Unknown would-be wine writer drops incredibly well-known wine writer an email. Asking a favour. Unknown would-be then burps son, eats curry, drinks half a bottle of Corbieres and retires. Checks email in morning. A reply, in the positive.
Jancis Robinson MW, OBE. She doesn’t need an introduction. I am tempted to fawn but will resist. That said, if you are going to own one wine book, then it should be the Oxford Companion to Wine. If you are going to read one wine column in the papers, then it’s hers in the FT. I used to tell aged relatives about dropping samples off at Buckingham Palace (and they loved it). Jancis tasted them FOR Buckingham Palace (and maybe AT Buckingham Palace – I’m not sure). This rather puts things into perspective.
The questions remain the same.
1) What was the first wine that got you into it?
A Chambolle Les Amoureuses 1959 drunk over dinner while at Oxford in 1970 lit the flame for me. I didn’t know then you were supposed to take note of the producer but it was probably a de Vogüé according to John Avery because Averys supplied the restaurant, The Rose Revived. From the first glorious sniff I just knew there was so much more than what I was immediately swooning over in there – history, geography, psychology, etc etc
2) What was the first wine that took you closer to your maker?
The bottom of a magnum of ’47 Cheval enjoyed in Burgundy when I dashed in at the tail end of a dinner organised by Henry Tang of Hong Kong. One of your other respondents was also there. I’ve been lucky enough to taste this wine, or wines purporting to be this wine, quite a few times and this magnum, plus a bottle provided by Phillip Schofield many years later, were the best for me.
3) What’s the best wine you’ve had this year?
Oooo. I am thoroughly spoilt. I’ve been lucky enough to have at least two great bottles of Latour 1961, one at the chateau and one in Bern, Switzerland. Mind you, Grange 1953 in Paris wasn’t bad at all – even better than the double magnum of Esclans 2009 last night in Chiang Mai….
No fawning – but thank you very much to Jancis for this.