Change ahead


26 July 2019 We're delighted to announce that at last the new version of, v6, is at last compatible with the latest version of Internet Explorer, version 11. We thank anyone who was driven mad by previous incompatibility for their patience.

Work continues very much full on behind the scenes to iron out the many bugs involved in the new version. It had to be built, as we pointed out earlier, because the v5 platform was not supported so was already vulnerable, and would become more so with time. And, alas, we felt obligated to launch it earlier than was ideal because of the imminent departure of Richard Hemming MW, who had been in charge of the project, for Singapore. Andrew Morris has taken over responsibility for IT liaison and Tam has been doing a wonderful job trying to help everyone get to grips with the new system.

Our deepest sympathies to anyone who is still struggling with the new version. We are continuing to refine and improve the tasting notes search in particular - as well as a number of other functions that may not be as immediately obvious to visitors but which need to be fixed in order for the site to work. We thank those who have experience of similar transitions for their kind, appreciative and sympathetic messages.

16 July 2019 The tasting notes search continues to evolve. If you try it today, I hope you will see just how fast it is – almost disconcertingly so. There is no 'Search' button; it reacts immediately to whatever you put in the relevant fields. Do remember to 'Clear filters' before initiating a new search, however. 

15 July 2019 Should you continue to experience problems, particularly with our tasting notes search, this may well be because your browser is still trying to access a cached version of the old website, so your are effectively not logged in. Please would you log out, clear cookies from your browser cache, and then log back in again. This should restore your access. We sincerely hope so.

13 July 2019 The Lord be praised. You may now click on all headings at the top of tasting notes search results to sort them efficiently, and remarkably fast. Things are improving, though I'm afraid the mobile version still lags behind. Many apologies. All is being worked on.

11 July 2019 You can now, at last, sort tasting notes by choosing one of the possible options given in the temporary dropdown menu top right of any list of tasting notes search results. This is a temporary format until the click-on-a-heading functionality is restored but at least works for now.

8 July 2019 Commiserations to all those trying to make sense of the current, decidedly temporary, tasting notes search results. This transition to our new platform is very much work in progress and we hope to continue to add improvements daily. You may well wonder why we launched before everything was absolutely perfect, but since Richard, who has manfully been liaising with the developers on this massive migration and redesign, departs for Singapore later this month, there was a certain unavoidable time pressure to at least launch a version of the new platform. And I think anyone who has done anything similar (and our website structure is particularly complex) will recognise the inevitable bugs and frustrations. But mainly, we are very sorry indeed for these current inconveniences.

6 July 2019 The design and working of the mobile version of the site is currently lagging far behind the full-screen version and we apologise particularly to those struggling to search for tasting notes on their mobiles. Improving this is a current priority. Once everything is working properly, tasting notes search should be even quicker and smoother than before. We hope to be able to offer an improved service as soon as possible and are very sorry for any inconvenience caused. 

5 July 2019 At last, our new site is live, following an extremely convoluted wrangle with various bugs, gremlins and whatever other nasties reside inside all things technical. Our new forum is still being tinkered with, but should magically appear in the next few days. Otherwise, we are expecting a few teething troubles to start with so would request your continued patience, but also welcome all and any feedback via the contact form. Also, we hope you will appreciate the immediate improvements that have been made to the site in terms of speed and design, especially concerning the tasting notes search facility. To search, click on the relevant item in the menu across the top of the page. 

3 July 2019 We crave your indulgence. 

At some point this week we hope to switch the back end of this site to a brand new version that has taken 10 months and considerable investment to build. It is possible (just) that you won't notice a thing, except for our much-improved new format for the forum. But it is also highly likely that there will be a glitch or two. 

If we go offline for a while, this is the reason. And there will be a period, short we hope, when it will be impossible to join, cancel or extend your membership. Our payment provider will continue to be the third party Stripe (we do not hold your credit card details ourselves) but the aim has been to make the membership process much smoother, particularly for those signing up for Professional membership and those who wish to give a Gift membership. 

Our chief motivation, however, is to continue to improve the site and your experience of it. We have been impelled to commission this upgrade now, five years after the last one, because the framework on which the last rebuild was based is no longer supported. As everyone who has ever been involved in a similar exercise knows, these operations always take far longer than one ever imagines. At one point we were working towards a November 2018 relaunch (ha!), but our particular quirks (especially tasting articles) proved quirkier than anticipated. is too complex to use a completely off-the-peg design, alas.

Once the new back end is installed, please don't hesitate to let us know of any problems and we will try to do our best to solve them as soon as is feasible. Our usual Contact button at the bottom of every page may not work immediately after launch so we would ask you to email with any comments about functionality, and with concerns about membership issues.

We are also making minor changes to the look of the front end but these are small and may take a little longer to appear.

Meanwhile our fingers are tightly crossed. I will give due credit to the developers once all is working well. It seems a bit of a hostage to fortune to thank them now.  But I will pour credit on Richard, who has masterminded the project with aplomb, good humour and efficiency. So far...