Stop harping on about “good” years and “bad” years! | New Brief out, #193 | The Wine & Wine Travel Newsletter

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Per Karlsson portrait Britt Karlsson portraitStop harping on about “good” years and “bad” years!

The harvest is in full swing. And so, inevitably, the discussion whether or not it will be a good year. But what is a good year? Good for whom? Traditionally, a good or great year means that the wines have ageing potential. But everyone does not want to keep wines in their cellars (or have a cellar at all). Some prefer, for example, earlier-maturing, easy-drinking wines.

In any case, there is no such thing as a bad year. That’s clear. A year can, of course, be difficult for the winegrowers and give them too little volume. For most producers, the discussion if a year is good or not is completely irrelevant. They sell out of one vintage and then they start selling the next. It is you, the consumer, that has to age the wine if you want it older. Whatever the style/quality/volume of the wine, the producer must sell it. Good wines can be made every year, under the conditions nature provides.

Each vintage has its own character and you don’t abandon a producer you like because a certain year is getting bad press. At least, that’s our opinion. To hunt for the vintage 20XX (whichever that might be) just because it has been written up as “exceptional” is not particularly meaningful, we think.

Of course, there are differences between the years and that is the way we want it. Exactly as Philippe, one of our favourite growers in Burgundy often points out. “The year should be reflected in the wine.”

A common misconception is that prices go up if a year obtains high points by journalists or if the volume has been small. Yes, that may happen, not least for the very peculiar market for the most exclusive and expensive Bordeaux wines (but who buys those?). But most producers cannot raise their prices (or only very little). They want to keep their regular customers. Competition is fierce today.

Yes, the crazy focus on the quality of different vintages is relevant only for the most prestigious chateaux in Bordeaux and to some extent Burgundy and (possibly) Champagne. For wines purchased for investment purposes. Where the major part of the price is related to the name on the label and not to the pleasure derived from the contents.

Points have had a big impact on wine investors over the last 30 years. But points are losing their importance now that Robert Parker has retired.

Or will points still be important? Perhaps “Vivino points” will replace the guru points? Would that be better?

What do you think? Write a us comment!

The wine travel season is in full swing. We have already been to a number of wine regions and you get some short harvest reports in the Brief. The tours will continue until the end of October, with, for example, Piedmont, the Douro Valley, Rioja, the Loire Valley and many other destinations.

BKWine has also just been to China (I write this a little bit after I landed in Paris from Yinchuan at 5 AM this morning). I was a judge there in a now quite significant wine competition, The Silk Road Belt & Road Wine and Spirit Competition, an interesting experience. We will see and hear – and taste – more from China in the future. The wine industry is fundamentally different over there. Not easy to understand.

And, of course, a reminder of travel!

If you read what we write, I hope that you may someday join us on one of our wine tours. If you want to experience a wine region in close-up you can hardly find someone who can give you a greater wine travel experience, and hardly find any tour operator who knows more about wine (and wine travel) than we at BKWine. So sign up for a tour now!

Take a look at the two fantastic and unique winter wine tours (with places left): South Africa in February and New Zealand in March. Two unforgettable experiences.

If you would like to make a trip with your wine club, your tasting group, your company, a conference or something else, you do know (of course you do) that we also make tailor-made tours.

Get in touch!


Britt & Per

PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief !

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What’s on at BKWine Tours


  • More to come

For more information please contact us on email or on phone (we’re on French time), or go to our wine travel site on!

We also make custom designed wine tours – on-demand tours for you and a group of friends, for your company (maybe to scout new winegrowers?), for a special event… We can combine winery visits and wine touring with other activities: gastronomic workshops, visit to an oyster farm, truffles hunting, cheese making, and more. More info on the custom designed and bespoke BKWine wine tours and travel here!

Read our book(s)

We have written several wine books, nine at the last count. One of them has been translated to English; the others are (so far) only available in Swedish. This is the one that is available in English: Biodynamic, Organic and Natural Winemaking, Sustainable Viticulture and Viniculture

All our books are on wine, but on different subjects: wines of the Languedoc, wine growing and wine making, the wines of France, Tuscany, Bordeaux, Piedmont, Burgundy, Champagne. Several have won prestigeous prizes and awards. Read more on our wine books.

This is just the introduction to the latest issue of the Brief. Subscribe to the BKWine Brief and you will get the whole edition in your mailbox next month.

This post is also available in: Swedish

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