Calling all cork dorks!

How many people can get excited about conglomerate corks? It struck me as I rattled out the 23rd paragraph on my ‘blog’ on a cork harvest that I might be pulverising my audience to cork dust. Can I really expect someone to be interested in the temperature of a cork bath? I reluctantly admitted to myself that I am probably one of few cork dorks who is riveted by the nuts and bolts of everything wine. But then maybe not…

On my first CWW trip, when I was just initiating myself in the realms of wine geekdom, I remember Keith Granger bubbling over in excitement at the bottling line. He paused at each one to ask about the spargers, the spinners and the bottle fillers. I didn’t understand a word of it, and I still don’t care to today. (Sorry Keith). But as his and Hazel’s new book on Wine Production and Quality has just scooped No. 1 Best Wine Book in the Worldit proves there clearly is a forum for every sort of wine nerd out there. And indeed, surely this is what the Circle is all about. We are a community of wine misfits and miscreants who will obsess over the minute details of malolactic fermentation and actually enjoy it enough to make it our profession.

But does that mean our audience is just as interested in said topic as we are? I’ve been worrying about ‘audience’ as I’ve been rejigging the Circle website in my new role as Editor. This is a circle with hundreds of members who come from diverse walks of life that range from singers to silks and live in places as far flung as Chile and Japan. As our membership expands further overseas and encompasses a growing network of diversified professions, the only thing that unites us is wine and our passion for communicating, and drinking, it.

But all wine geeks are not made equal, and there are some members within this circle who have such a vast cavern of knowledge, it frankly makes me quiver in my boots to even try to string together a sentence in public.

But duty calls and so here goes…

Fellow circle members and cork dorks, what do you want to see for the new Circular online? This is your forum, and I would like to know how you want to use it. 

Member news and member musings are a given, but with the boundless nature of cyber space I think we can achieve much more. This should be a space to showcase your talents, to forge together our community of wine communicators, and create a ‘safe space’ for geeky overspills.

I look forward to working with you all.

Amanda Barnes


Please send me your ideas and future contributions to The Circular at 

The featured image is from my cork harvest last month, taken in Coruche Forest, owned by Amorim.

PS. Here’s my cork dork selfie. You might recognise a few English sparkling wine producers hiding in the background…