British journalist Jane Anson lives in Bordeaux and has this special feel for the wines and the country. Bordeaux has long term links with Great Britain – since Alienor of Aquitaine married the King of England in the 15th century. The British community is important, economically and culturally, in the city.
Jane Anson is the correspondent of many British newspapers and magazines as well as a travel journalist. She’s the author of several travel guides on the Bordeaux area and wines. She also put up a very informative and original web site, newbordeaux.com, a few days ago. I’m usually not a big fan of “local” sites but this one has a different approach. You’ll find a lot of information on the British professionnal community in Bordeaux on her “Profiles” section: chateaux owners, of course but also consultants, “negociants”, a few rising stars and the “individuals”, prominent people like Sylvie Cazes, the first woman heading the very conservative Union des Grands Crus Classés (Union of Classified Growths).
Let’s move on the “Controversies” page: Jane is not someone who hides from reality. She looks at the problems and states clearly the problem. Whether about the system of negociants or the price of the futures or the ridiculous affait of the St Emilion classification that went through three different court orders, Jane Anson explains clearly what’s behind the scene.
The “Innovations” page is my favorite: environmement, new wines, new techniques. The only thing really lacking in my humble opinion is something on the growing role of the new technologies in the wine industry. The image of Bordeaux is so contrasted on the web it could make a good article as well as the mention of the most innovative wineries’ web sites or online stores.
More traditionally, Jane writes also pages on tourism – places to see and to go and she knows the area so well you can’t miss anything. Follow her “wines to try” if you feel in an adventurous mood: she’s a woman of taste.
Let’s end on a lighter note: her page on “Bordeaux on screen” is perfect. Did you know that “The new Sebastian Faulk James Bond novel, Devil May Care, has Bond drinking Chateau Batailley, the Pauillac fifth growth? He is drinking the 1958 in Paris, talking to a French detective called Mathis. In the book, Mathis says, ‘It’s a fifth growth… it comes from a few metres west of Latour, but it’s a fraction of the price. Try it.’”
Yes, try it… I mean, Jane’s site!