A Wine Writers View on the World of Wine. Formerly Magics Wine Guide and Reviews for Newbies
1- Name? Tony Milanowski.
2- Occupation? Winemaking lecturer and course leader for BSc Viticulture & Oenology. Former pump & press jockey in Italy and Australia.
3- How did you get into wine? After qualifying as a chemical engineer I realised that crude oil and petrol were not exciting and decided that I wanted to do something that seemed more fun.
4- What is your favourite grape? Tie between Sagarantino and Montepulciano.
5- What is your favourite wine? Cru Beaujolais.
6- Do you have a country of preference? Bella Italia.
7- How do you enjoy wine? With food, on it’s own, social etc. The perception of the quality of a wine is always improved when consumed amongst friends or a spectacular location.
8- What influences your wine choices? Price, occasion, season etc. It’s complicated. Budget, trends, availability.
9- Champagne. Overpriced in the current climate? There can be significant marketing budgets (ie F1 sponsorship) that some Champagne prices have to support. So perhaps seek out the small growers of English sparkling wine and Champagne where there is more connection between the price, wine and vineyard.
10- How do you think sparkling wines now fair against them? I think there is many times that Prosecco and Cava are more suitable drinks than big NV Champagne brands.
11- Are boutique wineries the way forward? Not necessarily. Passion and authenticity are the way forward, and people with that can work in the tiniest vineyard or largest wineries, to deliver good wines at price points to suit all sorts of places.
12- Do you think retailers do enough to educate the public on wine? I don’t mean health wise. You can only educate when people are willing to learn. Retailers have a great opportunity to teach about wines but it’s not always east to do.
13- What do you think the wine industry needs to improve on? We can always grow better grapes, make better wine and make sure it’s in the best possible package. Personally I would like to tackle all the disinformation that exists out there in the public and industry.
14- Which wines, countries or regions do you think are worth keeping an eye on for the future? Keep an eye on the passionate (and crazy) who are growing every type of grape, in every location around the world. There will be some fun and fantastic wines amongst them.
15- What tips do you have to anyone looking at getting into the wine trade? Taste heaps, keep good tasting notes, do one of the WSET qualification (as it shows the trade you are serious). After that it’s about networking and education. So come to Plumpton College and you can do both.
16- What is the best thing, for you, about wine? That it works on so many levels. Provides a social lubricant, it can be a hobby or collectable, you can make it your career, you can use it to inform a tourism itinerary, provides gastronomic enhancement and can offer some of the most interesting history, cultural and geography lesson to the drinker.
17- If you were a wine, which one would you be? A surly Tannat.
Thank you Tony.
For full list of course being run by Plumpton College please click on the link below.
You’ll find me attending one of the courses too. Can’t wait.