Sarah Heller

Latest from Sarah Heller

Grape & Grain | Chinese millennials should be leading the charge for wine e-commerce, but vendors fall short with marketing visuals

A wine expert finds that when buying online, Chinese consumers are faced with a deluge of information from price and origin, to more obscure facts like the ‘sobering up time’

A wine expert finds that when buying online, Chinese consumers are faced with a deluge of information from price and origin, to more obscure facts like the ‘sobering up time’

17 Aug 2017 - 6:23PM
Grape & Grain | How idea for a Hong Kong wine bar took time to mature, just like a good vintage

A desire to balance the simple enjoyment factor with imparting knowledge lies behind bar’s focus on by-the-glass basic and vintage offerings mixed with a modest list of bottles from diverse sources, including Bordeaux and Bulgaria

A desire to balance the simple enjoyment factor with imparting knowledge lies behind bar’s focus on by-the-glass basic and vintage offerings mixed with a modest list of bottles from diverse sources, including Bordeaux and Bulgaria

8 Jun 2017 - 5:47PM
Grape & Grain | Master of Wine Sarah Heller’s desert island wines

If you could take reds, whites, rosés, sparkling, sweet, and fortified wines – no more than two from each category – to a new planet, from which seven regions would you take them? Writer’s selection has some surprises

If you could take reds, whites, rosés, sparkling, sweet, and fortified wines – no more than two from each category – to a new planet, from which seven regions would you take them? Writer’s selection has some surprises

30 Mar 2017 - 5:19PM
Grape & Grain | Career opportunities for freshly graduated Masters of Wine

Hong Kong’s Debra Meiburg set up a wine events and communications business but auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, supermarkets and classic wine merchants also can offer jobs

Hong Kong’s Debra Meiburg set up a wine events and communications business but auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, supermarkets and classic wine merchants also can offer jobs

23 Feb 2017 - 5:42PM
Grape & Grain | Chinese millennials’ online wine buying habits a confusing subject

Writer not sure how to research online wine preferences of millennials in China, so she looks at habits of young Americans instead

Writer not sure how to research online wine preferences of millennials in China, so she looks at habits of young Americans instead

12 Jan 2017 - 5:33PM
Grape & Grain | Why Chinese millennials buying wine online is a phenomenon ripe for research

Which elements of an online wine advert matter most to buyers, Master of Wine candidate investigates as she tackles final leg of exhaustive qualification process by writing research paper

Which elements of an online wine advert matter most to buyers, Master of Wine candidate investigates as she tackles final leg of exhaustive qualification process by writing research paper

2 Jan 2017 - 3:28PM
Grape & Grain | Tannic whites and sweet reds: Georgia’s fantastic, upside-down world of wine

The grape names may be difficult to pronounce and they may ferment them differently, but the wines perfectly match Georgia’s delicious cuisine

The grape names may be difficult to pronounce and they may ferment them differently, but the wines perfectly match Georgia’s delicious cuisine

10 Nov 2016 - 9:11PM
Grape & Grain | Master of Wine student on the power of group study and breaking down blind tasting

An ecstatic Sarah Heller passes her MW exam and although it seems the worst is over, it is still a stage she is going through

An ecstatic Sarah Heller passes her MW exam and although it seems the worst is over, it is still a stage she is going through

An ecstatic Sarah Heller passes her MW exam and although it seems the worst is over, it is still a stage she is going through

An ecstatic Sarah Heller passes her MW exam and although it seems the worst is over, it is still a stage she is going through

29 Sep 2016 - 5:42PM
Grape & Grain | Wine writer gets her groove back on trip to Turin, where love affair with the grape began

Having finally got through her professional exams after years of study, it took a visit to the Italian city where she first encountered nebbiolo, ‘the genius grape’, to reignite Sarah Heller’s passion

Having finally got through her professional exams after years of study, it took a visit to the Italian city where she first encountered nebbiolo, ‘the genius grape’, to reignite Sarah Heller’s passion

1 Sep 2016 - 5:45PM
Grape & Grain | A wine’s hook is a thunderbolt that bypasses mere words and thoughts

Aside from its contribution to the sensual pleasures of a glass, the hook is like a lightning bolt that sets the limbic system ablaze

Aside from its contribution to the sensual pleasures of a glass, the hook is like a lightning bolt that sets the limbic system ablaze

28 Jul 2016 - 5:56PM
Grape & Grain | Master of Wine? I doubt it, when I can make a mistake like this in an exam

Missing a Bordeaux in an MW exam is like missing Groucho’s lines in a Marx Brothers’ movie, or failing to find “x” in a quadratic equation – but it happens

Missing a Bordeaux in an MW exam is like missing Groucho’s lines in a Marx Brothers’ movie, or failing to find “x” in a quadratic equation – but it happens

30 Jun 2016 - 4:58PM
Grape & Grain | How to be a wine taster: calm down, enjoy the experience, and meditate if that helps

Why the pressure of an impending exam has forced one Master of Wine student to cork her vindictive inner voice, take stock, and relax before the sniff, sip and swirl

Why the pressure of an impending exam has forced one Master of Wine student to cork her vindictive inner voice, take stock, and relax before the sniff, sip and swirl

18 May 2016 - 5:00PM
13 Apr 2016 - 12:01AM
10 Mar 2016 - 5:00PM
Grape & Grain | Hong Kong wine expert Sarah Heller on the terrors of blind tastings

My deep-seated distaste for such tastings may have something to do with my humbling first 'blinding', but for most tasters the best they'll do anyway is make a logical guess as to a wine's origin

My deep-seated distaste for such tastings may have something to do with my humbling first 'blinding', but for most tasters the best they'll do anyway is make a logical guess as to a wine's origin

4 Feb 2016 - 5:06PM
Grape & Grain | Why you can be Master of Wine yet pour it like a left-handed gorilla

Qualifying exams test your wine tasting, ability to research, and knowledge of the wine industry from vineyard to supermarket shelf - but not wine regions, wine brands nor even how to open a bottle of wine

Qualifying exams test your wine tasting, ability to research, and knowledge of the wine industry from vineyard to supermarket shelf - but not wine regions, wine brands nor even how to open a bottle of wine

6 Jan 2016 - 7:42PM
Grape & Grain | Why spitting trumps swallowing for the serious wine taster

Sarah Heller recounts her adventures in preparing for the notoriously difficult Master of Wine exam.

Sarah Heller recounts her adventures in preparing for the notoriously difficult Master of Wine exam.

19 Nov 2015 - 9:00PM
Grape & Grain | The challenges of becoming a master of wine, in Hong Kong and elsewhere

Hong Kong-based wine writer Sarah Heller traces her oenological journey.

Hong Kong-based wine writer Sarah Heller traces her oenological journey.

15 Oct 2015 - 9:01PM
Wine Opinion | The four worst enemies of wine in hot, burning bright Hong Kong

We tell you how to beat heat, light, vibration and the risk of oxygen contamination.

We tell you how to beat heat, light, vibration and the risk of oxygen contamination.

13 Aug 2015 - 11:39PM
Wine Opinion | Less is more: why it pays producers to promote a signature wine

You can name a wine after its grape, where it comes from, or both, as in Argentine malbec. While there's a risk of promoting uniformity, regions that don't do this, such as Chile, lack signature wines.

You can name a wine after its grape, where it comes from, or both, as in Argentine malbec. While there's a risk of promoting uniformity, regions that don't do this, such as Chile, lack signature wines.

17 Jul 2015 - 6:17AM
Dumbing down wine is not the way to sell more to millennial customers

Millennials are among the most maligned and marketed-to groups. Employers bemoan their sense of entitlement, laziness and constant demands for feedback while marketers wet themselves at the prospect of selling to them en masse. Having partied like it's 1999 in braces, spectacles and the company of my parents, I suppose I am a millennial. However, I don't pretend for a moment to represent the millennial wine drinker. Having joined the wine trade seven years ago, I've had access to wines that are way above my pay grade.

Millennials are among the most maligned and marketed-to groups. Employers bemoan their sense of entitlement, laziness and constant demands for feedback while marketers wet themselves at the prospect of selling to them en masse. Having partied like it's 1999 in braces, spectacles and the company of my parents, I suppose I am a millennial. However, I don't pretend for a moment to represent the millennial wine drinker. Having joined the wine trade seven years ago, I've had access to wines that are way above my pay grade.

5 Jun 2015 - 4:17PM
22 May 2015 - 6:57AM
17 Apr 2015 - 6:23AM
Tips and tricks for would-be wine collectors

The prerequisite for being a wine collector is simply the act of accumulating bottles for later consumption. A Rolls-Royce is not required; however, a genuine enjoyment of wine is. My suggestions relate to wine collecting for drinking; those investing for profit will find no lack of advice elsewhere.

The prerequisite for being a wine collector is simply the act of accumulating bottles for later consumption. A Rolls-Royce is not required; however, a genuine enjoyment of wine is. My suggestions relate to wine collecting for drinking; those investing for profit will find no lack of advice elsewhere.

13 Mar 2015 - 6:12AM
8 Jan 2015 - 4:49PM
16 Oct 2014 - 4:28PM
19 Dec 2013 - 9:29PM
24 Oct 2013 - 7:11PM