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Guy Woodward: Casting wine in a cool, urban light

Published:  12 April, 2018

Guy Woodward Former editor of Decanter 


Guy Woodward: Lobbing grenades at Majestic

Published:  14 March, 2018

Guy Woodward, former editor of Decanter


Guy Woodward: My 10 New Year’s resolutions

Published:  11 January, 2018



The week that was

Published:  22 September, 2017

In case you missed some of the headlines this week on, we have put together a review of the top online news, Q&As, and opinion stories.


Guy Woodward: Why the wine trade should be targeting the young

Published:  14 June, 2017

Twenty years ago it may have been, but I can safely say that my membership of Manchester University Wine Society was a successful one. Not in terms of laying the foundations for a career as editor of a well-respected consumer wine magazine, a notion that would have been laughable to both me and my fellow members at the time. No, its main, possibly only, benefit was in meeting girls – and accumulating the brazen gall to actually speak to them.


Why this isn't the time for the trade to seek a cut in duty

Published:  06 March, 2017

Being a passive observer, rather than an active member, of the wine trade can bring into focus how slow it is to change


Guy Woodward: Why is the wine trade still slow to deliver fulfilment?

Published:  09 February, 2017

As a middle-aged, middle-class man, my weekly highlight is Saturday morning, illuminated by a warm croissant (180ºC for eight minutes, served with passion fruit curd), a Nespresso coffee (medium froth, Ristretto pod) plus the weekend papers - and here's the most indulgent part - delivered to the door. 


Guy Woodward: Why are we so down on English fizz?

Published:  16 January, 2017

There was a degree of sniping when environment secretary Andrea Leadsom claimed recently that England was taking its place "among the world's most renowned wine producers".


Guy Woodward: Shouldn't Rioja just keep things simple?

Published:  08 December, 2016

It's the impossible question. And also, of course, the one that members of the trade are most frequently asked. "What's your favourite wine?" In the past, I always used to trot out the standard answer: "It depends" - on the occasion, the weather, the company, the mood and, of course, who's paying.


Guy Woodward: Why is the wine world so snotty about luxury?

Published:  16 November, 2016

My former colleague Adam Lechmere came out with a great line the other day.


Guy Woodward: Seven things I hate about the wine trade

Published:  05 October, 2016

Guy Woodward: Would you order a wine selected by an algorithm?

Published:  07 September, 2016

I'm in the market for a new car. Such a substantial purchase demands extensive research. Doubtless petrolheads would be in heaven at the prospect of debating fuel economy stats with like-minded car bores. For me, though, with my pitiful automotive knowledge, it is my worst nightmare.


Guy Woodward: British chefs love telling us to think local- until it comes to wine

Published:  15 August, 2016

Guy Woodward challenges- is it too much to expect that leading British restaurants carry an English wine by the glass?


Guy Woodward: Why wine is failing the hipster test

Published:  15 July, 2016

If there are two things that Brexit has taught us about the mindset of the consumer right now, it's that the prevailing mood is anti-establishment, and that, partly as a consequence, when it comes to communicating a message the detail is not as integral as the tone.


Guy Woodward: Why are women still under-represented in the wine trade?

Published:  10 June, 2016

Guy Woodward this month asks why women still under-represented in the wine trade when haveing women in all aspects of the business is so benefical. 


Guy Woodward: Reflecting on those we lost in the wine trade this year

Published:  29 April, 2016

For David Bowie, Terry Wogan and Ronnie Corbett, read Louis Latour, Paul Pontallier and Etienne Hugel. Maybe not in that order. But either way, 2016 has been as cruel a year in the wine community as it has in the wider world.


Guy Woodward: We need to ditch wine's elitist reputation

Published:  01 April, 2016

Guy Woodward reflects on how any wine "advice" may be viewed through the prism of wine being the preserve of patronising snobs.


Guy Woodward: keep wine writing simple, stupid

Published:  04 March, 2016

"Condensation and distillation." No, not the method for a new hipster gin being made in a Shoreditch loft - rather Hugh Johnson's description of his own writing style. 


Guy Woodward: Shifting focus to alcohol's social issues

Published:  05 February, 2016

I spent a few days in Qatar last month. Not a place that I expected to inform this column, but then travel is full of surprises.


Guy Woodward: The many reasons to be thankful for our wine press

Published:  08 January, 2016

When my name first started appearing at the top of this page each month, I promised myself there was one topic that I would strenuously avoid. Eighteen months in, I'm about to break that promise... 


Guy Woodward: Why aren't restaurants offering more wines by the glass?

Published:  30 October, 2015

Along, it seemed, with half the UK's wine press, I was at the launch of Les 110 de Taillevent in London's Cavendish Square last week. My verdict? Go - and be sure to order the crab ravioli. What was most notable about the night, though, was not the guest list or the menu, but that here was a major restaurant being launched off the back of its wine offering.


Guy Woodward: Chile produces good quality wines, but still needs to market them globally

Published:  09 October, 2015

In recent years, Chile's winemakers have started to show greater ingenuity and initiative in the vineyard and the winery. That sense of risk and personality needs to carry over to the way the wines are promoted.


Guy Woodward: Are wine and humour like a joyless marriage?

Published:  11 September, 2015

Guy Woodward asks whether the wine trade needs to loosen up a bit.


Guy Woodward: What supermarket retailers could learn from restaurants

Published:  07 August, 2015

Among the defining wine trends of recent years, one of the most welcome is the smaller restaurant list. The new "less-is-more" approach means that every listing has to count.


Guy Woodward: When it comes to consumer engagment it's good to talk - isn't it?

Published:  17 July, 2015

There I was, happily pontificating at one of the many excellent Industry Briefings at this year's London Wine Fair...


Guy Woodward: A parallel between the election results and Harpers most over- and under-rated wine countries survey

Published:  05 June, 2015

The outcome of - and the polls leading up to - this year's general election provided yet further evidence, were it required, of the vagaries of the Great British public  and, indeed, of opinion polls themselves.


Guy Woodward: Looks at the crème de la crème of today's industry awards

Published:  07 May, 2015

Being one step removed from the wine industry these days - and a little slow on the uptake generally - it took me a while to work out why my diary was suddenly so full last month.


Guy Woodward: Takes a look at the Cognac conundrum

Published:  10 April, 2015

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've ordered Cognac. Like crystal meth and Bikram yoga, it's simply not something by which I've ever been tempted.


Guy Woodward: why Robert Parker's legacy will be increase in power of peer reviews

Published:  06 March, 2015

How do you choose a hotel? Or a film for the flight? A book for the pool? If you're anything like my wife, you check the user ratings on TripAdvisor, Rotten Tomatoes or Amazon, where peer-to-peer reviews carry far more weight than those of any critic. And what weight.


Guy Woodward: Robert Parker's ultimate legacy - increased power of peer reviews

Published:  06 March, 2015

How do you choose a hotel? Or a film for the flight? A book for the pool? If you're anything like my wife, you check the user ratings on TripAdvisor, Rotten Tomatoes or Amazon, where peer-to-peer reviews carry far more weight than those of any critic.


Guy Woodward: Why the UK trade needs to turn its back on overpriced Bordeaux

Published:  06 February, 2015

I saw a headline the other day that grabbed my attention. "Hopes rise for Bordeaux prices in 2015". Ah, I thought, that's good - they're coming down at last.


Guy Woodward: Champagne reveals ugly side in Jayne Powell dispute

Published:  09 January, 2015

There are few things in business as unattractive as bullying - a practice with which, regrettably, I am only too familiar.


2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Guy Woodward

Published:  23 December, 2014

Harpers columnist Guy Woodward is the latest in our line-up of key industry figures to share their thoughts on 2014 and their predictions for 2015 with you.



Guy Woodward: The wine industry could learn so much from friendly coffee baristas

Published:  05 December, 2014

On the face of it, Waitrose's commitment to making its beer, wine and spirits departments "destinations" in their own right is a no-brainer.


Guy Woodward: even Champagne has a lot to learn about consumers

Published:  07 November, 2014

Comedian and writer David Mitchell is among the more perceptive columnists for the once great Observer, so it was with interest that I read his piece on how the taste of Champagne doesn't matter. When it comes to serving sparkling wine, he claimed, so long as it has bubbles, and says Champagne and not Cava on the label, any further qualities are immaterial.


Guy Woodward: Hegarty's right - we need to follow Top Gear to sell wine

Published:  03 October, 2014

It didn't come as a huge surprise when Sir John Hegarty used his WSTA conference key note speech to deliver a withering assessment of the wine trade's relationship with its audience. One of the foremost marketing exponents of his generation, Hegarty knows a thing or two about generating headlines. 'Appalling', 'pathetic' and 'mad' were among the politer descriptions aimed at his audience. 'Confusing' and 'impenetrable' were daggers to the heart - a stinging critique of the public's perception of the world of wine. Why so stinging? Because the words ring so true...


Guy Woodward admires how Napa Valley took the Californian earthquake in its stride

Published:  06 September, 2014

It was 3.20am on a Sunday morning when the earthquake struck. If there can ever be a good time for the almighty's mysterious ways to take their course, this was surely it. Wineries were empty, the harvest not yet brought in, vats largely unused. One can only imagine the carnage had the 6.0 tremor struck 10 days later, during working hours, as the mass of hired hands were stacking up pallet upon pallet of grapes inside Napa cellars.


Guy Woodward: it's the people we remember not their wine

Published:  08 August, 2014

In wine as in life, one of the most common mistakes people make is to assume other people know what they're talking about. Enthusiasts, in particular, are wont to believe that everyone else is as interested in a subject as they are. In most cases, I'm afraid to say, they're not.


Guy Woodward: no more ivory tower posturing, let's get personal with consumers

Published:  04 July, 2014

Harpers is pleased to announce it has signed up Guy Woodward, former editor of Decanter, as a regular columnist and contributor.This month he tips his cap to the creative minds at Naked Wines and other innovative retail sites that are genuinely communicating to consumers in a way they can understand and says there are so many lessons to be learnt from the old school wine trade still stuck in its ivory tower. 


Guy Woodward: Why en primeur is a "con" and a "sham"

Published:  04 April, 2014

Guy Woodward, former editor of Decanter magazine, explains why he thinks the en primeur system is, in parts, a "con" and a "sham" and in need of a radical overhal.