Uncorked: Simon Staples, Berry Bros. & Rudd

Simon Staples is the larger than life sales director (Asia) for Berry Bros. & Rudd. He moved to Hong Kong in late 2012, having been the firm’s fine wine director in the UK.

Untitled

What Vintage are you?
1967 (though I look like ‘47). Pretty poor in Bordeaux, although we had two amazing Imperials of Latour ’67 at our wedding, and I had a bottle of inspiring Quinta Noval Nacional ’67 a few weeks ago.

What bottle sparked your love of wine?
In 1991, after 3 years working in Harrods Wine Department telling people NOT to buy Lynch Bages (or anything French), and only buy Wolf Blass Yellow label, I accidently broke the neck off a bottle of Mouton Rothschild 1982. Picking glass shards out of the mess, I was left with at least half a bottle. I poured it out for myself and colleagues and I simply “got it”. Others would be Château d’Yquem 2001and a DRC 1990 La Tâche which sparked my love of Burgundy

Ambition or talent?
Passion! It doesn’t matter what you are passionate about it will make you stand out.

What would you be as a wine?
Don Simon 2012, which I’d describe as: ‘Full, rounded, robust, decadent … seemingly flamboyant, but actually with a reserved core that doesn’t take itself too seriously’ (I’m half Welsh and half Sicilian, hence the reference to Ponty(-pridd) and Palermo)

Where are you happiest?
At home with my wife, Sarah, phones on silent, watching a “classic film” (Last night was Once Upon a Time in America) with a bowl of some truffle oil laced pasta dish with a decent bottle of red Burgundy. Nirvana!

What’s your greatest vice?
Buying wine! Slightly obsessed, truth be told. Since we developed BBX, not a single day will go by without me putting a cheeky bid (or 10) on some wine or another. Currently if we drink a bottle a day we have about 40 years of wine (and that doesn’t take in for high days, holidays or weekends! Houston….we do have a problem!)

Best advice you ever got?
My dad always said “The day that you can openly admit you are wrong or you that you have made a mistake is the day you start to live”

Don SimonYour cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?
My barrel of Don Simon!! (24 cases of bottles and Magnums!), if not a Melchior (24 bts in one) of the brilliant Ducru Beaucaillou from 2010,’11 and ‘12, but I might need athletic support to lift the thing.

What’s the best & worst thing about the wine business?
Best – The vast majority of customers are your friends and vice versa. We aren’t selling time share apartments in Crete or insurance.
Worst – Would love to say the inefficiency and lack of collective thinking surrounding Bordeaux En Primeur but that’s too dull. It has to be fake wines at the moment. Sadly there is a lot of dodgy stuff out there and everyone needs to be vigilante. Buy it young, store it impeccably and have a little patience. It’s worth it.

Personal satisfaction (Parker points)
Don’t get me started on the Parker score! But if 84/100 is unhappy and 100/100 is Euphoric, I’d be storming in with a solid 97+ (but could rate higher as soon as I get a glass of something tasty in my hand!)

Desert island vine?
Got to be Riesling! As long as I had a fridge to chill it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Representative - Private Customers

Corney and Barrow
Central Hong Kong, HK

Export Manager UK On Trade

AdVini
Home based in London or the South East, GB

Global Head of Marketing

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, GB

Sales Executive

Three Wine Men
Home-based but must be available to travel throughout the UK with frequent trips to London, GB

Senior Sales Operations Executive

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

On Trade & Corporate Accounts Manager

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Customer Service Assistant

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Key Account Manager - Distilling Sector - Scotland

Boortmalt
Scotland - call for exact details, UK

UK Brand Ambassador - Ableforth’s

ATOM Brands
Field-based, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018

Deadline : 26th January 2018

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2018

Deadline : 23rd February 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more