While this was good at substituting for understanding whether the wine was dry or not, it perhaps led me to sample only the simplest and most commercial of wines. Remember Black Tower? No? Lucky you! I recall Orvieto (Italian white) from Safeway being a favourite. Safeway is no more and I can't recall the last time I bought an Orvieto... All in all, it was white or pink, simple and commercial. In a sophisticated wine bar in Edinburgh, I felt so mature as I ordered a glass of Hock. Would my tastes have evolved in the same way had I not be lucky enough to move to Switzerland in the summer of 1993?
By the shores of Lake Neuchatel, I found the local cheap(er) Chasselas rather acidic, and quickly turned my attention to the Pinot Noir grape which found a delicate expression in a Blanc de Noir (light rose) called "Oeil de Perdrix". From there it was a simple jump into Pinot Noir itself, and a developing love for red wine... While in Switzerland, I met a Spanish opera singer from Burgos who introduced me to his local wine "Ribera del Duero". This region signaled a move towards deeper reds, and with Spanish reds being known as Tinto (the very word meaning stained or dyed), this eventually culminated in the arrival of the perhaps, not too welcome, Purple Teeth phenomenon...
For me, the love of deep red wines is worth the need to scrub a little harder with the toothbrush. Wine as a passion has brought me so much joy, through travelling to some of the most beautiful wine regions of the world, tasting and enjoying hundreds of different wines, sharing wines with friends and learning ever more about the subject.
This site is not about encouraging you to spend £200 on a bottle of wine. If that's your wine budget, quite possibly, you already know more than you'll learn here.
What I'd like to do is entertain, expand your knowledge of different wines, help you choose the best wine for your budget, demystify the wine list and, most of all, to help you have more fun with wine. My personal philosophy is that I'd rather have one £15 bottle than two £7.50 bottles - but only if the £15 is twice as nice. So, while the premium wines may get a mention from time to time, you'll find most of the wines I talk about in your local supermarket.
I'm pleased to say I've enjoyed some of the world's most iconic wines like Penfold's Grange (Aussie shiraz), Opus One (Californian Cabernet), and Vega Sicilia (Ribera del Duero Tempranillo) along with many other premium wines. I've visited Bordeaux, Burgundy, Mendoza, Stellenbosch, Sonoma, Napa as well as wine estates in Switzerland, Spain and the UK. It's fair to say, I've tested the market. <It's a tough job but someone's got to do it>. The special wines are great. But they're just that - special. For most, they're to be enjoyed once in a lifetime, if we get lucky. Purple Teeth is more about wine you'll feel fine about opening on a Tuesday night with a friend. I hope to help you find more enjoyable wines for your weekends and special occasions, and perhaps even make wine into your special occasion!
As well as reviewing wines I've drunk <not those I've just "tasted">, I hope to tell tales from my travels, and share my wider thoughts about wine. I'm also planning to develop this site to include much more background information. But that's for another day. In the meantime: CHEERS!