On drinking adventurously
‘If you behave like a sheep you will get treated like a sheep. Stay away from the big brands and the famous regions.’
On wine advice
‘A lot of people find something they like and stick with it. In the UK it is rioja and New Zealand sauvignon blanc. And if you went into most wine shops and said, “I like New Zealand sauvignon, what should I try next?” they’d say, “Errr, French sauvignon?” But French sauvignons and
New Zealand sauvignons are actually extremes.
‘Most wine databases are grouped by grape and region rather than by taste. If you go on the Naked site and ask the same question, hopefully it will suggest something like a Spanish albariño or an Austrian grüner veltliner. Different countries, totally different grapes, but they’ve got that same kind of grapefruity sweetness and acidity together that provides the magic of a New Zealand sauvignon.’
On the next big thing
‘For reds, my tip for the next big thing is Touriga Nacional from the Douro region of Portugal. The vineyards are incredibly steep and the vines have to struggle like hell so it’s very concentrated.
‘I think its wines are just spectacular – they’re like full-bodied pinot noirs with that same kind of perfume about them.’