Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wine knowledge for the rest of us - Dino Joannides

In a series of 'wine knowledge for the rest of us' interviews with industry friends and colleagues, we've asked Italian food expert and restaurant lover Dino Joannides to share a few tips based on his personal wine tastes.


Dino Joannides


There is an awful lot of wine out there. Where do you start when thinking about what to drink?

For me wine should always be drunk with food so what you are going to eat is the starting point. Old world wines are generally easier to match with food especially European food as generally they have less alcohol and more acidity.

People often talk about feeling daunted about huge extensive wine lists in restaurants. Any tips for making a decent choice in this situation?

It is a good idea to do some homework many wine lists are on restaurant web sites, booking sites or apps so you can view them before going for your meal.

As you’ve got older, what’s changed in your tastes?

I prefer to drink lighter more complex reds like great Burgundy now and more top German Rieslings , the latter are wonderful with spicier cuisines like Chinese, Thai, Malaysian and Indian.

Any wines you avoid?

I avoid very oaky Chardonnay and over extracted reds from both old and new world.

An often cited gripe for restaurant customers is feeling the sommelier is forcing his own agenda on the customer, regardless of the customer’s wishes. As a customer, how would you get round this?

If you do engage with a Sommelier it helps if you are clear about your preferences especially regarding how much you are willing to spend and the style of wine you like as well as what you will be eating - a good Sommelier should be able to take these points on board and hopefully provide you advice that will lead to a a great wine experience. 

Good wine service is one of the key factors in ensuring a customer considers returning over and over again.

You must have had some high points over the years and tasted some special bottles. Any particular stories?

I have been very fortunate to have sampled some really outstanding wines all over the world.  Special bottles include Chateau Latour 1961 ,Vieux Chateau Certan 2006, Corton Charlemagne Coche Dury 2005, Isola e Olena Cepparello 2007, Ridge Montebello 1998, Domaine Economou Oikonomoy, Sita 1999, Salon Cuvee "S' Clos Le Mesnil, Blanc de Blancs 1996.

Dino Joannides is Author of Italian food bible Semplice, and Director of wine assistant app Corkscrew - www.getcorkscrew.co.uk

Gauthier wines is offering a superb Italian baby Super Tuscan - Mirapiana Maremma Toscana 2014

Friday, April 07, 2017

Wine knowledge for the rest of us: Oisin Rogers

In a series of 'wine knowledge for the rest of us' interviews with industry friends and colleagues, we've asked legendary London landlord Oisin Rogers to share a few tips based on his personal wine tastes.

Image credit: Hot Dinners


GW: There is an awful lot of wine out there. Where do you start when thinking about what to drink?

O.R.: Although I do know a fair amount about wine I'll readily admit my knowledge is very far from extensive. There is so much to know before becoming any way competent in wine. For me though, as my palette is not amazing, wine is about stories, about memories of places I've been and dreams of where I'd like to go. When a friend or staff member takes me a bottle from their travels or I see a great bottle from a journey I've done, that's something I'll enjoy drinking, and I look out for bottles I've enjoyed before.

As you’ve got older, what’s changed in your tastes?

There's no doubt that exposure to great wine at work has affected everything I think about wine. Having the chance to taste top wines and vintages allows me to take a view on what I'll drink when I'm out or if I'm cooking at home. I enjoy full-bodied punchy reds a lot more than I used to and lots of adventures in Northern Italy , Austria and Spain has given me a love of the wines from those bits of Europe.

Any wines you avoid?

I avoid everything natural or orange. They all taste like cheap cider to me and I've witnessed a good friend unexpectedly jump over a wall and disappear after having had a feed of some vile orange artisan crap.

An often cited gripe for restaurant customers is feeling the sommelier is forcing his own agenda on the customer, regardless of the customer’s wishes. As a customer, how would you get round this?

Stick to your price point and have an idea what wine you'd like to drink with your food choice. If it's not on the list any decent somm should be able to suggest something similar. I've never been upsold to something I didn't want to pay for and suspect this is a myth

You must have had some high points over the years and tasted some special bottles. Any particular stories?

My friend Paul found a case of mixed 1960s wine in his father's garage. Among it was a 1968 chateau Latour. I was born in that year so he took it to the pub and opened it on my birthday. It was an extraordinary wine made all the more excellent by the generosity and fellowship of my friend.

I also love amarone, having visited Allegrini and Masi on my travels. It's hard to match it with food because it's so rich and distinctive. The unique grape-drying process is extraordinary. I like to have a bottle between main and cheese to share on special occasions.

Oisin Rogers is Landlord of The Guinea Grill, Mayfair.
From its wine list, Gauthier Wines is offering the superb Chateau de Parenchere Bordeaux Superieur.