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

Have we made an (April) fool out of you?

Published:  01 April, 2014

Just in case you have not realised, but we thought it was only fair to own up and admit a couple of the stories on today's news feed are not quite what they seem.

Kylie Voice Kylie VoiceKylie Voice

Just in case you have not realised, but we thought it was only fair to own up and admit a couple of the stories on today's news feed are not quite what they seem.

No, we have not taken a leaf out of the Daily Sport and made up stories for the sake of it, but in case you have forgotten today is every journalist's favourite day of the year - April 1 - a time when we can legitimately let the creative side of ourselves take over.

So sorry Master of Wine students you will not, after all, have to face a Voice-style final live judging session to make your final "pitch" to become an MW to a scary, hidden panel of judges, waiting in hope that one will turn around and make your dreams come true. Just the dreaded dissertation after all I am afraid.

But there is hope. Credit where credit is due and The Institute of Masters of Wine has fully embraced our flight of fancy, putting the story up on its Facebook page.

Penny Richards, executive director even sent us a real quote to go along with the imaginary one that was in the Voice "story" earlier today.

She told "Our student base is so global now that I worry that some of them might miss the cultural significance of April Fool's Day and think that we're being serious! Having said that, I wish we'd thought of having a 'Voice'-type battle at the Institute's Symposium for the international wine trade in Florence next month - it might have been just the thing for the post-lunch session. We're now imagining 400 people from across the world singing, all with a glass of great wine in their hand!"

The other non-story on today's site came courtesy of Master of Wine and clearly cheeky prankster, Justin Howard-Sneyd. This is becoming a bit of an annual tradition as Howard-Sneyd followed up his April Fool last year (read here) on surrounding his Domaine Le Bee wine brand with an even more ridiculous tale of how bees can help age a wine faster simply by flapping their wings. The tale was dreamt up with the help of fellow MW and Amphora label designer and beekeeper Mark Tully.  

Or perhaps it is a cunning way to get free publicity for his wine. One of the oldest MW tricks in the book.

Howard-Sneyd told "Neil and I have been friends since we worked together at The Fulham Road Wine Centre, and his company, Amphora Design, helped to create the Domaine of the Bee label.  Neil really is a beekeeper, and has two hives in his garden. We hit on the idea of taking photos with our wine and his bees, and the idea for an April Fool grew from there.

"There is so much barely believable hype and PR that you read in real press releases (as anyone who read our spoof last year on stupidly expensive bottles of wine may agree) that it is quite easy to remain plausible with something quite weird-sounding." 

Harpers is not alone in dreaming up fantasy tales of derring do in the wine world. News also reaches us of how Chiswick wine merchants, Red Squirrel Wine, has spent the last 18 months creating its own very rare and very unusual 'red squirrel wine'.

A wine that is apparently made by wild red squirrels eating grapes - that they cannot digest -  which when passed whole in their droppings are carefully hand-picked, pressed and fermented before being aged in barrel for up to six months.

Not exactly family entertainment but apparently the  'Red Squirrel Wine' consists of a white wine, made simply from Chardonnay grapes aged in oak barrels for three months and a red wine from the Bastardo grape, apparently, native to eastern France which needs to be aged for six months in oak barrels.

A wine (story) that Red Squirrel owner, Nick Darlington, is rightly "proud" of.  He claimed: "This is as natural as wine gets. A massive amount of blood, sweat, tears and - let's not beat around the bush - squirrel poo has gone into making this happen. Our red squirrels have done a sterling job. Grey squirrels couldn't have stomached it, proving British truly is best."

If only...if only.

  • Have you come across any good wine or spirits related April Fools today? Then let us know here at by either commenting on the end of this story or emailing