Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Gluck, the court jester

Published:  18 January, 2007

Once again, Malcolm Gluck has ruffled a few fine feathers. This time it is among those sensitive souls: the wine educators. The chairman of this august body - an MW, no less - ripostes with a suggestion that wine writers should all pass exams before being allowed to be published. Surely this is censorship of the very worst kind; a sort of intellectual snobbery.

Well, I have news for Ms Hulme MW. Some of us are time-served journalists who make no pretence about being wine experts. Our task is to communicate information in a well-written, entertaining and informative manner. There are, of course, some who call themselves wine writers, but I have always assumed that these people are authors rather than journalists of either the written or broadcast word.

As a former treasurer, secretary and even deputy chairman of the Circle of Wine Writers, I am at a loss to understand why its membership includes not only educators but also overseas members? When the late Cyril Ray and a few colleagues set up the Circle it was to provide a forum for London-based journalists.

It is still predominantly London-oriented, but has grown into a massive organisation with some 280 members, most of whom are regrettably unable to take full advantage of the excellent tastings because of that wicked combination of time and cost. True, we can all enjoy the pleasures of UpDate, but perhaps the wine educators would prefer this to be a more learned review run by a panel of wine academics?

Thank goodness for Malcolm Gluck. He is not only the conscience of the Circle, he is also its court jester who constantly pricks away at inflated egos.

Philippe Boucheron

Food and wine writer and broadcaster