What should we be drinking in 2022?
I have recently drunk some fabulous dry German Rieslings which rivalled my usual love of white burgundy, like the 2020 Trocken by Eva Fricke. She has established a reputation as one of the finest producers in the Rheingau, and makes wonderful dry, fruity and floral wine. I also enjoyed the 2019 Riesling Gottesfuss, by Van Volxem – an intensely mineral, dry wine from the upper reaches of the Mosel valley.
Who is your favourite sommelier in London and why?
I’m a big fan of Monique Ziervogel at Spring. She is enthusiastic and passionate about all the wines on her list, and loves helping her customers discover new wine regions. If I’m allowed to include a bartender as well, the legendary Alessandro Palazzi, Head Bartender at Duke’s Bar, who makes the best Vesper Martinis in town.
Which restaurant in Britain has your favourite wine list?
Noble Rot in Lamb’s Conduit Street. It’s wide-ranging with plenty of utterly delicious wines by the glass or bottle, from some of my favourite producers. The atmosphere here is totally down-to-earth and unpretentious, with fabulous food. A complete pleasure every time I’ve been.
Holiday destination of choice?
I love Spain, especially Andalucia in the south. The people, their love of life, especially of food, wine and music. Seville is an amazing city and I would recommend a trip to Jerez for anyone who hasn’t been. There is so much fascinating history there, and I love the many different styles of sherry, especially those from the wineries of Lustau with whom we have a longstanding friendship.
Which glassware do you prefer and why?
Berry Bros. & Rudd glassware of course! I particularly like our Burgundy glasses which are the perfect shape for drinking Burgundy (and yes, it does make a difference to the taste!)
What is your watch of choice and why?
TAG Heuer. It’s excellent quality and a beautiful watch I can wear equally to the office or when I’m entertaining, as when I’m out sailing.
What bottle never leaves your cocktail cabinet?
No.3 London Dry Gin. And there’s one in the freezer as well, ready for Martinis.
What is your favourite piece of technology and why?
BBX, Berry Bros. & Rudd’s online fine wine exchange. Customers who build their wine collections with us use it to easily sell their wines to a community of fellow fine-wine lovers and collectors.
What would you recommend for a date night?
A lesser-known grape that is often sadly overlooked, Cinsault makes delicious lighter red wines, with lifted red fruit aromas and fine tannins. Made by Californian native and former International Winemaker of the year Andrea Mullineux, this red is perfect with both lighter red meat dishes, as well as poultry. For a white, a delicious (and indulgent) Premier Cru from Puligny-Montrachet, made by the wonderful Caroline l’Estime at Jean-Noel Gagnard. As for sparkling, try our own Berry Bros. & Rudd English Sparkling Rosé made by Hambledon.
Which young or emerging wine maker particularly excites you?
Whilst not the youngest winemakers, we have started working with Domaine de Marcoux relatively recently and they are blazing a trail in terms of sustainability. Run by two sisters, Sophie and Catherine Armenier, they have taken huge care to look after their vineyards, being certified as organic over 30 years ago, in 1991. They are now fully biodynamic and their wines are full of vibrant and generous fruit.
What does luxury mean to you?
In terms of a wine or spirits it’s one that’s made with great passion, precision and integrity in order to create the utmost quality. Integrity means it must be produced with absolute respect for the planet too. For me it’s something special to share over dinner with friends.