with Ted Sandbach - May 2013
Those of you who follow cricket will know that England fast bowler Steve Finn batted for five hours to help England achieve a draw in the first test against New Zealand. What you won't know is that he was bribed by his captain Alastair Cook to the tune of four cases decent wine if he batted through until tea. The tension mounted as Finn played and missed on numerous occasions but the wine was finally secured. Cook said he was happy to honour the bet and said he would consider similar bribes in the future. He said: “Bribing Steven seemed to work, so maybe we can apply that again. He gets well-rewarded for his efforts today." Finn apparently wants the wine delivered in England rather than overindulge on tour - I await the order!!
Pinot Noir is the Holy Grail for wine lovers. This classic Burgundian grape produces some of the finest wine in the world and as with our wine guru Theo Sloot it is my favourite red. The problem is I cannot afford it!! Cheap Burgundy is dreadful and you have to pay in excess of £40 to get anything reasonable and even then it can be a complete lottery. So where else should you look? New Zealand produces very good Pinot especially from Otago and Martinborough. Oregon and Washington State have some crackers and California can produce good wines too but again they are expensive. So where else? Chile is good value and the wines are improving rapidly and Romania is being touted as another area for the future. But I think German Pinot Noir (known as Spatburgunder) is something you should not dismiss. In a blind tasting recently an example showed really well compared with a Beaune 1er Cru and it was half the price (though still £20!) I am keen to learn more about German Pinot so will do some research. Sometimes I just hate this job!!
Please do not be tempted with promises of high returns from wine investment companies. There are some reputable companies in the marketplace but many offer poor advice with overinflated promises. Some firms do not explain the risks or detail when making these investments, many of which are unsuitable for certain investors. Rick Ealing, head of investment solutions at Sanlan UK says, “Bottles of wine are not investments. Investments are supposed to earn you money and yet wine pays you no dividends, interest or rent. In fact it has heavy storage costs. People expect investments to grow over time but all wine eventually peaks and decays. You are at risk of counterfeiting, theft and fire. You will in fact enjoy very few protections offered to investors in regulated funds."
Chateau Margaux is bringing out a third wine this year to follow its second wine label Pavillon Rouge. These second or third wines from top Chateau often represent excellent value for money being made in a similar fashion often from younger vines or from less successful plots. However they bear the pedigree of the master Chateau who will not release rubbish and the prices are considerably more attractive!!