Happy New Year!

This seems like just the right time to take a quick look at where my wine adventures have taken me in 2016 and at plans for 2017. I thought I’d let some photos do the talking, although looking back through the images of the year it has been a challenge to choose just a few to sum up the last 12 months – so here’s a go, by theme.

A year in drinks: as well as wine, there was quite a penchant for cocktails in 2016, my girlfriends responsible for this know who they are!

Comparing the old and the new identities of chateau Quintus in Saint Emilion
Comparing the old and the new identities of Château Quintus in Saint Emilion
Bordeaux Bubbles on the banks for the Dordogne at La Maison de l'Amiral
Bordeaux Bubbles on the banks of the Dordogne at La Maison de l’Amiral.
A Medoc Wine line up for staff at PLCB Fine Wines and good Spirits Harrisburg
A Médoc line up for staff at PLCB Fine Wines and Good Spirits, Harrisburg
Tasting the wonderful wines at Eisele in Napa
Tasting the wonderful wines at Eisele in Napa
An intimate tasting at Chateau Angelus
An intimate tasting at Chateau Angelus
Who said the Bordelais always take themselves too seriously? Not the Courselle sisters at Chateau Theuiley
Who said the Bordelais always take themselves too seriously? Not the Courselle sisters at Chateau Theuiley.
A beautiful example of how well Sauternes can age at Chateau Doisy Daëne.
A beautiful example of how well Sauternes can age at Chateau Doisy Daëne.
Frosé with Bordeaux Clairet - perfect summer drinking
Frosé with Bordeaux Clairet – perfect summer drinking
And for something completely different Lactilium Vodka from milk by the team at Chateau Gruaud Larose.
And for something completely different Lactilium Vodka made from milk, by the team at Chateau Gruaud Larose.

A year of food: wine goes with food goes with wine and I have been lucky enough to experience some wonderful meals in some wonderful settings. Some meals have been haute cuisine, others a simple vineyard lunch, even wine dinners in the tropics. All have served as research for my next book ‘The Drinking Woman’s Diet’,  which will be published in 2017, exploring how to stay healthy whilst drinking for a living.

Anniversary celebrations at Chateau Biac
Anniversary celebrations at Chateau Biac
Sunset Croquet at chateau Phelan segur
Sunset Croquet at Château Phelan Segur
Ready for dinner at Château Montrose
Ready for dinner at Château Montrose
A picnic basket ready for lunch on the terrace at Chateau Petit Village in Pomerol
A picnic basket ready for lunch on the terrace at Chateau Petit Village in Pomerol
A vineyard lunch at Chateau Guibeau
A vineyard lunch at Chateau Guibeau
Putting Bordeaux tutors to work on practical food and wine pairing during their accreditation.
Putting Bordeaux Tutors to work on practical food and wine pairing during their accreditation.
An after lunch glass of Chateau Sigalas Ribaud at the Belles Perdrix restaurant at Château Troplong Mondot that won it's 1st Michelin star in 2016.
An after lunch glass of Chateau Sigalas Ribaud at the Belles Perdrix restaurant at Château Troplong Mondot. They won their 1st Michelin star in 2016.
Lunch at the Chateau Haut Brion restaurant, Le Clarence in Paris
Enjoying lunch at the Chateau Haut Brion restaurant, Le Clarence, in Paris
Informal dining in a formal setting at Chateau Pichon Baron
Informal dining in a formal setting at Chateau Pichon Baron
from healthy
from healthy
A less healthy breakfast
to a less healthy breakfast
Settling for a happy medium
Settling for a happy medium
Healthy can be delicious at Viva Mayr
Healthy can be delicious – much needed detox at Viva Mayr in August.
Post cure retox!
Post cure retox!

A year of teaching: wonderful opportunities to share my experience and knowledge of Bordeaux to the East, the West and of course in Bordeaux, with more successful Accredited Bordeaux Tutor candidates. I continue to learn just as much from their knowledge of other wine regions as I share with them the latest from Bordeaux. It’s been fun doing video tastings too, especially the live tastings with the Cru Bourgeois to the US.

The beautiful view over Lake Geneva was a bit of a distraction at Glion Hotel School
The beautiful view over Lake Geneva was a bit of a distraction at Glion Hotel School
Explaining the particularities of Sweet Bordeaux at the Bordeaux Wine School
Explaining the Bordeaux wines at the Bordeaux Wine School
The future of Hong kong wine service with students at the Hotel and Tourism Institute of Hong Kong.
The future of Hong Kong wine service with students at the Hotel and Tourism Institute of Hong Kong.
The latest Bordeaux Tutor Accreditation at Chateau La Louviere
The latest 2016 Bordeaux Tutor Accreditation at Chateau La Louviere
Teaching sales team from Southern Wines and Spirits in California.
Teaching sales team from Southern Wines and Spirits in California.
Medoc masterclass with Swires Group service team at Upper House Hotel in Hong Kong.
Medoc Masterclass with Swires Group service team at Upper House Hotel in Hong Kong.
Wine, Women and clothes: Bordeaux bootcamp tasting at Susan Graf Ltd.
Wine, Women and clothes: Bordeaux Bootcamp tasting at Susan Graf Ltd.

A year of writing: for those of you who follow this Blog I’ve shared some of the news from Bordeaux and things I’ve learnt and enjoyed on my travels. For those who don’t please join us, or follow me on twitter, instagram or the Insider Tasting Facebook page.

I also contributed to other blogs, including the Great Wine Capitals blog, profiling the Bordeaux Best of Wine Tourism winners but it’s also an opportunity to discover other leaders in wine tourism across the globe – more of which below.

I updated my book Bordeaux Bootcamp, the Insider Tasting guide to getting to grips with  Bordeaux basics, with the latest facts and figures and I’m now working on the final draft of The Drinking Woman’s Diet, reuniting my two passions of Wine and Wellbeing explaining how the two are not mutually exclusive. It will be in print in 2017.

Bordeaux Bootcamp, Second edition is now available on Amazon.
Bordeaux Bootcamp, the second edition is now available on Amazon.

And finally a year of touring: welcoming guests to Bordeaux. With more and more properties opening their doors my guests can now stay in their very own Bordeaux chateau, where I introduce them to the wine makers, movers and shakers, experiencing the Bordeaux vineyard lifestyle for themselves.

Chateau Le Pape, one of the many chateaux in Bordeaux you can make your own.
Chateau Le Pape, one of the chateaux in Bordeaux you can make your own.

 

Modern cellars at Chateau Pedesclaux
Modern cellars at Chateau Pedesclaux
and at Beau Sejour Becot
and at Beau Sejour Becot
The historical cellars at Chateau de Cerons
historical cellars at Chateau de Cérons
A new take on an ancient wine making technique at Château La Maison Blanche
A new take on an ancient wine making technique at Château La Maison Blanche
Time for a tasting at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
Time for a tasting at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
Francois Despagne gets closer to the terroir at Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne
Francois Despagne gets closer to the terroir at Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne
Flowering of the 2016 vintage.
Flowering of the 2016 vintage.
Veraison
Veraison
The Sauvignon blanc at Chateau Olivier - some of the first grapes to be picked in 2016.
The Sauvignon blanc at Chateau Olivier – some of the first grapes to be picked in 2016.
Hand sorting the bunches of 2016 Merlot at Chateau Villemaurine in Saint Emilion
Hand sorting the bunches of 2016 Merlot at Chateau Villemaurine in Saint Emilion
Some hidden treasures : The vaulted well dating back to the Merovingian period at Chateau Coutet in Saint Emilion
Some hidden treasures : The vaulted Merovingian well at Chateau Coutet in Saint Emilion

 

Alexandre de Bethmann shares another secret - the ice house at Chateau Olivier.
Alexandre de Bethmann shares another secret – the ice house at Chateau Olivier.
An itimate Cru Bourgeois taking lunch for Bordeaux tutors at Château Peyrabon.
An itimate Cru Bourgeois tasting lunch for Bordeaux tutors at Château Peyrabon.

Next year? More of the same I hope but also some new destinations and different experiences. Already on the itinerary are: tours in the Rhone and Provence, a distillery tour in Scotland, seminars and master classes in Switzerland, the UK, Hong Kong and the annual coast-to-coast US Road-show with an appearance at the Women for Wine Sense conference in the Finger Lakes. Lots of opportunities to for you to join me with and new destinations you might like to add to your future wish list?

The new Cité du Vin in Bordeaux - for your 2017 to do list. Credit Arnaud Bertrande
The new Cité du Vin in Bordeaux – for your 2017 to do list.
Credit: Arnaud Bertrande

I look forward to welcoming those of you coming back to Bordeaux in 2017 and some of you for the first time, or to sharing Bordeaux with you in classrooms or conferences across the globe.

Future projects include corporate and wine and wellness retreats amongst the vines and I’m excited to be working on an International Wine Tourism project sharing some of the best from other leading wine producing countries, more of which to follow.

Wine and Wellness - it's all about the balance!
Wine and Wellness – it’s all about the balance!

Please contact me for more information or stay tuned to the blog, I’ll be sharing my progress.

Thank you to everyone who has joined me this year, if you haven’t please do so in 2017, it will be a busy year with many opportunities for us to meet up, I hope to see you.

Happy New Year!

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