Favourite Things

Vikram Mertia
The Riding Wine Co, London

Favourite wine on my list
Pantun Vino Rosso from Cantina Pantun in Puglia. It’s a 100% Primitivo, full of juicy fruit flavours and gentle hints of oak. The wine is beautifully structured, elegant and complex. At the same time, it’s gentle, simple and full of enthusiasm – just like Jutta and Mimmo, who make this wine.

Favourite wine and food match
Reitemp paired with spicy Indian chickpea curry. Reitemp is a Barbara del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, obtained from vineyards planted in 1955. The name means “the sound of bells announcing the arrival of a storm”. And that pairing is definitely a beautiful storm in the mouth!

Favourite wine trip
Two months on our motorbike, visiting winemakers in France, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. The food, the wines, the hospitality – everything was stunning. It was a huge learning experience for us. And it led to the opening of our first shop and bar.

Favourite wine trade person
Everyone we’ve worked with since we started in 2018 has been amazing. We are truly blown away by how supportive, helpful and kind everyone in the industry is.

Favourite wine shop
Vindinista, run by Paola and Mike. A tucked-away little gem, it was our first introduction to a wine bar/shop concept. And Paola and Mike are super-friendly and helpful.

August 2020


Gerard Richardson

Richardsons of Whitehaven

Favourite wine on my list
It’s got to be the Méthode Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon from Springfield in South Africa. It’s thirty-odd quid but I believe it’s up there with the best in the world. Not only that, but it still comes in wooden boxes of six and like all wine lovers, that floats my boat.

Favourite wine and food match
I was never really that focused on food pairings until I had a glass of Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough with a fresh crab salad. The combination was electrifying, and it sent far more interesting signals to my brain than any red wine and a sirloin steak ever have.

Favourite wine trip
Last October to the Napa Valley. Partly because it was just before the world changed but also just because the whole area is stunning. The only part of the trip we didn’t really enjoy was the famous wine train. With all the noise, it was like being water boarded.

Favourite wine trade person
Easy, Oz Clarke. We’ve known each other for years and I never tire of his humour, not to mention his wine knowledge, which is incredible.

Favourite wine shop
Easy again, it’s got to be Berry Bros. As a retailer, I’d give a kidney for their history and best of all, it’s just down the road from Fortnum & Mason, so there’s quality cheese within minutes of picking a classic bottle.

July 2020


Gilbert Viader

Viader Vintners
Cardiff

Favourite wine on my list
A couple of years ago we imported the whole production (just 1,300 bottles) of a wine from the Azores – Rola Pipa made from Arinto. It’s the 2016 vintage and turning into something quite special.

Favourite wine and food match
This same wine pairs very well with scallops. The sweet delicate flavour works well with the intense and complex aromas of the wine and the addition of bacon would pick out those salty notes provided by the Atlantic winds.

Favourite wine trip
Many years ago, PLB took me to the Douro and Delaforce. It was a truly memorable trip. Portuguese wines have now the second most listings on our portfolio, after French, obviously!

Favourite wine trade person
Because of that particular trip, it has to be Richard Volpi. He was also very attentive to our needs when we first started. We’re in our 20th year, and his approach helped us become what we are.

Favourite wine shop
Mumbles Fine Wines in Swansea. They have an incredible selection of wines, but also spirits, and their budget range is as wide as it gets. Their staff are also very knowledgeable and friendly.

June 2020


Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray

Grays & Feather
London

Favourite wine on my list
Penley Mythology Sparkling Pinot Noir. It’s a gateway drug to the world of red bubbles.

Favourite wine and food match
Fish and chips with English or any dry sparkling, or figs and gorgonzola with fizzy Moscato.

Favourite wine trip
A hilltop winemaker tasting at a Verona estate during a lightning storm last year; lovely small-production wines tasted while sat on hay bales with homemade gardiniera and cheeses.

Favourite wine trade person
Joe Wadsack. He is an endless journeyman, forever welcoming with bottles of energy and sage-like knowledge.

Favourite wine shop
It has to be Hedonism as the museum for viewing godly things; and then The 10 Cases, our neighbour in Covent Garden, for beautiful wines mortals can buy.

May 2020


leticia vaughan,tipsy cellar

Leticia Vaughan

The Tipsy Merchant
Budleigh Salterton

Favourite wine on my list
We recently treated ourselves to the Ataraxia Chardonnay. It’s from a small boutique winery, 6km from the Atlantic Ocean, in an area known as the Heaven and Earth Valley. It’s a barrel-fermented Chardonnay, grown in an unusually cool climate for South Africa. A beautifully complex wine, which deserves time.

Favourite wine and food match
A bottle of Breaky Bottom Cuvée Peter Christiansen with fresh lobster. From April to September, it’s lobster season in Budleigh Salterton. So a simple lunch, ideally sitting on the pebbles, of lobster, salad and one of the finest English sparkling wines.

Favourite wine trip
Alsace. The landscape, architecture, storks, flambé tart and grand cru Riesling! We are planning a road trip down through Champagne, Burgundy, the Rhône, Provence, and then back through Rioja, so really looking forward to that one.

Favourite wine trade person
David Emmins of Myliko Wines, Emmanuel Byilingiro of Vintage Roots and Nick Sarsfield of Fells have all offered a huge amount of support over the last couple of years and have become great friends.

Favourite wine shop
To be honest I don’t get out much, but do follow a few on social media. I love the design and general style of Bedales and look forward to seeing more wine bars and merchants like this coming to Devon.

April 2020


Philip Trease

Philip Trease

Weavers
Nottingham

Favourite wine on my list
All our wines are great as they represent the country, region and district we have sourced them from. If I were to take one home tonight to go with food it would be Los Poetas Libertad, Uco Mendoza, Argentina; great value and great wine.

Favourite wine and food match
I love duck, and so a great Pinot Noir works for me; Burgundy of course, but there are great Pinots from North America and New Zealand, which I like.

Favourite wine trip
My first trip to Spain with Burridge’s really got me inspired with the wine trade. I have very fond memories of the late Nicolas Burridge who lived and breathed Spanish wine, and I am now great business friends with his children Teresa and Edward.

Favourite wine trade person
My father – I have to say that! There are so many good people in the trade, it’s difficult to say. Guy Nightingale I have known since day one from his days at McKinley and now Louis Latour. He knows how to work with and understand his customers. From a winemaking perspective, there are too many to choose from, but Karim Mussi from Altocedro has become my current wine god.

Favourite wine shop
Always a tough choice. I like forward-thinking, traditional businesses. Tanners is inspirational.

March 2020


Jez Greenspan

Jez Greenspan

The Wine Twit
Wandsworth
London

Favourite wine on my list
Antonio Mas Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. I started selling his blend but when that ran out, I moved over to the straight Cabernet, which is amazing. Full of dark berry fruit, hints of spice and cocoa, then add in the silky tannins it’s now developed and it all just works perfectly.

Favourite wine and food match
Botonero Nebbiolo 2017 and roast lamb. I know it’s a bit safe, but I did a shoulder of lamb over Christmas with just garlic and rosemary, and they worked perfectly. The lovely red berry fruit and acidity of the wine just made the both of them sing.

Favourite wine trip
Unfortunately I haven’t been on one in years!

Favourite wine trade person
Tony Wellings from The Antipodean Sommelier – great guy. I have worked with him for a number of years now; he has always been very supportive, and he has great wines which is even more of a bonus!

Favourite wine shop
I don’t really have a favourite wine shop, but I always love looking round others just to see what hidden gems they’ve got tucked away at the back of the shelves.

February 2020


phoebe weller

Phoebe Weller

Valhalla’s Goat
Glasgow

Favourite wine on my list
Eeeee, I really don’t know. We’ve got so much and every day is different and it depends on the moon and the cash in my pocket. Tonight I will be trying not to buy and drink Bogle Phantom Chardonnay. I struggle not to buy Gallimard’s Amphoressence every time I get paid. I’d go a bottle of Niepoort’s red Nat’cool right now if we had any left but those customers got it all.

Favourite wine and food match
Rallo AV01 Orange Cataratto with a big dirty pepperoni pizza from the small dirty Italian chip shop next door. Chaffey’s Pax Aeterna Grenache matches everything you throw at it.

Favourite wine trip
I have been very, very lucky to go away so much. ABS Masters of Riesling was really magical – dreamlike. Portugal with Raymond Reynolds. Portugal with Liberty; darts of the imagination. Alsace with Alliance …

Favourite wine trade person
I’m not very good at decisions. Vic from Alexander Wines. Mark P from New Generation. Lesley from Alliance. Andrew from Enotria. Simon from Thorman Hunt. Everyone from Raymond Reynolds!

Favourite wine shop
Every shop I go into I’m immediately jealous of and awed by. People do such good work. Chris down in Castle Douglas at The Bottle List is building an empire and has a nice table.

January 2020