Pomp & Circumstance – Sometimes It’s Appealing

I confess I was up early and spent two hours watching the Royal Nuptials. I loved it. It brought me back 30 years to that night in camp when we all got up at 4:00 AM to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana. Of course I’m no longer that blushing tween but I do still have some of that. Also, after going to a funeral service yesterday for a dear friend’s father, it was nice to watch something light and fairytale like early today, especially when so much of the news is so dire.

I, like everyone else who pens a wine blog, is likely thinking of British sparklers to celebrate the occasion. I’ve only had ones from Nyetimber, which were delicious but quite pricey. I did find an entire website dedicated to English wine producers. Years ago this would have been unthinkable. While the growth of their industry may signal terrible signs of global warming, it is fitting that good sparklers be made in Britain in my view.

I must say while I can’t call myself a monarchist per se, I have always admired the family for its decision to stay in London during World War II, a period of history that fascinates me. I was glad to see I am in good company.
Even someone of Simon Schama’s caliber was the commentator on the BBC earlier today. Speaking with my father about the wedding, I realized that British history has been a big part of my life since I was a child. My father is thrilled by the Brits and their long and valiant history. In fact, when I was a child some of the first dolls I received were those of Henry VIII’s wives. At the dinner table, I was expected to be able to recite the Kings of England at a certain point. I loved learning about their history, 1066 and all that.

On another note, I was reflecting on the use and purpose of wine blogs. For some readers of this blog, I’m sure I’m not polemical enough or even particularly critical. I’ve never felt that to be my role nor do I think I should tell wine makers what to change in their wines.

I think of my blog and dare I say, most blogs, as a place to learn something about a subject that you want to learn more about.

Yesterday at a wine tasting, a friend/client asked me if I ever sold wine directly. The answer is yes for a brief period of time, wholesale and retail. He asked because I was proposing he meet a producer with a certain portfolio of wines that in his view can’t make it in the US market. I wasn’t offended I understood that he meant you need to understand the market and how something can fit into it and why it may or may not work. I agree with him that you need to understand a market or a country to see why it makes certain decisions.

I think there is a certain lack of seriousness in our business at times and a lot of hot air about what could be done better. Sometimes it is absolutely justified but often it is merely a rant, which can be tiring and sterile.

As I started this post about pomp and circumstance, I am obviously fine with that at times but I do believe that a little more humility should be injected into people’s discourse and perhaps a better educated foundation in terms of wine study.


  1. Susannah:
    how true the words you write. We hear so often the plaints of wine producers from Italy and elsewhere their problems in finding a foothold in the U.S. market and yet they still have so much basic homework to do. The message of getting to know the market, especially the market as how it relates to wines you produce/sell/market is key to understanding why people are (or are not) buying your wine.
    The Italian Wine Guy also writes well about this.
    You vision of the market from both sides is invaluable.
    Thanks for the post.
    Hmmmm. British sparklers? As much as IO enjoyed the pomp and ceremony, for an occasion this special I’ll forgo nationalism and stick with Champagne.

  2. Reblogged this on avvinare and commented:

    Just reposting this because it is the only post I have written that includes English wine. Like everyone else, today I am thinking about London, the Uk and the statement keep calm and carry on. Westminister is in my heart since I was a small child as my Dad is a huge Churchill fan. I am saddened and alarm but their resilience is legendary and I have no doubt yesterday’s attack will be met with the same resolve Britain has always shown.

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