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Meet The Wine Buffs - Michael
Every month, we ask our team to give their recommendations. For November's wine recommendations, our first, we asked them to introduce themselves a bit too. Here's Mike...
Every month, we ask our team to give their recommendations. For November's wine recommendations, our first, we asked them to introduce themselves a bit too. Here's Mike, the shop's Assistant Manager and its buyer for Fine Wine, France, USA and Sparkling.
How did you end up in the wine trade?
I decided to do something I had a passion for rather than take the money in the world of Software. A boss was having fine wine delivered to the office and one day, gave me a bottle of Chateau Lagrange 1995. So I left my job, started with Tivoli Wines in 2012 and never looked back.
What do you like about the trade, and what do you want to change about it?
The social aspect really. The people you meet are generally passionate about wine rather than being just a job. There's still a slight snobbery exists within the trade which can put some people off so that can do one.
Mike's first choice for the month is the Caves de Turckheim 'Tradition' Pinot Gris, a typically Alsatian, well rounded wine that's perfect for the traditional food of the area, and virtually anything else you can think of too. There are signs of Alsace's history of conflict on the German border in its food and wine just as there are in its architecture and people. Big dishes of Choucroute Alsacienne, Flammekueche and Munster cheese need versatile, well-rounded wines to match them. The fully ripe Pinot Gris, as opposed to the lighter, earlier picked Pinot Grigio style of northern Italy, match the bill perfectly. As well as its great texture, there are aromas of apple, pear drop and honey, giving this a complexity to stand up to anything. This would be perfect around Christmas, when leftover roast meats jostle for buffet table space with countless cheeses, bread and pâtés.
What do you look for in a wine
Balance of fruit, acid & tannin where applicable. Deliciousness is always good!
What's your favourite food and wine match?
Roast Duck & Red Burgundy or just a well made pizza with a Chianti Classico.
Mike's second choice is the Cline Cellars Zinfandel from Lodi, in California. Zinfandel might often be associated with the synthetic, sweet rosé white Zinfandel, but it's more than capable of producing incredibly concentrated, full bodied and fruity red wines. This is a deliciously drinkable wine and incredibly hard to put down once you've started! The area of Lodi has become synonymous with Zinfandel, with the perfect conditions to ripen the grape without letting it stray over the edge into the over-ripe, jammy fruit of lesser Zins. This has buckets of ripe red berry flavour, balanced by sensible use of American oak to add a touch of toasty spice and vanilla.