Writing about wine that’s good to think


If you ever see “Dry Furmint” on a restaurant wine list, buy it. There are three reasons why.

  1. Furmint is a grape, and is a sort of mix of aromatic Riesling, and versatile Chardonnay. It goes with almost anything.

  2. Hungary (where it comes from) only exports decent Dry Furmint. So it’ll always be good.

  3. It’s a Hungarian white wine. Seriously, who goes to a restaurant and orders “the Hungarian white”? Well now you do. And you’ll look like a total hero when everyone agrees that it’s lovely and they’d have never had the confidence to order it themselves.

That’s the spirit of this Substack. A subtle blend of wine, history, and behavioural science. Like a combination of Mary Beard and Daniel Kahneman. But squiffy.

What am I?

A good question. I used to be a wine merchant. And then received an email that led to a meeting that ended up with me presenting The Wine Show. It’s on in over 100 countries, so you may well be able to find it near you.

Today I run a small winery in Ronda, in Andalucia, Spain. This is what it looks like. We’re making a TV show about it. And I’m making an online course (For Substack) that you’ll hear about soon. Mostly because I’ll be banging on about it.

What do I write about?

Another excellent question (you are a prescient interviewer). On Fridays I publish a chapter of “On Claret”. It was a rather silly book I wrote during lockdown. Each chapter is designed to be read in one trip to the lavatory (seriously) and gives you a story about red wine from Bordeaux that you can tell someone over the weekend.

On Wednesdays I publish a story from the wider world of wine. The very much wider. This will try to be interesting, funny, and will often contain some rather far fetched analogy. Your job - like figure skating judges - is to decide how well I do. You can hold up a number score if you like. I won’t be offended*.

Sign up. It’s almost all for free. The paid stuff comes soon. And it’s SERIOUSLY worth paying for.

*I will.

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Someone said this should be called "Fine Whine". Wine, Society, and Business as well as Friday instalments from Claret, "an amusing lavatory book about red Bordeaux".