25 July, 2008



Six Wines Eight, Berm


If you had an extra hour in the day what would you do with it?

Writing well-thought-out letters to friends and family at home would be an hour well spent. I used to write more when living in California and people really appreciated the effort.

What alcoholic drink do you most resemble?

With today's bleak headlines and the huge number of pessimists about I'd say I most resemble a martini. Shaken, but not stirred.

What would you recommend to a customer wanting to splash out?

The far north of New Zealand in February when the kids are at school and the white sand beaches are your own.

What's the most unusual thing that has happened to you in your shop?

As a favour to a friend I offered a tasting to her and her friends to kick off her hen night. Fifteen fine girls dressed like Madonna (a

1980's theme was decided), Aha on the stereo and Champagne flowing. Priceless.

If you could have three wishes to improve your working day what would they be?

A better chair. An inexhaustible supply of good music. Sunshine.

Does money motivate you?

Money does my head in as I love the stuff while simultaneously loathing it. Having enough to keep me in dim sum and holidays will do.

What's the most underrated and overrated wine in the UK market?

There are plenty of underrated wines coming from the Languedoc region, but in a way this is good as prices remain realistic. Overrated? 95% of Bordeaux. Where is the love, people?

When you're not working how do you seek your thrills?

I hand over my credit card and hope for the best.

If you could change one thing about the drinks industry what would it be?

The perception of wine by much of the populace. Some industry people take it (and themselves) far too seriously and scare off so many potential converts.

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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know