14 November, 2008



Wine in Cornwall,



When did you first develop a passion for wine?

I was brought up in a small village in North Essex where we lived next door to an old farmer who taught me to how make country wines.

It's our round - what are you having?

A pint of Steve Skinner's Green Hop Bitter from Skinner's Brewery, Truro

- a remarkable seasonal cask beer only available for a month a year when green hops are available.


are the most underrated and overrated wines in the UK market?

Underrated - southern Italy .

Pick your producer well and there are some amazing bargains . Like most Italian wines they are essentially food wines with grippy, robust and often rustic characteristics, yet the good examples also show lovely musky fruit. Sorry but I see more poor, over priced white Burgundy than any other style of wine. It doesn't age like it used to and considering it is, at the end of the day, just another regional Chardonnay it is often staggeringly poor value to the end user. Of course, there are exceptions - Chablis,

as it is generally consistent and reasonable value for money .

If your profits doubled tomorrow, how would you spend the money?

Stock - loads of Rhône,

claret and Burgundy from the sublime 2005 vintage. Not to sell,

but keep for our collective retirements.

If you could be reincarnated, would you still work in the drinks industry?

If I couldn't play guitar like Eric Clapton or bat like David Gower then absolutely yes. I would spend my


in the vineyards and wineries.

Can you give us an unusual food and wine matching tip?



goat's cheese with Galician Godello, Nanterrow


milk cheese with Picpoul de Pinet and St Keverne Smokey with an American


barrel- fermented Toro.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise your friends.

Well OK, you've dragged it out of me ... yes, deep down I reluctantly admit that I quite admire Welsh

rugby. Oh, and I played a chorus girl in HMS Pinafore

at Prep school.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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