TALKING HEADS

27 July, 2007

Graeme Mackenzie

Martlet Wines

Heathfield

East Sussex

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

I might find time to play the golf that I keep promising myself.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Well, a good early morning safari can be a most rewarding experience.

What alcoholic drink do you most resemble?

That's a difficult one.

Hopefully a well -matured French regional red wine, warm and rewarding.

If you could choose anyone to be

Prime

Minister, who would it be?

After me? I want to turn the House of Commons into a tourist attraction. Just as interesting as London Zoo.

What's the most unusual thing that has happened to you in your shop?

Last year we held a tasting with the temperature in the high

80s . Maybe we should have called it a sauna party.

Is there such a thing as an irresponsible drink?

Sadly yes.

There are too many of them, owned by major companies. The alcopops and similar

create and stimulate bad drinking practices.

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

More customers, banks that work for me

and getting paid

as a tax collector.

What's the most underrated and overrated wine in the UK market?

The most underrated wines come from Le Massif de la Clape. Especially Ch âteau Ricardelle, Cuv ée Closablieres. The most overrated wines

quite simply are all wines advertised at £7.99 a bottle

and reduced to £3.99.

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

It seems any body can have

a licence. The responsibility

has been eroded . Where a shop is found to have sold to the under-aged,

the licen ce should be removed for

12 months . If a chain retailer is caught more than five times in a year,

their entire empire of shops should be made to withdraw

alcohol sales for 60 days. Just

imagine the squeal from Tesco et al if that happened.




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