Safe bets or daring chances? | New Brief out, #172 | The Wine Newsletter

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Per Karlsson portrait Britt Karlsson portraitSafe bets or daring chances?

A question that is certainly important when choosing wines for New Year!

But first, let’s start with … some publicity, now as a new year begins, to make a good start of 2018:

Wine tours

So, if you are not at all interested in wine tours (who could not be?) then you can skip the next few paragraphs.

As the year begins it is time to make plans for the coming year’s wine visits. January is not the most cheerful month of the year, so it is the perfect time to plan visits to wine regions.

And then we hope, of course, that you will travel with us at BKWine, “world’s top wine tours”, as the world’s biggest travel magazine once called us.

Our program for 2018 is not yet totally finished, but there are already some exciting destinations. And if you don’t find what you are looking for, contact us and we can do a tour just for you and your friends.

Why travel with BKWine?

Why should you choose BKWine to tour wine regions with? It is obviously difficult to know if we are good, until you travel with us…

Therefore it can be a good idea to take a look at what people who have travelled with us say. See more on that further down in the Brief.

It is hard to find someone who has more experience of organising wine tours. We did our first tour in 1986 (how things have changed!) and have since organised many hundred wine tours all over the world.

You’ll have to look hard to find a wine tour operator who knows more about wine. We have written nine wine books that have won national and international awards. We publish BKWine Magazine and write on Forbes. We have taught wine on beginner to advanced level. We judge wine in international competitions, most recently in China.

It is your travel experience that is the most important for us. We do not sell wine and have no affiliation with wine producers so we can choose the visits that are best for your rather than the ones that are “appropriate” to sell more wine. We choose the visits and plan the tours with your best experience in our focus.

We are also an international authority on wine tourism, called on to talk, for example, on wine tourism conferences and interviewed in trade magazines.

Few people travel so much in wine regions as we. Both of us, Britt and Per, visit some 200-300 wineries every year. So we know which are the best to visit.

But above all, we are passionate about sharing with you our enthusiasm and knowledge of the wine world and make you experience it on site. We hope you can tell that.


The year is soon coming to an end and our thoughts go to the sparkling wine waiting in the ice bucket. Already we can anticipate its delicious freshness. No wonder it is so popular with bubbles nowadays. And the wines have become much better. You can (or should?) even disregard the heavy bottle, the golden foil and all the grandeur. The content speaks for itself.

Must it be champagne?

We are great believers in variation. We’d rather have two different bottles than two bottles of the same. So no, it doesn’t always need to be Champagne.

It doesn’t mean you should drink anything with bubbles. As always, the price is an indication. Too cheap is never a good option. Ambitiously made sparkling wines, such as a Franciacorta or some examples from England, cost as much as a medium priced Champagne. Good cava, or the new Classic Penedes (100% organic). The best proseccos. The quite outstanding and too little known MCCs from South Africa. And so on.

So, what do you choose?

Maybe you make a statement by not choosing Champagne – to encourage smaller wine regions that have a harder time than Champagne. Or just to make a change. Or to be different.

Maybe you choose champagne because you know it is better (through personal experience and extensive tastings!). Or you think it’s best (“because everyone says so”…). Perhaps you choose champagne because it gives prestige to your dinner.

Choosing something lesser known, and it may also be choosing a grower champagne instead of a well-known house, is not obvious for everyone. Certainly not for the French either for whom the “celebrity factor” is often important.. They want their guests to recognize what they are serving. So that the guests know that it’s expensive.

You must be strong in your belief that the unknown is better / more fun / more interesting than the well-known and proven. Not everybody dares. But we recommend it. That is often our strategy when in a restaurant. We look for the wines that we recognise, and then we choose something else.

Try something different, something unfamiliar. That actually makes a pretty good New Year’s resolution. And it will make life more fun!

Happy New Year!

Britt & Per

PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief !

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This post is also available in: Swedish

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