The most fun and slightly bazaar interview for a long time… Andrew’s Q&A by Jack from Tasting Britain.
Where do you see wine going in the next few years? Any trends we should be looking out for?
“When we started out 24 years ago, France was very much the number one wine choice in the UK. And the number one destination for holiday makers. It’s had a rather bumpy ride for two decades. However, my view is that we will gravitate once again to the gorgeous, savoury, balanced, food-friendly wines of this country. It fills me with deep joy to see the renaissance of Cru Beaujolais, for example.
Heavily oaked, high alcohol wines are all very well, but after a couple of glasses, you find yourself searching for something a little more subtle. Well I do anyway! Enter France….Italy and New Zealand!“
What’s your philosophy, summed up in a sentence?
“Balance. The hallmark of all good wine. That’s what we strive for and it is something that the French in particular can and should excel at. However, we need to keep an eye out on some of the big strapping wines that are appearing out of Bordeaux in particular. This is partly down to global warming – with alcohol levels creeping up to 14 and 14.5%. With over ripe fruit and swathes of oak, they can morph into monsters!“
What advice would you give to aspiring wine entrepreneurs who’d want the kind of results that you’ve had?
“Don’t be swayed by Parker Points or pretence! If you find wines that you really like and taste really good, then make sure people know about them and talk about them passionately! If you can’t be passionate about wine then go into banking! But remember it’s a business too, and you must be able to make it commercially viable. Get yourself a good Financial Director!”
If you could get anyone to try your wines (fictional or real, living or dead) who would you pick and which of the vines would you like them to try? Assume that they go on to be your brand ambassador…
“Ooh. Another crikey. I think that one of the ultimate, eloquent modern day communicators must beStephen Fry. He would enjoy many of our wines I would think, but he strikes me as a Burgundy man.
A row of vines in our Côtes de Nuits-Villages Blanc from Domaine Désertaux-Ferrand would be just the thing. Made from Chardonnay and old vine Pinot Blanc, beautifully balanced, rich, elegant and mineral, this would appeal to him as it’s from a humble address yet tastes like a full blown Meursault at a fraction of the price!
He can be our ambassador any day!! I suspect he would enjoy it over a classical Burgundian meal that may last many courses. The conversation would be stellar!“
You have acquired a pet T-Rex and are morally obliged to look after it. It is 13 ft tall at the hips, eats half a ton of raw meat a day, and likes taking long walks. What would you call it and what would you do to keep it entertained and housed?
“Gosh. I was asked this just the other day… I would call it whatever it wants. Probably something macho, as shouting for ‘Molly’ or ‘Lucy’ might be slightly embarrassing. I’d play it Toy Story movies (it would relate to Rex of course) but avoid showing it Jurassic Park! I’d take it on days out to the natural history museum to see its ancestors and it would travel with me in the car during rush hour. Might clear a path ahead rather swiftly.“
www.tastingbritain.co.uk/qa-andrew-bennett-3d-wines/ tasting britain