Family Money: UK Property: A return to normality?
Managing director of Westminster Portfolio Services (Thailand) Ltd.
After 32 gruelling months of declining markets and a
fall in equity prices exceeded only by the 1929 crash, investors are
understandably losing patience with equity markets. Equities are simply
not making the recovery investors have been waiting for. Both US and
European stock markets are careening around from sector to sector, making
investment managers (not to mention investors) nervous and frustrated.
Alternative products have flooded into the market -
capital protected bonds, corporate bonds, property & TEP funds, hedge
funds - but there’s been an element of hysteria about how these products
have been promoted as if there’s only a limited amount of time before
everyone goes happily back into equity investing again.
But is that the case? The demographics of European and
UK pension fund money would indicate a surge in equity performance as a
tidal wave of assets, currently parked in cash and bonds, crashes into the
equity markets when the recovery begins. The argument goes “equities
must recover because they always have done and equities must outperform
all other asset classes because they always have done.”
There are two points to be made about this view. First,
the consensus is developing that equity returns are going to be
significantly lower in the next 10 years than they have been over the last
10. The 1990s’ bull-run was unprecedented and its antithesis will be
also. Waiting for another large-cap boom could turn out to be a simple
stalling tactic, especially with such low rates of inflation. It may no
longer be a question of getting the equity/bond or US/Europe split right.
It may now be a question of choosing the right manager regardless of the
Second, institutional money may not flow back into
equities on the scale people imagine. In the long term returns drive
investment, not the other way round. If high-yield bonds, gold or various
hedge fund strategies give better risk/return profiles, it won’t take
long for investors to move there, whatever their reputation for inertia.
They will have no choice because there are no obvious alternatives.
Perhaps the bubble has now been deflated and valuations
have returned to some kind of normality. But perhaps it has become time
for investors to expand their universe of asset classes permanently.
Why? Well, in the most recent rout, many of the more
fundamentally driven managers who have been uncomfortable with the market
for a number of years have been willing to return, as they are beginning
to make sense of valuations in relation to earnings’ prospects.
If we accept that fundamentals rather than momentum
will dictate returns in the near-term, a view must be taken of the
macroeconomic environment to determine whether stocks are correctly or
fairly priced. This is the most difficult task and I cannot predict the
outcome, only discuss possible scenarios.
The most probable scenario is that the softer US dollar
and weakening US economy force global monetary easing. While this would be
a pleasing situation, easing is only likely if central bankers grasp the
concept that the global economy is at risk.
World trade prices have been declining since 1995 and
have kept inflation low across the globe. But the result has been poor
corporate profitability. This must and would be reversed by sizeable
easing from central bankers globally - which would rescue financial
markets in the short term, but eventually result in a return to a modest
Equities and bonds would initially rally on the news,
but sovereign bonds would begin a medium-term bear market as they began to
obsess about inflation. Equities would initially benefit from the news,
but high P/E stocks would come under pressure as inflation rises.
The less likely prospect of deflation through policy
neglect is not a favourable option. If policymakers fail to act to offset
the current weak dollar/weak economy, the world will follow Japan into
mounting levels of insolvency, debt default and deflation. In this
scenario the world would enter a prolonged recession with high
unemployment and little or no wage growth. Equities would erode in value
and bonds would continue to appreciate.
Another possibility is a bond market meltdown. The
biggest bubble now is in the bond market and anything other than an
orderly rise in yields would present extreme difficulties for the
financial system. Although this is the least likely scenario its chances
of being realised would be increased by any military adventures.
My favoured option is for central bank intervention
(the others not being helpful to anybody). I am hopeful that central
bankers will realise what action is required and see the risks to growth
being greater than the risks posed by inflation.
The investment environment will, however, remain
unsettled and opaque. Some advisors see the current situation as an
appropriate entry point for long-term equity investors. However, anyone
hoping to speculate to make short-term gains is likely to be disappointed,
as bear markets tend to crush even the smartest investor.
Bond investors are now chasing capital gains rather
than yield itself and are clearly trading off equity market weakness,
rather than the dynamics of the bond market. In a reflationary world
corporate debt may finally provide a better risk return than government
bonds, but this is a riskier move which could prove expensive.
The safest place may be to sit on the fence - though
not necessarily on a hedge.
Sentiment-driven falls in June/July and - more
significantly - in September, may have marked the capitulation of the
exuberant investor. Valuations have reverted to historic fair value ranges
and a view must now be taken of the broader economic environment for the
next 12 months.
It is clear that most of the major economies are
slowing significantly; this has been reflected in the 40-year lows for
bond yields in the US. The question now is whether equity valuations have
reflected a further downturn in economic activity, and the likely response
by central bankers to this further downturn.
While it is all an educated guessing game where one
hopes for a positive outcome, the definitive bottom in the market will
only be seen with hindsight and we may still see a great deal of
volatility and stress going forward. After 32 months of declines, the bear
is getting fat and happy and he will eventually tire.
Personal Directions: Dare to be different!
By Christina Dodd,
founder and managing director of Incorp Trining Associates
To create an impact and to get results sometimes requires
using methods that have not been tried before or are not the usual routine.
Complacency in training methods can become a trap for trainers that can have a
less than rewarding outcome, so it is therefore paramount to continue to
explore and develop different, innovative and effective ways of training that
can complement existing standards.
Recently I delivered a confidence building program to a
group of young - and not so young - sales men and women. Usually I meet the
participants before the training in a getting to know you exercise, but this
time I didn’t have the opportunity to do so and therefore they all thought
that they would be taken through the usual theory and practical activities
that so many other trainers had taken them through before. They entered the
program with the statement written on their faces - “Why am I here?”
Regardless of the prevailing attitude, we moved into the
program and worked our way through the basics. We then introduced our
workshops and after doing some rather “comfortable” activities we then
proceeded to an activity that would really be an eye-opener for everyone in
the program that they really didn’t think they should be attending. Rather
than sitting in the safety of the training room to complete this particular
activity, we took the participants into the market place - literally! There
were gasps and giggles and expressions of shock and fear, but following the
initial outbursts everyone accepted to take on the task. Each person was
dropped at a different area of the local shopping mall with two things - a
product to sell and their own set of skills. Each person had to make as many
sales as they could within a one hour period.
It was interesting to see at first how the participants
were so set against this activity and threw up all sorts of reasons as to why
they wouldn’t be able to achieve their objectives. They were afraid to get
out there and prove themselves. They thought it a little beneath them perhaps
and they were wondering what to do if they met up with someone they knew - how
embarrassing! Despite the objections, however, they were willing to give it a
try and at the end of the hour (which some thought would never end) every
single person had made at least one sale and several had done extremely well!
They were excited and happy with their own performance and the fact that they
actually did this!
When we all got back to the safety of the training room
(phew!) and started to discuss the preceding hour at length, every person felt
that their level of confidence had increased dramatically, probably because
the activity was a difficult one and one that took them away from the normal
way they work. They certainly had never experienced sales training like this
before. They all agreed that being “put on the spot” meant that they had
to draw on the resources they had at hand and that they had to create
techniques that would bring immediate and positive responses. They had to use
every ounce of energy and ability to get results.
I think it is so necessary to do things differently and to
learn to think “outside the box”. It’s important to explore new and
alternative approaches to learning and to doing. If we continue to do
everything in the same way, then we are simply going to get the same results.
Changing the way we do things - changing the way we approach training - can
lead to greater outcomes and results. Of course there are fundamental elements
and theory that need to be retained in any program, but the delivery methods,
techniques, scope of activities and level of participation and interaction
should be given importance and focus. They should be innovative, challenging
and results-oriented. They should be designed in such a way to help
participants draw on their existing capabilities and everyone has
At the end of the two day program, the group of salespeople
who had to get down to the bare bones of selling in a public place - where
they didn’t have their usual safety nets - all felt much more confident
after having been exposed to the shopping mall challenge, and indeed to other
aspects of the training program. They didn’t like what they had to do at
first, but afterwards they all agreed that the results in their own
development were well worth the effort. And they took this resurgence of
energy and confidence back with them to the workplace, to their colleagues and
to their staff.
It is quite extraordinary to see the changes in behavior
and performance when people gain or re-gain their self-confidence. It’s
almost as if they have the power to leap tall buildings in a single bound! I
have witnessed very positive changes in individuals and teams who have finally
got that boost in confidence that has been lacking or missing for so long, or
that has never really been strong enough to show it-self.
There comes to mind a particular teambuilding program I was
involved in where out of the three teams competing, one team was suffering
incredibly with finding methods to tackle the task at hand. The idea was to
get from one place to another following the same set of conditions as the
other teams had to follow, but not duplicating methods along the way. Team B,
as we’ll call them, were so despondent and were beginning to lose all
confidence and spirit to win because they couldn’t get their thoughts in
line, and could see the other teams forging ahead. Then it came to one of them
to look beyond the immediate and the obvious, to think outside the box and
take a different approach to the problem - then they finally understood how to
get to where they had to go. It was amazing to witness the surge of power that
suddenly spurred them on to win. Just by adopting a different approach they
were able to continue.
Thinking differently and acting differently can be the
catalyst for remarkable change and improvement in both our personal and
professional lives. And so much more can be achieved in the field of education
and training if we can find more than the usual and conventional ways to
deliver the valuable knowledge and information we have to share.
If you are looking at ways to boost the confidence and
performance of your sales staff or staff in other areas of your business for
that matter, please contact me directly at [email protected] ing.com
or at my office in Bangkok.
Until next time, have a great week!
The Doctor's Consultation by Dr. Iain Corness: Quitting the Weed Part 2 - How to do it!
Last week in this column I wrote about the difficulties
involved in giving up cigarettes. Smokers are not creatures of habit, smokers
are people caught in the clutches of addiction.
To give up cigarettes there are many, many ways, ranging
from acupuncture, hypnosis, the I Ching, Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT),
chewing gum, patches, nasal spray and many others all the way through to cold
turkey. Hop onto the internet and you are besieged with offers, all of which
will make it ‘easy’ for you to stop smoking, and all of which will cost
What you have to realise is that Nicotine is more addictive
than heroin. I know that’s probably hard to believe, but that really is the
crux of the matter. You take Nicotine into all of your metabolic pathways
until you “need” to have Nicotine to be able to function. Nicotine becomes
part of your metabolic chemical chains, and they don’t work properly without
it. Now you can see just why you feel so dreadful when you go without
cigarettes (nicotine) for any period of time.
Now, leaving aside hypnosis and acupuncture, about which I
know very little, but the good books tell me do not enjoy high success rates,
let’s look at the other methods. The majority rely on Nicotine Replacement
Therapy (NRT). All the gums and sprays do is to make Nicotine available for
you in measured doses - much like cigarettes do. You get the craving, you chew
the gum. You get the craving, you squirt the spray.
Patches are slightly different. They deliver the Nicotine
slowly over a 12 or 24 hour period and are supposed to stop the craving before
it happens. But often do not.
After stabilizing on the NRT it is time to bring the dosage
down, which is the next hurdle at which many fall. The end result can be
cigarette smoking plus NRT - a potentially fatal combination. In fact, I
strongly believe that NRT should only be done under close medical supervision.
Too much nicotine can kill too!
So to the best way - Cold Turkey. The proof is in the
numbers. There has been enough research done and the prime factor is that the
quitter has to be committed to the concept of becoming a non-smoker. Doing it
(quitting) for somebody else, because you lost a bet, because you are being
nagged into it by your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend is doomed to failure, I am
afraid. This is something which requires your total commitment. 100% all the
way. Last week I mentioned just how I thought it would be a bad scene for a
couple of days, and then found that it was a couple of weeks of torture. Here
I am a couple of decades later and I could begin smoking again tomorrow. It
requires dedication and commitment. Yours! No one else’s!
So, I admit that those who go cold turkey may go through a
rough time with withdrawals initially, but the majority are still non-smokers
after one year. The same cannot be said for the others. The “hard” way is
ultimately the best way.
You have to make the decision to quit. You set the day. You
tell all your friends that you are now a non-smoker - and you stick to it!
Become a non-smoker for 2003!
Seems like its time to write to you again - 3 times in
4 years ain’t bad, methinks! The previous letters were, if you recall,
about Elephants and bar ownership. Today it’s about another subject dear
to me (and the Scot’s out there will understand my use of the word
“dear”) ... the Thai female. What on earth is wrong with all those
countless muppets who continually write to you complaining about their
Thai girlfriends? Surely one of the main reasons most of these whingers
fled their homeland to try the delights of Thailand was because they were
either dissatisfied with their own womenfolk, or couldn’t maintain a
relationship with one in the first place. I say to them they are bloody
lucky to have this chance, and if they don’t like it they should b*gger
off home and leave these little darlings to a more appreciative
population. These guys don’t know how lucky they are. There’s me with
the love of me life, gorgeous little slip of a lassie from Udon Upthere,
me hoping to learn lots of deep and meaningful things from her, and what
happens? She learns to love drinking PG Tips tea in the mornings, Old
Speckled Hen beer in the evenings, cooks bacon, eggs, beans and toast for
breakfast, smothers everything in tomato sauce, sleeps all night and stays
awake all day, only watches western movies on the box, goes on the Hash
runs and sings ribald songs (and promptly gets named after her favourite
English beer!), despises Owen and Beckham (in favour of the Hammers!), and
get this, actually sits at the table to eat, not on it! I dunno - all I
wanted was a little bit of that Eastern “mystique”. Now she has the
nerve to tell me she’s not Thai, she’s a potato - brown on the
outside, white on the inside! So to all you guys who took a Thai bride and
now complain because “she doesn’t understand, why can’t she
change?” - grow up, get a life, or go home. Me? I’m as happy as a pig
Dear Spicy Martin,
Thank you for your latest epistle from the gardens
of pleasure. Hillary must admit that I don’t fully remember the
elephants and bar ownership issue, but I fully support the notion that
elephants should not own a bar, unless they are older than 21 years and
accompanied by a mature mahout. In addition, because of their size and
dark colour, elephants should not be out at night without a taillight, but
that’s another topic altogether. I can understand the “potato”
analogy that your lady is using, but it seems to me that you are trifle
miffed by all this. Hillary gets the feeling that you actually wanted
someone to remain ‘native’ and teach you Eastern mystique so that you
could then describe yourself as being old doggy doo (white on the outside
but brown on the inside)! However, Petal, I am glad to see that you are
able to adjust to your partner’s preferences. I certainly makes for
harmony if you just give in!
As an American who retired in Thailand after working
several years in the “Sandbox” I faced the same problem as the subject
writer (Chiangmai Mail Vol 1, No. 3) when my fantastic Thai wife of 28
years would return to Thailand. Here are my suggestions: Obtain an ATM
card from the bank you are using in Thailand and teach your intended how
to use it! Our bank had a basic ATM card with a daily limit of 10,000 baht
which worked flawlessly. Since we have a joint account, she could withdraw
larger amounts inside the bank.
I used a variety of fund transfers: U.S. dollar money
orders from Saudi-Hollandi and Saudi-American Banks, made out to my bride,
which she deposited without problem several times. This method took the
longest due to my use of Saudi/Thai “Express” mail (regular letters
took 5-7 days, “Express” took 10-20 days!).
Direct wire transfers of U.S. dollars to our Thai bank
account through Saudi-Hollandi Bank (requires knowing your bank’s
address, your account number, the account name - very important, and the
TELEX number(s)). These transfers normally took 5 days and the funds were
available on the day of receipt.
I also made direct U.S. dollar transfers through Al
Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp. Al Rajhi were associated with Bangkok
Bank. They require the same information as Saudi-Hollandi. These transfers
normally took 2 - 3 days and the funds were available upon receipt.
Notes: 1. You should have a phone number for the
account holder even if it’s just a cellular phone. 2. Exchange rates are
better by sending U.S dollars rather than baht. 3. Don’t forget to have
your Iquama number and issue date translated and take them with you!
I then tracked the amount by having my bride read the
amount withdrawn, date, and balance from the receipt, to me in our weekly
phone calls. I also called my bride on the day that I transferred funds,
so she could watch for it. Hope that helps.
P.S. I really get a chuckle out of your weekly column,
Hillary. By your wording, I suspect that your origin is somewhere in the
Retired & Loving It
Dear Retired & Loving It,
Thank you for the detailed guide to overseas banking
services. Everyone with a wife here, while they work “there” should
read the advice. On second thoughts, everyone should always follow the
advice in these columns! As regards the British Empire (upon which the sun
never sets), which year? It’s a lot smaller these days, Petal! By the
way, your bride wants to know if she can take off the wedding dress now,
after all it’s been 28 years!
Camera Class: Name, rank and serial number!
Let us start this week with a small mental exercise. (These
are a good idea for people with small mental capacities like Harry Flashman!)
What are the serial numbers of your camera(s), lenses, flash gear and motor
drives? You don’t know (or perhaps don’t care)? If you don’t have these
somewhere safe (and I don’t mean stamped on the camera) then your chances of
getting your cameras back after a robbery are very small.
This article was prompted by one of my photographic friends
who had his cameras ripped off last week. Being a good photographer, he had some
good cameras and lenses and the discriminating thief made off with the lot.
Losing a good camera is like losing a good friend. I know
about these things, through bitter personal experience. I have been robbed
twice. Once my photography studio was broken into and the thief left all the
medium and large format cameras but made off with an old Canon AE1 (yes, it was
a long time ago, but the other robbery was much more recent).
I came home one evening to find the house in darkness, which
made me somewhat suspicious, as I always leave at least one light on for the
family animals. Opening the door my worst suspicions were realised. Every drawer
had been pulled out and tipped upside down. And even more ominously, my grey
camera bag had been moved.
Like all photojournalists, that battered old grey camera bag
contained the tools of my trade. The bits and pieces that have helped me make
money over the years. The equipment may be battered somewhat also, but it is
always in working order. For your interest, here is what the average
photojournalist would carry. Two Nikon FA’s, one Nikon FM2N, a couple of motor
drives, a Metz 45 CT1 flash, plus filters, three lenses, tripod adapter for a
Manfrotto tripod, spare cables, wires, black tape and a notebook. Two of the
three cameras are always pre-loaded with film and have a lens mounted ready to
I picked up the bag and it was too light and my heart fell -
it had been cleaned out, other than the flash unit and a few filters and sundry
pieces. I am not ashamed to say that I cried. Those cameras were all part of me.
Recovering from the initial shock I began to wonder just how
the thief or thieves had got in. The police investigating my call soon showed me
how. The burglar had removed some roof tiles and come in through the ceiling.
Apparently this is a common way to gain entry to what is otherwise an
“impenetrable” home. The felon comes one evening and removes the roof tiles
then returns the next day and does a quick robbery as soon as the occupants are
out, taking anything that is small, valuable and easily carried. Like Harry’s
cameras! Or worse still - yours!
So what can you do to try and stop this dreadful scenario
happening to you? Well, the first thing is to attempt to make your home as
secure as you can possibly make it. Consider bars in the ceiling as well as the
usual ones on the windows. Motion detectors around the house can make sense. So
does a large dog.
After all that, what else can you do to protect your
investment in camera gear (and other valuables)? Well, it’s called insurance.
For a premium of around 2% of the insured value, you can insure your cameras
against theft from your home. If you want to cover them 24 hours a day in all
locations, including your car, then the premium is considerably higher, around
Of course, insurance does not stop your cameras being stolen. Insurance also
does not replace your prized camera with one exactly the same - in many
instances this may be impossible following model changes and availability from
the manufacturers and other such variables. But at least you can replace your
camera with another.
Recipes from Rattana: Microwave egg and potato
One of the advantages of microwaves is just that you can
prepare some items of food very quickly. This does not mean the TV dinners that
come pre-packaged and deep frozen, but the microwave oven can be used to
produce quick snacks from fresh items. This week’s recipes cover some easy,
quick snacks with a few little wriggles to enhance the food.
Take a microwave-proof cup and smear the inside with butter
or margarine. Sprinkle salt and ground black pepper into the cup. Gently break
the egg into the cup keeping the yolk intact. Cover the cup with cling wrap and
cook for around two minutes on “Roast” or 75% power. Remove the cup from
the microwave, remove cling wrap and turn upside down on to toast or a plate.
The egg looks appetising with the ground pepper sprinkled through it; this also
imparts a subtle “something extra” taste to the simple poached egg.
Chose small potatoes (around 3-5 cm diameter). Prick the
outsides all over with a fork and rub cooking oil all over them. Wrap each in
cling wrap and place in microwave. Cook on Full Power (100%) - 2 potatoes for
5-6 minutes, 4 potatoes - 8 minutes, 6 potatoes - 12 minutes. Test with a fork
to make sure they are fully cooked and cook for a little longer if required.
Judging a wine by its label
By Ranjith Chandrasiri
More people choose wines by their labels than anyone
would like to admit. Novices reach for colourful eye-catching labels; snobs
demand famous names. But in fact, a wine label reveals a great deal about
the flavours in the bottle. You can begin your tasting even before you’ve
pulled the cork.
Although each country has its own laws regarding wine
labels, basically there are three kinds of labels: varietal-based, terroir-based
and sheer fantasy. The information they offer, much of it required by law,
overlaps to a large extent, each one reflects a different approach to
Have you ever bought a Chardonnay? Then you’re already
familiar with the varietal approach; wines named for the grape variety that
makes up all (or some legally defined minimum) of the juice in the bottle.
California pioneered this method and most of the New World producers have
adopted it. However, some European wine regions such as Alsace in France and
Friuli in Italy, for example have traditionally followed this approach.
Most European wines, however, use terroir-based labeling.
Terroir is a French word that comprehends all the physical factors - its
soil, exposure, microclimate, etc., that distinguish a given vineyard or a
wine region. These wines may be made from a single grape variety (such as
Pinot Noir for red wines in Burgundy) or a blend that may vary by vintage
(such as Bordeaux’s judicious mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and
Some winemakers have found themselves so frustrated by
local wine regulations, which may dictate certain grape blends or
vinification techniques as prerequisites to obtaining labels, whether based
on varietal or terroir, they abandon traditional approaches and use labels
based simply on fantasy. In Tuscany, producers determined to make new-style
wines abandoned the terroir-based Chianti labels for the humble designation
vino da tavola (table wine). In California, winemakers working with the
grapes and flexible blending approach of Bordeaux have given up some
varietal-based labels to bottle “Meritage” wines.
Each kind of label gives different clues to the wine
inside the bottle, but all labels include a few basics. For example, the
producer’s name is always prominent. Most wineries develop consistent
signatures, based on their location, winemaking skills and marketing goals;
once you’re familiar with a winery’s profile, the producer’s name is
perhaps the most reliable indicator of wine style and quality.
The wine’s vintage is almost always shown, too. If
you’re familiar with the vintages of a given region, this can be a telling
indicator - red Bordeaux were mostly light and diluted in 1992, but rich and
concentrated in 1990. However, even if you don’t know whether a specific
vintage was good or bad, knowing how old a wine is indicates something about
its current style: young, fresh and fruity, or older, smoother and more
complex. Most whites, and many reds, are best within three years of the
vintage; wines that age well increase in price over time. But beware of old,
inexpensive wines that don’t improve with age.
Most labels indicate the region where the grapes were
grown and the wine made. On terroir-based labels, this factor is
particularly emphasized: The Burgundian appellations of Nuits-St.-Georges
and Vosne-Roman้e, for example, are more or less homogenous and
distinctive vineyard areas that at least in theory, impart recognizable
character to their wines, especially since appellation laws generally
regulate many aspects of grape growing and wine making.
Varietal-based labels also generally indicate
appellations (though often in small type), sometimes right down to the name
of the vineyard. But in these production areas regulation tends to be much
looser so wines from the same appellation tend to have less in common.
Fantasy labels often avoid any mention of the origin at all (sometimes the
laws won’t permit their indication). Since these wines deliberately break
with the traditions of their regions, origin doesn’t mean that much
What about the descriptions on labels? You will never
read one like this: “Due to poor weather conditions this vintage was
difficult and the resultant wine is of a lower quality. This wine is not
recommended for cellaring”. No, you get: “This delicate table wine shows
outstanding fruit balanced by natural acid. It may be enjoyed now or
cellared to enhance complexity”. That is not to criticize all
descriptions, many producers are reputable and their descriptions are
authentic and useful reference especially for the beginners.
Finally, don’t forget the price tag, stuck right there
next to the label. Yes, there may be wide disparities between a wine’s
cost and its quality. If you’re spending under 300 baht per bottle, the
wine is likely to be simple, offering alcohol as its principal virtue. From
300 baht to 1000 baht, most wines offer fresh fruit, enough structure to
marry well with food and some individual personality. From 1000 baht to 5000
baht, you can expect complex flavours of ripe fruit and new oak, enough
concentration to develop with aging and a distinctive character stamped with
the wine’s creator and origin. Pay any more, and you enter into a rarefied
world inhabited by passionate and deep-pocketed collectors; the rest of us
usually pass by with a shake of the head.
Wineries put a lot of effort into dressing up their
labels. Savvy wine lovers can decipher what the law says they must say, what
the producers want to say and sometimes more than they intend to say. Spend
some time studying labels before you buy and you’ll increase your chances
of finding a quality wine for your money.
Ranjith Chandrasiri is the resident manager of Royal
Cliff Grand and the founder of the Royal Cliff Wine Club, Royal Cliff Beach
Resort, Pattaya, Thailand, email: [email protected] com or [email protected]