RIP Michael Broadbent MW

Michael Broadbent has sadly died!

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There’s a really touching (and funny) piece about him on Jancis’s website:


Sad news indeed, I certainly owe him a debt of thanks. His book, Wine Tasting, was formative in stimulating my interest and appreciation back in the day.

… the cover illustration ( 1976 edition ) made me realise how much the world of wine, and who consumes it, has changed in the last 45 years.


I heard of his passing as I woke up this morning and immediately watched this.


I almost killed my copy of ‘vintage wine’ with reading and re-reading. Somebody who got a lot of people into wine, and probably the definition of the difference between ‘American’ and ‘English’ taste. I saw him in Taunton once, quite fierce for someone who seemed so debonair.

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His pocket book on winetasting is still well worth reading, particularly on how to organise a tasting.

I also have a copy of ‘Vintage Wine’ which is fascinating both for the sheer breadth of what he had managed to taste, and the provenance of some of it.

Last of that generation.


I always used to smile at his coded put-down of a Parkerised wine: ‘impressive’.


When I first started getting into wine there were three big names; Michael Broadbent, Hugh Johnson (the newbie) and Edmund Penning-Rowsell. All eminently knowledgeable and to a man, ‘the right sort’. Some of our modern wine ‘experts’ would do well to read them and follow their example.

Care to name names?

No I think they’re pretty easy to identify by their words, actions and deeds. The Broadbent generation seemed to have ‘done the legwork’ to achieve what they did. Perhaps it’s easier now with the Internet to sound knowledgeable.

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