What is your most memorable wine experience?
Some wine experiences are memorable for the sheer indulgence of the events. Some of mine include 48 hours (pretty much all of it awake) in Istanbul for the launch of 2002 Dom Pérignon Rose, a vertical Cheval Blanc dinner with wines from 1990-1928, another with every top vintage of Harlan Estate poured from magnum… however, the ones that live longest in the memory are usually to do with sharing bottles with special people.
As a cricket nut it was hard to beat an amazing bottle of ’58 Laville Haut-Brion on the first day of the first Test at Lords. This was a wine which had no right to exist, certainly with the quality it displayed, the cork having dropped into the bottle at some previously unknown moment and a piece of clingfilm stretched over the top. Freshness, complexity, virtually no oxidation; a miracle.
If you could choose any wine from the CV Top 100, what would it be and why?
I maintain it’s hard to beat a perfect bottle of Latour ’82, so how about a magnum of Latour ’82, like the one served at a private dinner at the Chateau in early ’22? At 40 years old it was in considerably better shape than I was at the same age… and looked set for another 40 happy years in that ideal format.
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?
I love people who tell stories, so let’s go with Greg Davies (Taskmaster and Buzzcocks host, comic actor, ex-teacher) who is one of the funniest story tellers alive, Sir Ian Botham (who, let’s face it, must have loads which haven’t been told in public) and for a little gentle madness, Bob Mortimer.
I love cooking and might knock up a slow-cooked beef short rib ragu to serve with a mature Napa Cabernet (a 1992 Bryant Family or 1994 Harlan Estate would be ideal). However, if I’m allowed, I’d have Mark Hix serve freshly shucked oysters followed by roast chicken and French fries cooked in chicken fat with the crispy chicken skin crumb scattered on top, served with original release 1990 Dom Pérignon Rose, preferably from magnum…
STORIES FROM THE CHELSEA VINTNERS TEAM
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