I have added a few wine courses to the page (here) and a few more reviews and references on the research page (here). There are also some tastings coming up which I hope to find time to write up (including one at an intriguing pop up bar and another in the Tower of London armoury). Often the venues are really interesting and wine has introduced me to some lovely, and sometimes strange, buildings. Recent forays to the Japanese Embassy were great in terms of the hospitality but the best thing was being able to see some of the paintings that live there. Lots of Sakura and Fuji in traditional and modern styles. The ‘Wish for recovery ‘ pictures from children expressing sympathy and solidarity following the earthquake that are displayed in the foyer are also well worth a look.
A recent private tasting with a bunch of collectors was interesting because the high values of some of bottles generally didn’t show when tasted. I am never sure how many private collectors are willing to pay the extra for good provenance or for storing their wines optimally. Some of the wines from the 80′s showed signs of poor storage and would not stand up to more recent (cheaper) vintages. I suspected at least one of being counterfeit but did not want to embarass the collector who enthused about it. It could be that a high percentage of investment wines are duds in terms of drinkability but as investment vehicles retain their momentum in terms of value. It’s a strange economic world as many in New York have been drawing attention to during demonstrations on Wall Street (pictured).
The local papers here are full of more counterfeit wine and spirits seizures. Scams exist at every level of the food, and wine, chain and it is always telling at which level the state chooses to focus its crime fighting resources. Crooked bankers and multinational fraudsters often seem to escape the scrutiny and sanctions that others find themselves under.