Talking Wine – March 2018

Those of you who read this column on a regular basis will know that I am not keen on celebrities owning Vineyards unless they really do know what they are doing and are going to get involved in the hard work and toil that the project will demand. However perhaps I feel less strongly having read that Sir Ian Botham is going to get involved in creating his own brands at 3 different price points. He will not own the properties but will help select wines based on his contacts and experiences in this field. Unlike many celebrities Sir Ian does actually know quite a bit about wine , learnt during his many cricket tours abroad to wine producing countries such as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. He is already in collaboration with Geoff Merrill (Aussie winemaker) and Bob Willis (ex cricketer) having created the BMW brand and will bring his experience to ensuring that the various quality levels reach more that acceptable levels. I wish him luck and look forward to see the wines he selects especially at the mid and higher price points

I have just read about a man seriously injured when a champagne bottle exploded whilst resting between his legs ! The explosion severed an artery and there are no reports about damage to his tackle. Whilst a cork explodes out of a bottle at 50 mph and can cause serious injury rarely does a bottle explode and this is almost certainly down to a weakness in the glass. The pressure in a bottle is 90 lbs per square inch – more than a car tyre – and we once had to replace a Nebuchadnezzar (20 bottles) which exploded in a pub – thankfully at night! There might be a lesson here.

A bottle of Japanese Yamazaki 50 year old single malt fetched a new record price at a recent auction in Hong Kong. It sold for £209,000 – twice the estimate and reflects the current whisky market. Interestingly a whisky investment fund has just been set up by a Swedish businessman, similar to many Bordeaux investment companies – some legitimate, some not ! Again be cautious but rare whisky could well form part of your retirement plan if you take advice and start early.