Most read

Most read

Pix – What Went Wrong? What Went Right? The Paul Mabray Interview

In the middle of 2021, US wine professionals learned of the launch of a new digital platform to stand alongside Vivino, WineSearcher and CellarTracker. The brainchild of wine-tech entrepreneur Paul Mabray, its aim was to help consumers find wines they already knew about, and to discover new ones. Part of the model involved the creation of high quality journalism in the shape of a platform called the Drop. Edited by Erica Duecy, previously of Vinepair and Felicity Carter, former editor of this publication, and with a range of illustrious contributors, it rapidly won recognition and praise from those who were aware of it. 

A year after its launch, following the failure to raise a third round of funding, after the earlier investment of $7m, despite recurring revenue of $600,000 that apparently exceeded initial projections, the Drop has effectively closed and Mabray is looking for partners to enable his business to achieve its objectives.

In this exclusive, lengthy interview, he answers some tough questions.

Reading time: 12m 38s

Devil's Advocate - When Jancis Robinson was a Wine Influencer

Instagrammers and influencers are supplanting traditional wine critics. Robert Joseph suggests that this is less of a novelty than some might suppose.

Reading time: 3m 15s

Devil's Advocate: Deep Dive Into Italy

A rather different column this week, about the extraordinary Vinitaly International Academy courses.

Reading time: 3m 30s

Champagne and Sparkling Wine – Booming US Sales

In 2021, thirsty US wine drinkers popped 69% more Champagne corks than the previous year. Some of that dramatic increase can be attributed to the impact of Covid on 2020, but sales are still growing and, as Sarah Philips McCartan reveals, France’s iconic fizz is not the only beneficiary of this trend.

Reading time: 5m

Spain: Time for a Rethink in Rioja?

The Rioja classification system has tradition and determines marketing. Ever cheaper Reservas, however, are causing criticism and fueling doubts about the traditional model. David Schwarzwälder reports.

Reading time: 6m 30s

Devil's Advocate - Family Values

The romantic image of a wine industry made up of small family-owned estates sometimes has to be set against the reality of hard economics.

Reading time: 3m 30s

Devil's Advocate - When is a Wine Not a Wine?

Supermarket shoppers are increasingly buying beverages in wine bottles that aren't legally wine. Robert Joseph wonders how much this matters.

Reading time: 3m 15s

Culinary Excellence in Düsseldorf

From hip wine bars to authentic Japanese and creative modern gastronomy, it's all on offer in Dusseldorf. You just have to know where to look. Wolfgang Fassbender offers an insider's handy ProWein guide.

Reading time: 9m 15s 

Devil's Advocate - When Not to Keep Quiet

When you are served a faulty bottle of wine at a professional event, should you say something? Or remain politely silent? Robert Joseph shares his experience of making the wrong decision.

Reading time: 4m

Prosecco: Walking a Tightrope - with a Net

The constant increase in demand poses major challenges for the guardians of Prosecco. The consortium must keep an eye on quality and protect the image. Veronika Crecelius reports.

Reading time: 5m 15s

Devil's Advocate: Vinitaly 2023 - less Bella Figura?

After decades of attending Vinitaly, Robert Joseph wonders if next year will bring some changes.

Reading time: 2m 30s

Survey: Why People Buy One Wine Rather than Another?

Every day, consumers across the world choose to buy one bottle of wine from the range on offer on the shelves of a shop or a restaurant wine list? What drives their choice?

Participating time: 10 minutes

Devil's Advocate: Stop Telling Other People What to Do

Freshly returned from Georgia, Robert Joseph reflects on the impact other visitors may be having there.

Reading time: 2m 10s

Wine by Glass Sales Thriving with Luxury Pours and To-Go Sales

As diners flock back to restaurants in the U.S., wine by-the-glass service has been invigorated by changes brought on my new technology and those wrought by Covid lockdowns. Roger Morris reports. 

Reading time: 5 minutes 

 

Devil's Advocate - A New Appellation is Born and Britain gets its Own Napa Valley

The UK has its first wine PDO, with boundaries that reflect a county, rather than an area with specific vinous characteristics. Robert Joseph wonders how much this matters.

Reading time: 2m 50s

Missing view, block "dfptagwbi_neu_sidebar_300x250_1"