Wine column

Best journalism books (10/11/2021)

BookAuthority Best Journalism Books of All Time

I’m happy to announce that my book MOJO The Mobile Journalism Handbook: How to Make Broadcast Videos with an iPhone or iPad, co-written with Dr Ivo Burum, made it to BookAuthority’s Best Journalism Books of All Time.

BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world. It is a great honour to get this kind of recognition. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.

An experiment (5/28/2021)

Buy Me a Coffee at

Wine tasting and rain (5/22/2021)

Life seemed to return to normal for my first London wine tasting in more than a year on 21 May 2021: Delays on the Northern line, spring rain and a bitterly-cold day with gusts of 40mph.

The sense of anticipation was palpable. A chance to watch Surrey versus Middlesex at The Oval while tasting the 27th annual Chianti Classico collection. But rain stopped play for the entire session.

Our tasting was in the India room. Each group was allocated two hours to taste 181 wines. A daunting task. Almost as daunting as the weather through the window.

Cricket “tragics”, mostly badly-dressed older men in scarves and wind-cheaters, looked wistful as they ambled around the ground. The consolations for these lost sheep were warm beer in plastic mugs, and a big screen showing highlights in the gloom.

Inside, the Italian sommeliers who brought the wine dressed far more snappily. This year’s tasting involved a different format. We sat at individual tables and masked somms brought six tastes at a time. I managed to sample 40 of the 181.

It was much more pleasant tasting wine seated instead of the usual standing-room struggle. But the process, because of Covid precautions, was slow.

Similar tastings have already been held in Florence, Chicago and New York, with Munich later this month and and Tokyo next month.

At the end after all the young tannic reds I discovered a 2001 vin santo, a divine creation that helped me forget the weather, the delays and the washed-out cricket. Read more about vin santo here. It was good to be back.

Clever but expensive (5/7/2021)

Here is an unusual way to market wine: Send it into space. A bottle of 2000 vintage Pétrus that spent 14 months on the International Space Station is being auctioned at Christies in May 2021. Estimated selling price is about USD one million, well above the typical price of USD 6,000 for that vintage. Seems like a good margin until you note that travel costs far exceed profits. More here.

Spaced out wine? (3/26/2021)

This is a fascinating story about how bottles of French wine tasted after spending a year in space.

Release of Atomos wines (3/26/2021)

Stefano and Maria Di Nisio have released two special wines known as Atomos. The entrepreneurs and winemakers said they focus on a unique process of destemming. Each berry is meticulously harvested using a three-fingers method which means only the best berries are chosen. It also means only a few hundred bottles are produced each year.

Because of the wine’s acidity and tannins Atomos can be cellared for more than 30 years, assuming they are stored in ideal conditions, Stefano said.

Atomos is based in Abruzzo in central Italy. The red is made from 100 per cent Montepulciano and the white entirely from Trebbiano. Vines are up to 65 years old.

Stefano Di Nisio, from Abruzzo, met Maria Kalafati from Athens while at university in 1994. While visiting Maria’s relatives in Crete in 2010 Stefano noticed three old ladies destemming grapes by hand to make the famous sweet-dry wine sultanina. The berries tasted amazing compared with machine-harvested grapes, Stefano said. This revelation was the origin of the Atomos three-finger process.

Maria and Stefano worked on the project with their friend Giorgos Kolliopoulos, founder of the luxury olive oil, Lambda.

Find out more about Atomos in this video: 

Disclaimer: Stephen Quinn received a bottle of the red to taste as part of this article.

A couple of awards (10/27/2020)

My feature screenplay Art of Revenge won first prize for best dark comedy at the Grim North screenplay festival last December. My short film My Plastic Friend, which I wrote, filmed, directed and edited, was shortlisted for the Mobile Got Talent film festival in July 2020.

Why so expensive? (8/13/2020)

I am keen to buy the Sony A7S Mark III camera. It costs GBP 3,799 in the UK.

Yet the same camera sells for USD 3,499 which converts to £2,640. And in Hong Kong the retail price is HKD 27,000 which converts to £2,668.

A difference between the UK and US/HK of more than £1,100 for the same camera! Why is it so much more expensive in the UK?

Nice to win an award (9/19/2019)

I was one of three writers shortlisted for a prize by Hungarian


Video from Asolo, Italy (7/14/2019)

Something different this week: A video instead of 1,000 words. This video shows the beauty of the Asolo wine region in Italy, north-west of Venice:

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