Harpers Blogs

  • Naked wines

    A Majestic State of Nakedness

    A short blog reviewing the surprising news which saw Majestic acquire Naked Wines

  • Cape Mentelle

    Taste Test - A Cape Mentelle Double Act

    A review of the Sauvignon/Semillon 2014 and the Cabernet/Merlot 2013

  • Richard Siddle

    Harpers Wine without Siddle is like Top Gear without Clarkson

    Like many people, I was taken by complete surprise on Friday when the announcement came that Richard Siddle was leaving Harpers. When I read the news I felt like someone had just punched me in the stomach; I genuinely felt sick; and I felt I’d lost a true colleague and friend.

  • Happy Tampon

    Tampon tax – are you pulling my plonker?

    There’s no need to ask anyone in the drinks industry whether or not they’re fed up with the excessive tax on alcoholic beverages; this is a given! But ‘tampon tax’, really? Are you serious?

  • Asset Class

    Why is wine investment financially perilous?

    I have long argued that wine investment is nothing more than high risk speculation, and I am on record for questioning the risk versus return of this asset class. In response, Wine Investment insiders are not shy in voicing their disdain and contempt for my views. In their words “to say wine investment is not safe is naive beyond belief”. So who is right?

  • Wine Investment

    Myth: Wine investment is safe

    Truth: The wine investment industry want you to believe this, after all it’s in their financial interest that you buy into this belief, but try telling this to the clients that lost huge amounts of money in this unregulated market.

  • Wine Investment

    Ten dumb things to invest your money in

    Wine investment must surely be the dumbest of all things to risk your money on. But where does it stand in the top ten dumb things to bet on; where you’re sure to lose your money? Stephen Forward reveals his top ten dumb investment tips.

  • Discover Rhone: Meeting Producers & Making Contacts

    Though the Chapoutiers had their beginnings in Tain. Michel was quick to recognize the importance of the terroir – and eager to stop selling it to Guigal and put his own name on the label. Even more important, he wanted the wine he made to reflect the terroir, not any “style” of winemaking. So at the age of 24 in 1990 he was able to get a majority share in the family winery and the rest is history, with Michel owning vineyards in many places in France and the world.

  • C:\Users\mdvari\Desktop\beaumont

    The Beaumont: Very Hip New Hotel For Winelovers in London

    Like their collection of boutique restaurants, this hotel also has a theme - it is meant to evoke the elegance and personalized hospitality of pre-war Mayfair. Though I wasn’t around during that era, the hotel is extremely elegant and also extremely personalized. In some ways, one feels as if one is stepping inside a Merchant Ivory film. The uniforms are very evocative of some past era, and the gorgeously decorated interior is filled with pictures that seem to have captured the “popular” ...

  • Discovering the region of Castilla-La Mancha

    The quality of the wines were all very good, and well balanced. The labels were also interesting to behold, as some reflected the traditional Spanish label, while others were almost new wave, designed to stand out on a supermarket shelf.

  • C:\Users\mdvari\Desktop\FullSizeRender

    Meeting George Spiliadis of Cava Siliadis

    We sampled five wines from the Cava Spiliadis Portfolio from the very best producers in Greece, beginning with the Amalia Brut NV sparkler from winemaker Giannis Tselpos, composed of 100% Moschofilero, an increasingly popular Greek Grape from the Peloponnese with vineyards at an altitude of 750 meters with mountainous sand clay soil. The wine was quite crisp and refreshing, with intense minerality and perfect for any occasion. That night they paired excellently with oysters.

  • Questionable investments

    Enjoy the Crowd Funded party, it may be short-lived

    I hate February with all my heart. And it’s not just because it’s that miserable time of year that I have my annual bath. Nor is it solely down to the fact that I have the charisma, predominantly, of an Ogre intent on spoiling a party.

  • JSC

    The 11th Commandment – Don’t offend wine critics

    I found out recently that in the world of journalism it’s apparently OK to mock the prophet Mohammad, but offending a Wine Critic is just one step too far.

  • Vinopolis

    Tim Atkin called Vinopolis a ‘failure’, but is he right and is that fair?

    Those of the more fortunate readers amongst you who can cough up the annual Harpers Wine mag subscription fee were treated this month to Tim Atkin’s take on the imminent closure of London’s Vinopolis. But is his critique a fair reflection of the state of affairs at London’s premier wine venue?

  • boots

    Stop taking the pessina, Boots

    It doesn't matter how much you try, you can’t polish a turd. At least that was the lesson this week for the poor old sods that work at Boots as they embarked on damage limitation following an almighty foul-up at the High Street pharmacy chain.

  • bottles perfume and wine

    Smell of EX-cess

    What could the wine industry learn from the perfume one?

  • Majestic

    Please Sir, I want some more?

    I've heard it all this week. It turns out that Majestic wine, of all companies, has done an Oliver Twist. They've colluded with a bunch of other apparently destitute wine merchants by writing an open letter begging their Bordeaux suppliers; asking: Please Sir, I want some more?

  • A&E

    Competitive advantage through customer experience

    News emerged this week that A&E waiting times in the UK have reached record levels. This is bad news on several fronts but, if my family are anything to go by, the A&E crisis may be partially attributable to the nation’s deteriorating cooking skills.

  • Maryhill Winery Amphitheatre

    A real glass act

    Show me a real man that doesn't like a bit of willie and I’ll show you a squirrel that doesn't like nuts!

  • Bordeaux should resist calls

    Why Bordeaux producers should resist calls to ‘reduce’ their 2014 prices

    Wine investors have been bitching about Bordeaux release prices for the last few years. According to investors, for the 2014 release, “The pressure will be on the producers to get their prices right”. But what is the ‘right price’ and in whose interest is this ’right price’?

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Assessing Medoc blind

En Primeur: Bordeaux 2014 is a classicist’s delight

21 Apr 2015 | By Panos Kakaviatos

Based on barrel tastings, 2014 is a welcome vintage after two terribly average years (2011, a slightly better 2012) and one downright ugly (2013, except for the whites).It may remind old timers of 1975. After three mediocre vintages, finally something good came.

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Gilbert Winfield

Gilbert Winfield AIWS, BSc

13 Aug 2014 | By Gilbert Winfield

I am a very experienced wine professional specializing in wine tasting presentation, wine writing, judging, and education. I have worked in wine for a long time in France, and briefly in Italy, and I now manage wine events, some educational, some more frivolous, all professionally organized. I’m a WSET Diploma holder, judge on the International Wine Challenge, a member of the Association of Wine Educators and the Circle of Wine Writers. Despite all this, my sense of humour remains as ...

Tori Hayes

Victoria Hayes | Sales Manager for Cruise

10 Jun 2014 | By Victoria Hayes

My interest in wine began as a naughty child stealing sips of wine from my parents’ glasses but really blossomed as the Sales Manager for a prestige nightclub in Chester. Selling everything from Vintage Dom Perignon to Barefoot Rose, I was determined to know more and try more than anyone else. Beginning my WSET training with a distinction and continuing now with the total certainty of being a Master one day soon.

John Barfield

John Barfield | Millenial Wineman

19 May 2014 | By Millennial_Wineman

Turned passion into profession without looking back. I’ve now been part of the UK wine industry since 2012 account managing private clients wine requirements. Outside of my job role my employer has sponsored me to complete my WSET diploma by 2016.

Stephen Forward

Stephen Forward | Essentially Wine

15 Apr 2014 | By Stephen Forward

Founder and owner of Essentially Wine Ltd established in 2004, and specializing in importing and retailing fine wines from small producers. Prior to that I spent 20 years in the IT industry, the last 13 or so living and working in Switzerland running a computer services company.

Karl Walton

Karl Walton | Hennings Wine Merchants

28 Oct 2013 | By Karl Walton

Growing up in a North-West council house with an outside toilet and a coal-shed rather than a wine cellar and a Mother and Father who, with the exception of Christmas never touched a drop of alcohol I was hardly destined for a career in the wine industry.

Richard Saxton

Richard Saxton | The Graped Crusader

28 Oct 2013 | By Richard Saxton

Richard is a wine blogger and writer who writes for a number of publications including Birmingham Post, Browse Bullring and Find Wine as well as for his own website and blog at www.thegrapedcrusader.co.uk.

Marisa D'Vari

Marisa D'Vari | A Wine Story

25 Oct 2013 | By Marisa D'Vari

An international wine judge. (IWC, IWSC) and fine wine writer (London’s FT, Meininger’s Wine Business International, South China Morning Post, SF Chronicle, and many others), D’Vari is also a candidate in the Institute of Master of Wine’s educational program.

Lisa Johnston

Lisa Johnston | Wine Muse

10 Oct 2013 | By Lisa Johnston

Lisa Johnston is a wine educator, writer and wine business consultant who has a fascination for wine - in the vineyard, in the bottle and in the glass. An avid traveller, her plan is to visit every wine region in the world. On her blog, she shares the best finds and thanks to the ever changing nature of the subject at hand - this may take a very very long time. See more of Lisa’s work on

Athila Roos

Athila Roos | Head Sommelier

10 Oct 2013 | By Athila Roos

Athila Roos originally came from a Marketing and Advertising background in his home city of Sao Paulo. Having settled in London in 2005, his interest in wine really took off when he started at Bibendum Wine where he managed a tasting club, got his accreditations from WSET and headed an internal marketing campaign which led the company to win the “International Wine Challenge Corporate Social Responsibility 2010” and “The Drinks Business UK Green Company of the Year”. In 2009 he became ...

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18 Feb 2015

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