The story of TOB
In 2017 I became interested in new ways of assessing wine quality by using social media market analysis tools to identify the highest trending wines in the world and pick out winners before their prices spike. These are the wines that I offer to my clients via email offers twice a month. To receive these email offers click here.
But this wine sales business is built on 20+ years of making wine in France and Australia.
And I actually started making wine as an 8-year-old growing up in England, collecting grapes from people who had vines growing in glasshouses although I also had a couple of very hardy vines that I grew myself in a market garden near home in London.
That was back in 1985. Later, I graduated to selling my better wines on the boarding school black market as I progressed through an education dominated by my love of science.
When I left school I discovered that I had family connections to a winery in Bordeaux called Châteaufort de Roquetaillade where I began my professional winemaking apprenticeship in 1998.
Between 1998 and 2012 I made wine in many different vineyards in France and Australia and then started off The Other Bordeaux by importing the wines of Châteaufort de Roquetaillade.
I then began importing the wines of other progressive, family-owned artisan wineries that I came across in the course of my work in France.
Having studied winemaking at the University of Adelaide between 2003 and 2005, I now make wine in the Adelaide Hills under the banner of Boovability (the winery that I own with Mark and Andrie Whisson) and in New South Wales where I buy grapes from a stunning vineyard in Rylstone.
To your health! Santé! Cheers!
Did you ever buy a wine because it was recommended by a professional critic?
Until now, a tiny handful of professional critics have had a huge amount of unregulated power over the $300 billion global wine business.
But for the first time in history, new social media platforms like Vivino are allowing tens of millions of amateur judges to cast their votes on almost every wine in existence, and a new picture is starting to emerge of which wines are actually "the best" according to democratic principles.
We are living at the dawn of a new, digital era of wine judgement and it is completely reshaping how people see, taste, and buy wine.
But it's a jungle out there. Data and opinions on which wines are best are being gathered on a titanic scale via social media platforms and there are a lot of confusing variables and consumer bias to be taken into account.