What is your most memorable wine experience?

I have two! A bottle of Famille Hugel Gewurztraminer 2017 tasted at a producer led event. This was one of the first tastings I went to, and certainly the first wine that made me stop, think, and realise quite what wine could be. I revisited this wine two years later and was instantly reminded why I was so struck by it, even if my tastes had evolved somewhat…

The other would be drinking Coates and Seely’s 2009 La Perfide Rose at Northington House. Not only did this provide a consummate example of excellent English sparkling wine, but was part of a day where we were shown generous hospitality, fantastic food and wine pairings, all in the company of driven and passionate people. This, surely, is what wine is about.

If you could choose any wine from the CV Top 100, which one would you pick and why?

I think this would have to be 1963 Quinta do Noval Nacional. For a port lover, surely it cannot get better (or more aspirational) than this!

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?

A healthy mix of family and close friends would be invited, but the guest of honour would have to be Patrick Leigh-Fermor. Immensely knowledgeable, a great story-teller, charming, and witty, this would be a party to remember. And one that definitely would go on longer than intended. The meal would start with white port tonics, then move onto Muntjac tartare and aged Rioja; the fish course would be Sole a la meuniere with Frederic Cossard’s Jura Chardonnay; the meat would be Beef Wellington served with a vertical of clarets; pudding would be crème caramel with 1983 Climens.


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