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Harpers Wine without Siddle is like Top Gear without Clarkson

Published:  11 April, 2015

Like many people, I was taken by complete surprise on Friday when the announcement came that Richard Siddle was leaving Harpers. When I read the news I felt like someone had just punched me in the stomach; I genuinely felt sick; and I felt I'd lost a true colleague and friend.


Tampon tax - are you pulling my plonker?

Published:  10 April, 2015

There's no need to ask anyone in the drinks industry whether or not they're fed up with the excessive tax on alcoholic beverages; this is a given! But 'tampon tax', really? Are you serious?


Why is wine investment financially perilous?

Published:  02 April, 2015

I have long argued that wine investment is nothing more than high risk speculation, and I am on record for questioning the risk versus return of this asset class. In response, Wine Investment insiders are not shy in voicing their disdain and contempt for my views. In their words "to say wine investment is not safe is naive beyond belief". So who is right?


Myth: Wine investment is safe

Published:  28 March, 2015

Truth: The wine investment industry want you to believe this, after all it's in their financial interest that you buy into this belief, but try telling this to the clients that lost huge amounts of money in this unregulated market.


Ten dumb things to invest your money in

Published:  19 March, 2015

Wine investment must surely be the dumbest of all things to risk your money on. But where does it stand in the top ten dumb things to bet on; where you're sure to lose your money? Stephen Forward reveals his top ten dumb investment tips.


Enjoy the Crowd Funded party, it may be short-lived

Published:  23 February, 2015

I hate February with all my heart. And it's not just because it's that miserable time of year that I have my annual bath. Nor is it solely down to the fact that I have the charisma, predominantly, of an Ogre intent on spoiling a party.


March for Independents: 13 ways for retailers to keep on top of business law

Published:  20 February, 2015

Stephen Forward of the independent wine merchant business, Essentially Wine, gives a personal insight into how retailers like himself get on top of all the small business regulation.


The 11th Commandment - Don't offend wine critics

Published:  13 February, 2015

I found out recently that in the world of journalism it's apparently OK to mock the prophet Mohammad, but offending a Wine Critic is just one step too far.


Tim Atkin called Vinopolis a 'failure', but is he right and is that fair?

Published:  09 February, 2015

Those of the more fortunate readers amongst you who can cough up the annual Harpers Wine mag subscription fee were treated this month to Tim Atkin's take on the imminent closure of London's Vinopolis. But is his critique a fair reflection of the state of affairs at London's premier wine venue?


Stop taking the pessina, Boots

Published:  05 February, 2015

It doesn't matter how much you try, you can't polish a turd. At least that was the lesson this week for the poor old sods that work at Boots as they embarked on damage limitation following an almighty foul-up at the High Street pharmacy chain.


Please Sir, I want some more?

Published:  24 January, 2015

I've heard it all this week. It turns out that Majestic wine, of all companies, has done an Oliver Twist. They've colluded with a bunch of other apparently destitute wine merchants by writing an open letter begging their Bordeaux suppliers; asking: Please Sir, I want some more?


Competitive advantage through customer experience

Published:  18 January, 2015

News emerged this week that A&E waiting times in the UK have reached record levels. This is bad news on several fronts but, if my family are anything to go by, the A&E crisis may be partially attributable to the nation's deteriorating cooking skills.


A real glass act

Published:  08 January, 2015

Show me a real man that doesn't like a bit of willie and I'll show you a squirrel that doesn't like nuts!


Why Bordeaux producers should resist calls to 'reduce' their 2014 prices

Published:  31 December, 2014

Wine investors have been bitching about Bordeaux release prices for the last few years. According to investors, for the 2014 release, "The pressure will be on the producers to get their prices right". But what is the 'right price' and in whose interest is this 'right price'?


Stephen Forward: are zero-hour contracts an employment tool or Victorian torture?

Published:  08 December, 2014

There's been a lot of bad press lately on the subject of zero-hours contracts. The Labour party have pledged to abolish them if they win the next election. So what are zero-hours contracts exactly, why do employers use them, and how do they work in practice?


Stephen Forward: drinks industry under attack!

Published:  07 November, 2014

If you thought fox hunting had been banned, think again. It appears the concept has just mutated. Some people still get a thrill from the chase, so while it may be illegal to hunt and kill bushy tailed carnivorous mammals using horns, dogs and horses, a new form of hunting has now evolved.


Whatever happened to common sense?

Published:  28 October, 2014

We've all heard the term "more money than sense", haven't we? Well, recently I was offered a case of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 2011, at a mere £100,000 per dozen.


Stephen Forward: why fine wine prices won't recover anytime soon

Published:  20 October, 2014

It doesn't matter how much you flog it, the horse is dead! I'm talking of course about wine investment. We're unlikely to see this mule recover its losses anytime soon.


It's time wine investment was confined to the history books

Published:  15 October, 2014

This year has seen a string of investment companies go to the wall. Misguided speculators are learning the hard way that the whole concept of wine as an investment class asset is little more than fool's gold.


Add value to the supply chain, or move over!

Published:  09 October, 2014

Little did I know back then, over forty years ago when I was just knee high to a grasshopper, how important my hobby was to the retail supply chain.