Lake Wines, Henley-on-Thames, Oxford
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise your friends.
Most of my friends think because I'm a
wine merchant I only drink wine, but I like nothing better than a proper ale.
What's more important - what you know or who you know?
Who you know is absolutely crucial .
However, if you don't know enough then who you know is not going to help you.
What would you recommend to a customer wanting to splash out?
An awful lot of my customers will announce they're ABC. But I think some of the most
stylish Chardonnays come from Burgundy
and it doesn't have to be a wallet-busting exercise.
Is there such a thing as an irresponsible drink?
Drinks that disguise the taste of alcohol by making them very sweet and palatable
are grossly irresponsible. Alcohol is an acquired taste and hiding
it doesn't allow people to educate themselves. RTDs are a huge discredit to the industry.
Will Westminster follow Scotland
in banning multi-buy deals?
Scotland has a smaller population and the government can be more pro active - our government has a more cautious approach. I don't believe in discounts
- either something is worth it or it's not. It makes the consumer wonder what
its true price is.
If you could change one thing about the drinks industry, what would it be?
The way alcohol is advertised is very wrong - it's drinking for the sake of drinking. I'm uncomfortable with alcohol ads but it's very difficult when the industry self-regulates.
Is cider over ice a marketing hype?
If it works, then why not? The temperature of drinks is something that's never discussed in the industry. Many red wines
are fantastic chilled. Every type of wine should have an optimum temperature and often a white should be served at the same temperature as a red.
Can you give us an unusual food and wine matching tip?
This might not be very politically correct, but a rich Alsace Riesling is fantastic with fois gras.