You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Tuesday 30 June 2015

Uncorked: Simon Staples, Berry Bros. & Rudd

4th September, 2014 by Tom Bruce Gardyne

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 *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Burgundian négociant celebrates gin smuggler

Burgundian négociant, Vallet Frères, has allowed a special bottling of more...

Bordeaux wine thieves found guilty

A French court has sentenced 15 men over the audacious theft of $1.1 million of more...

En primeur: beware the heralded vintage?

From an investment point of view it is best to buy the “vintages of the more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

Diageo appoints North America president

Deirdre Mahlan, Diageo's chief financial officer, has been announced as the more...

The Proust Q&A: Lorenzo Zonin

Italian winemaker Lorenzo Zonin opens up to db about cooking naked, more...

Oddbins woos Naked staff with love letters

Oddbins has allegedly been sending love letters and bottles of wine to key more...

UK craves Spanish wining and dining

British foodies are passing over Bordeaux and Burgundy in favour of Spanish more...

BBR to host pop-up dinners in 'secret' cellar

Berry Bros. & Rudd has unveiled a "secret" cellar underneath its shop in more...

Bordeaux 2005: Biggest movers

Expectation surrounding the 2005s is building and pushing up prices for top more...

Business Development Executive

London, United Kingdom

£25-£30K + benefits, depending on experience

World's best beer and wine festivals

Forget Glastonbury, these are the festivals you should be making a beeline for more...

Burgundy headlines at Acker’s June HK auction

Featuring smaller-sized lots and classic vintages of Burgundy and Bordeaux, more...

Parker retrospective boosts 05 Palmer

Château Palmer’s 2005 is the latest wine from that vintage to see an more...

Social Media Editor

Competitive

Bordeaux 2005: 12 ‘perfect’ wines

Twelve wines have been given “perfect” 100-point ratings in Robert more...

Top 10 London rooftop bars

London's many rooftop bars offer not only an opportunity to get away from the more...

Castel feeds aperitif thirst

Europe’s largest wine producer, Castel, has unveiled a raft of new products more...

Marketing and eCommerce Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive, includes equity options

Mateus rosé clears up its design

Portuguese rosé brand Mateus is switching to a clear glass bottle this summer, more...

Vinexpo: five days 'too much' says organiser

Vinexpo doesn’t need to run for the full five days because no visitor stays more...

BI offers 2014 imperial collection en primeur

Fine wine merchant Bordeaux Index is offering its clients a 10 imperial more...

UK Sales Manager

London, United Kingdom

Q&A: John Barbier, the Colorado cook-vintner

“I have never followed a recipe in my life, I’m a man of instinct”, more...

Shock over wine named 'dung' in German

A row has broken out over a decision by St Tropez's wine co-operative to name more...