Welcome to Mark O’Neill’s Wine Blog

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In a recent article in the New York Times wine critic Eric Azimov wrote ‘ wine is food ’, referring to the fact that in the USA many consumers are becoming more aware of the ingredients in the foods they eat and where those ingredients have been grown in the order to eat better quality food.

Wine is an another ingredient to put on the dinner table. To make wine easier to understand and to choose better quality wines think of it as another ingredient that you would buy.

Industrially produced processed foods that we buy in the supermarket are similar to industrially produced wines that dominate the shelves of supermarkets around the world.  These are wines that are made from grapes sourced from large scale vineyards and are made to a recipe.  Most consumers don’t want to think about their wine or food just as long as it convenient and uncomplicated.

However, if you only drink mass produced wines you will never know the pleasure of enjoying a wine that will surprise you. In the same way that if you only eat convenience food you won’t progress to eater better quality foods.

Here in Spain we are becoming more aware of how what we consumer is grown; how and where the animals whose meat we eat were raised and what additives are in the food we eat.  It wasn’t so long ago that ‘organic’  or ‘bio’ foods were only found in farmers markets now it mainstream because there is a demand for more natural produce.

In order to find better quality food we ask questions and read the information on the labels.  Better quality wines should make it clear that the grapes are free from additives or that chemicals have not been used to make it easier for the consumer buying the wine.

What if a wine label contained the same information about the ingredients as food?  Would it help us to choose better quality wines?  I think it would.

A good wine is one of the great pleasures in life.  I am often asked how to find choose a good wine.  Just by looking on the shelf in a supermarket of wine shop It is not easy to separate the good wines from bad ones.   It doesn’t help if you think that you have to be a wine expert to know a good wine, which is not the case.

Buying a good wine is like buying a buy good quality fish or meat or bread.  Do you have a favourite bakery or butcher o fishmonger?  When you are in these places you are much curious about the food.  Why not add a favourite wine shop, it could be on the street or online.

If you love wine you will know pleasure you get when discovering a wine that you really enjoy, that may be from a region or country you had never previously considered. Good wines can take you to places that you may never have been before.

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I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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