The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the texture of life for us all, and left no field of economic activity unruffled. More than 2.5 million people have lost their lives and 115 million have been infected, with up to one in 10 of those infected suffering long-term consequences.
Anosmia (the loss of taste and smell) is a symptom of Covid. International travel has slowed to a trickle; restaurants and bars have closed; festivities and celebrations of all sorts have become muted.
Wine, as a widely traded commodity and one synonymous with conviviality, has been profoundly though irregularly affected. Who are the winners and losers? Has the crisis changed the way we think about wine? What new ways have we found to talk about and to share our wine experiences? In a world whose biggest challenge remains the climate crisis, might ‘travel shame’ affect the wine world? Is luxury still alluring? Have the different rates of success in fighting the virus in different parts of the world changed the balance of power in the wine world?
These are some of the questions we aim to discuss in this upcoming Meeting of the Minds.
Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford, speaking from France, will be bringing together a panel of key thinkers, educators, writers and experts in four countries to talk through these and other issues.
Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild, Andrew has been writing about wine since 1988, notably for The Evening Standard and The Financial Times among other UK newspapers. He has columns in every edition of Decanter magazine and World of Fine Wine magazine, and is co-chair of Decanter World Wine Awards and vice-chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards. His books include The New France, Whisky Island and Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course.
New York-based Eric Asimov is the Chief Wine Critic of the The New York Times; his books include How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto and Wine With Food: Pairing Notes and Recipes from the New York Times.
Speaking from Ampuis in the Northern Rhône, comes Philippe Guigal, the third generation of one of France’s most significant and dynamic wine families, exporting its wines to 137 different countries around the world
Master of Wine Fongyee Walker read Classical Chinese at Cambridge University and captained the University Blind Tasting team before moving to Beijing to found Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting with her husband, fellow MW Edward Ragg.
Former lawyer Professor Steve Charters MW teaches Wine Marketing at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, having formerly taught at the Reims Management School and at the Edith Cowan University in Perth; he obtained his MW in 1997. He also blogs at https://wineandculture.net/