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About me, Q&A, Scoring System

About Tom Lewis

A linguist by education and a company director by profession, Tom Lewis lived in Austria for several years where he first developed a love of Austrian wines, especially Wachau Riesling and Burgenland's dessert wines.

A couple of trips to France later and the same was true for Bordeaux, Languedoc and Alsace.

Launching this blog in 2009 was a way of recording impressions of various wine events and later, increasingly, individual wines.

His comments have been published on Jancis Robinson's website as well as in the local press in his home town of Cambridge, UK where he is a wine critic for local press as well as a broadcaster on local radio.

Tom is married with two children who both think he should get off the computer and spend more time with them.


New World or Old - Old

Put these in order: red, white, rosé, fortified, sweet, sparkling - red, white and dessert all equally, then fortified; sparkling and rosé I could live without, but only if I had to

Any styles you don't like ? Hard to think of any - when well-made

New Zealand or Australia - New Zealand

Bordeaux or Burgundy - Bordeaux

Riesling or Chardonnay - Riesling

France or Italy - France

Cork or Stelvin - cork

Youth or age - age (both me and the wine)

Buying from the producer, a wine merchant or the supermarket - ideally the producer, but in the real world you can't beat a good French supermarket for everyday drinking.

Garden or dining room - in this country, it has to be the dining room, but with a view of the garden

Buying philosophy in 10 words - buy as close as possible to where it comes from

You are planning a dinner party; which comes first, the food or the wine - the food, as long as we have a suitable wine to go with it

South Africa or South America - I am impressed with Chilean regionality and potential, but South Africa is now starting to show some real interest

The CWB Scoring System

Like one's politics, income or religion, scoring systems are very personal and sensitive subjects.

In general, I do not like the idea of scoring wine, but have developed a shorthand code:

- Stylistically sub-standard or technically faulty: I say so in the review
- Pleasant enough but nothing special: no additional comments
- Rather good but not outstanding: Very Pleasant
- Beyond this, there are three more levels of increasing noteworthiness - Good, Very Good and Very Good Indeed