An exploration of wine

About - what you'll find here and why

Book 1 photographed by the vineyards at A. Rafanelli in Dry Creek Sonoma, 2004

Book 1 photographed by the vineyards at A. Rafanelli in Dry Creek Sonoma, 2004

Hi. I’m Tim and this is my site mostly dedicated to wine, and mainly through 20 years’ worth of books of wine labels. I’m a wine lover, wine student and most importantly wine drinker.

My personal journey started back in 1994, in Chablis at 9am on the first morning of a summer holiday with my Dad. Since then, I’ve drunk, learned, appreciated, liked, disliked, visited, met, discussed, taught and wondered my way around the wine world.

This site captures some of that journey through the wines themselves. It also gives me a platform to share thoughts on wine, and occasionally other stuff.

I started a keeping the labels of wines I’d drunk as a way to remember what was good (and sometimes bad). The first book began around the end of 1998, with my friend Rob, and I’ve been going ever since. I’m currently filling Book 8. 2017 felt like the right time to take this digital. Hence This was the first entry:

Where it all started: the first ever entry

Where it all started: the first ever entry

You’ll see that Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4 and Book 5 are now fully online, with a post for each entry in each book (around 185-195 wines per book), transcribing each label and the associated entry that I wrote at the time – unchanged apart from the odd typo. I’m about to work on Book 6, and later books will come in time.

Each entry is primarily about the wine itself but often with something of its story too: where I got it, who & why it was drunk, how it was made and so on. Later, as I met more winemakers, I started having them sign their own labels; people behind a wine are important parts of what makes it. There are occasional entries for beers or other drinks that merited comment.

Book 1 took a bit over 5 years to fill. Later ones came closer to 2-3 years, particularly as my formal wine studies accelerated. Book 6, for example, began in South Africa in November 2015 and more-or-less finished in Italy in September 2017.

Collectively, these books act like a diary, telling the story of my own journey of discovery and understanding. In early books, entries are less sophisticated – in many ways naïve, but I have left them unedited as I’ve transcribed them.

Sometimes what I thought and wrote back then can be cringeworthy. Sometimes, I show dislike for wines that today I love. I make no excuses for that: that’s how learning happens. And particularly with some wines, you have to ‘get’ the style to appreciate it – I didn’t then but may well do now. The entry for this Donnhoff Kabinett Riesling that I probably drank around 2001 or 2002 is a perfect case in point.

The rest of the site has more about me, a blog of general wine things, notes about wine places to visit (because that’s the best way to understand wines, and wine country is rarely less than beautiful) as well as the people behind wines (because wine people are rarely less than kind and generous).

And space for anything else I feel like opining on. Probably cycling, maybe rowing, possibly food, but you never know… So I hope there’s something worth reading here. Drop me a line if you want to chat @ABnegative on Twitter, or you can contact me here.

So here is the full list of links to the 192 wines in Book 5, from Wine 760 to Wine 951. Book 5 and …