As membership manager and wine advisor, Luke is keen to help find the ideal vinous accompaniment to any occasion and also relishes the challenge of finding something new when inspiration is needed.
I have fairly broad tastes, and usually answer a general preferences questions with the massive cop out that is something along the lines of ‘anything that’s good’!
That is the truth though – while I’m still learning (who isn’t?), finding bottles that I consider to be great value is a real joy, and that can be at any price point… depending on the occasion, I’m always on a budget of some kind (again, who isn’t?!), so finding wines that are a great buy could equally be sub £20 a bottle as £1,000+ a case.
Stylistically, I tend very much towards a horses for courses approach, but if pushed I’d say I particularly enjoy wines that can offer a savoury profile as much as riper fruit characters, and all the better if that doesn’t have to come from decades of maturity! Texture is vitally important for me too, but if there’s nothing alluring on the nose, and the palate is all feeling and little flavour, then that’s not ticking enough boxes – when these three are married exceptionally well, then I have a new favourite on my hands! The term ‘energy’ can sound a little bit much to some when referring to wines, but there is something that is apparent in the feeling of an especially successful relationship between the vineyard and (usually) a hands-off type approach in the winery. Less is increasingly being given credit for providing more when it comes to creating something special, so those that are aligned most intimately with their environment tend to be capable of achieving levels of energy in wines that I find really exciting.
For me, Italy seems to be constantly offering up something that’s worth getting enthusiastic about – a sweeping generalisation of course, but the ability of great producers from regions spanning the whole country appear to have a particular knack for creating the balance of fresh and savoury qualities I mentioned I often seek out, even from more recent vintages. I think I’ll have to keep visiting until I’m about 90 to cover all the provinces and communes I’m keen to discover, by which point I’ll be long overdue to start back at the beginning and catch up on what’s new!