All is still quite here for just a little while, but in the meantime, the offers below are still valid! Get to know sake either at home with one of the introduction packages, or introduce someone else to sake through a gift coupon!
Two or three quality bottles with a 10% discount: 65 for 2, 90 euros for 3.
Contents pending on availabilities
De schitterende Umeshu van Amami Oshima voor slechts 30€ in plaats van 33€
Looking for an original gift? Get someone a gift coupon, redeemable for both sake as well as workshops.
Time for a massive update on what you can expect from The Wine Analyst!
In short: more content, more structure in posting, all surrounded by two commercial initiatives pertaining to South African wine and sake.
Wine writing as we know it on the fast track towards an untimely demise. A multitude of blogs and shadier ways of sponsoring content (which is not unique to the wine business, as shown here) has led to something of a crisis of faith. If a budding wine writer were to attempt to preserve his or her integrity, how fair would a playing field where sponsored content, free samples or free press trips reign be? Wine writers who get something out of their activities are scarce, those who can actually make a professional living have become as illustrious as an authentic bottle of Lafite 1982 in China. People like Jamie Goode or Matt Wallshave shed their light on the future that lays ahead of someone who likes wine and can string a couple of sentences together, but there is of course no definite path. There are pioneers who managed to combine both commercial interests as well as ‘honorable’ wine writing, and I am taking a page from their book.
Simply put: aside from blogging I am launching two new initiatives: a curated selection of South African wines “The Wine Analyst Goes South”, as well as one of the most extensive offerings of sake in Belgium “The Sake Collection”.
TWA Goes South
I have said it before and I will continue to say it, South Africa holds an enormous potential which is being unlocked at an ever-accelerating pace. It has been the source of some of the most exciting wines that I have drunk over the past couple of years, and I am convinced that it will keep on delivering in the future. I will curate a selection of roughly 60 wines for the moment, the result of a quite strict selection process in cooperation with a local importer. The focus is on producers who I believe will play a large role in determining the future of the wine scene, aside from a range of entry levels wines to acquaint oneself with South Africa.
The Dutch version of the catalogue can be found here (other languages will follow).
The Sake Collection
I don’t think that I mentioned this in the past on the blog, but ten years ago I graduated with a Masters degree in Japanese Studies, following a year at Osaka University. It is an old passion of mine that has been rekindled in recent times, following a long overdue return to one of my favorite countries on the planet. I passed the WSET level 3 in sake earlier this year, and having tasted quite extensively over the past months, I am convinced that the image people have of sake does not do justice to something truly unique in the world of drinks. The Sake Collection will be my way to inform, entertain and educate people on the joys of premium sake. This initiative goes much further than simply selling sake, but will also go on to presentations, workshops and education purposes in general.
The Dutch version of the catalogue can be foundhere(other languages will follow).
A note on integrity
Commercial ventures and independent wine writing make a pairing as good as Burgundy land prices and common sense, but I do think that there is room for coexistence. The key is transparency and integrity, two things that I hope I have sufficiently displayed over the last years, so this is basically an expansion of the rules that I mentioned on the website since the beginning. If there is ever a sake or a wine that I work with mentioned in one of my articles, it will be clearly marked both at the top of as well as within the article. If I were to write about an item or trip that has been offered in some way, it will be properly disclosed in the article itself. If I were to write a review on a restaurant that is also a client of mine, it will be stated as such.
Finally, the format of this newsletter will also change. It will only appear on a monthly basis, not with every article published, and while the focus will remain on the blog content, initiatives taken by TWA Goes South or The Sake Collection will be included for informative purposes.
And finally, a first public appearance!
I do go out from time to time instead of just staring at a fridge filled with wine to taste, and will be present at this weekend’s Vini Birre Ribelli, offering a selection of sake to taste and enjoy. It would be my great pleasure to meet you there!