02 May, 2008





ield, Bucks

It's our round - what are you having?

I'll have a pint of Rebellion IPA, brewed down the road from me in Marlow.

If you could choose anyone in the world to be prime minister, who would it be?

Lembit Opik, just to see his Cheeky Girl fiancée try to carry out a serious conversation with the First Lady of the US.

How do you deal with irritating customers?

Grin and bear it, followed by a Basil Fawlt y-style rant after they've left the shop.

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

I once had a very nice Château Ausonne with a Spicy Beef Pot Noodle.

What's the

weirdest thing that has happened to you in the shop?

I was once yelled at (unfairly) by an irate customer. He came back later to apologise and handed me a lovely bottle of Pomerol too!

Do you get to go on any wine trips?

I've just come back from a fantastic Bordeaux Virgins trip with the CIVB. However, my waistline has expanded alarmingly from all the four-course meals and I am rationed to only three bottles of St Emilion per day now!

What would you recommend to a customer wanting to splash out?

We're doing a six-for-five promotion on Cristal at the moment. Seriously though, a bottle of Pur Sang Sauvignon Blanc by Didier Dagenau has

to be one of the most satisfying ways of blowing 30 quid.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise your friends?

Working in the wine trade is actually very hard work, and I don't spend all day tasting fine and rare wines. Really!

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

Yes. I'd like to be the guy that invents a new, massively popular trend

- something like ice cubes in cider .

After a hard day's work, what drink do you kick back and relax with?

Rosé from Rapel in Chile tonight with some barbecued prawns. Cheers!

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
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