I've worked with Alun for many years and very happy years they were too. Alun has had an illustrious career in the wine trade to date and it shows no signs of slowing down. He has been Head of Wine at Harrods, Fortnum and Mason and of course Wine Director at Berry Bros. & Rudd for 18 years where we met. Alun has been a great inspiration to me in those days and he always encouraged the expansion and development of the wine school. He has been incredibly kind and generous with his time and expertise in the establishment of TheRLWS. in 2013 Alun was then head hunted to be Director International at Vats Liquor Chain Store Management Co. Ltd in mainland China until retirement in 2020. He now consults in UK and is involved in many wine projects in the UK including The Old Vine Conference.
1. What is your wine mission?
To push the case for drinking good quality wine, rather than bland soulless bottles which are bought and sold purely on price.
2. Next big thing in wine?
Probably some new packaging format which can replace glass.
3. Your ‘go to’ glass after a hard day?
White Northern Rhone with a lot of Marsanne.
4. Music paradise?
A world without tinny personal stereo music on public transport.
5. Preferred colour?
6. Favourite film?
Not a very original choice, but it has to be The Godfather
7. Fondest vintage?
1990 was always a favourite because it was good in so many regions.
8. Oak or stainless steel?
Both, where appropriate, but oak always in moderation.
9. Best place to eat?
Many candidates, but Le Gavroche at one end of the spectrum and Mangevins in Tain l’Hermitage at a more modest level.
10. Food and wine matching purgatory?
Red meat with champagne.
11. Guilty food and wine match?
Foie Gras with off-dry Alsace Pinot Gris.
12. Favourite wine writer (apart from yourself)?
Simon Field MW
13. Wine ‘fad’ irritation?
Poorly-made natural wine.
14. Most delicious cheese?
15. Inspiring novel?
The Day of the Jackal. I would love to shoot some politicians and get away with it.
16. Damascene wine moment?
Drinking 1972 William Fèvre 1er Cru Chablis in 1977 made me realise for the first time what fine wine was all about.
17. Most beautiful vineyard in the world?
Maybe the Mittel Mosel around Graach, Wehlen and Zeltingen.
18. Ideal last sip?
19. Next place to visit?
20. Best advice?
When assessing wine, trust your first instincts.