Keith Grainger is one of those wine personalities I simply could talk to for hours given his wealth of knowledge and expertise. He is an esteemed wine educator and founding member of the The Association of Wine Educators, a wine consultant and author of several books.
Wine Production and Quality is an amazing guide that covers everything from the vineyard to the bottle and how the different aspects impact the taste, style and quality of wine – a book I’d warmly recommend and for which he has won the Gourmand Award for Best Wine Book in the World for Professionals in 25 years. He has just published his latest work, Wine Faults and Flaws, THE reference on the topic, so we talked about this and much more.
I hope you enjoy this conversation with Keith Grainger!
Connect with Keith Grainger:
What we talked about and when
(01:10) How his failed background helped him getting into the wine business as a second career
(03:35) His time in the music business and how he transitioned from professional manager into serious fine wine buying
(06:30) The link between music, art and wine making
(07:30) The idea behind the foundation oft he The Association of Wine Educators
(08:15) Why there is no objectivity in wine, his wine writing and the reason he does not write “shopping lists”
(09:30) Insights from his consulting business and the challenges of making wine in Cyprus
(10:30) The difficulties of changing people’s mind set to produce quality wine and lessons from history.
(15:30) The time difference between Friuli and Slovenia
(16:30) The reasons you always should only buy wine bottled source
(19:00) The increase in certain wine faults despite the improvements in wine quality and why the latter doesn’t mean we’re drinking better wine.
(21:15) What’s behind more cork taint and why that has actually little to do with cork
(24:15) The line between flaws and faults in wine and how to determine it
(26:30) Whether TDN (the petrol aromas) in Riesling is a fault or not
(29:30) The annual cost of cork taint to wine producers and why it is more than about money for individual producers (with examples from big names in Bordeaux and around the world)
(37:15) Measures to counter the Haloanisoles problem, their effectiveness and how is becoming an even bigger problem elsewhere
(44:30) Brettanomyces explained and about the dose that makes the poison
(49:45) Why faulty wines can be excellent
(51:15) The growing problem of Lightstrike and the reasons producers choose to ignore it (despite ruining their wines)
(57:00) Guidance for wine students on how to go about identifying wine faults and acceptable levels
Some of the people that got mentioned:
Links and other interesting stuff from the Episode:
- Keith’s book “Wine Production and Quality” and his latest work, “Wine Faults and Flaws” plus a link to his other publications at Wiley
- The Association of Wine Educators
- The Turkish wine region of Marmara
- Chateau St Hilarion in Northern Cyprus, the island’s climate and the Wines of Cyprus (with the reference to Keith’s Turkish Cypriot Wine project)
- Wine Advocate
- Cape Mentelle
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