What is your most memorable wine experience?

The wonderful thing about working in this industry is that you are spoilt rotten by producers and clients alike, so to pick one specific experience is almost impossible. I find wines always taste better when you’re surrounded by people you like and so I will have to choose a recent moment just before starting at CV when I was on holiday in Portugal with my family. My husband and I discovered a bottle of 1945 Cheval Blanc in the hotel cellar. It was in perfect condition and offered at what I can only assume was the price set 20+ years ago. We snapped it up and were so glad we did. It was served by a somm I hadn’t seen since the early days of 67 Pall Mall. We drank it whilst enjoying the fabulous food at Ocean restaurant watching the sun setting.

If you could choose any wine from the CV Top 100, what would it be and why?

Anyone who knows me would expect that I would head straight for a great Burgundy, and certainly the 62s from DRC and Rousseau are so close to perfection that it’s difficult not to crown them the winners. However, I must go with the wine that literally left me speechless for over 10 minutes, the sublime ‘61 Hermitage La Chapelle from Paul Jaboulet Aine. Absolutely magnificent.

You’re throwing a dinner party and can invite anyone, dead or alive. Who do you invite and what would be your signature food and wine pairing?

Along with my husband, I would have to invite the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley, the brilliantly funny David Mitchell and ol’ blue eyes, Frank Sinatra – an evening full of hysterical laughter, fabulous music and extraordinary stories.

We’d start with a few canapes and a glass of ‘96 Dom Perignon, and then sit down to enjoy some freshly caught crab from the beach at Budleigh Salterton served with a glass of Dauvissat’s 2017 Chablis Les Preuses. We would move on to rack of lamb partnered with 2006 Soldera, and for pud it would have to be Tarte Tatin with vanilla ice cream and some PX sherry from Equipo Navazos.


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