21 March, 2008



The Winery, Maida Vale,


When did you first develop a passion for wine?

As a child I sensed it was something special. When I was 14 we were on holiday in Baden, southern Germany, and had a tasting at the Winzergenossenschaft in Britzingen. I remember loving the wines and was blown away by the differences from grape to grape and how different each wine tasted from one part of the village to another.

What tasting note best sums up your personality?

Intriguing, focused, quirky, generous, full of character.

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

I'd do more work and then try to cram in a few minutes of relaxation.

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

Work and play are inextricably linked. Work is my danger zone.

What is guaranteed to make your blood boil?

When I hear people say: "German wine, love it, impossible to sell." Not true.

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

If they fancy red I'd show them one of our top-shelf Burgundies or, if they fancy a white, a dry Erste Lage from the Mosel.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise your friends.

I changed my name when I was in a New Wave band in 1979. [Motion was also a music producer, working with the likes of Strawberry Switchblade.]

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

More hours, more energy and someone who really enjoys doing paperwork.

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

I would like the industry to be less preoccupied with building labels and brands. It seems to have more to do with market share and less to do with quality or special-ness.

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Disagreeing about wine is a fact of wine-trade life, like drugs in sport or corruption in politics. Because taste is entirely subjective, debates about our personal preferences are as inevitable as they are interminable. Indeed, these long-winded, wine-fuelled arguments are precisely what make our jobs so much fun.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know