharge your own batteries and get a copy.

You may not pick up on all the journalist references, but his foray into wine via the WSET, generic wine tastings, wine exams, winery visits press trips and the thrill of discovering a whole new world will take you down a lovely memory lane.

It demonstrates that it is not always the tasting and drinking of wine that is the most rewarding, but through your own personal development and education that comes through the written word. David Smith's personal wine journey is a good one to go on wherever you are off to next.