The Proust Q&A: Michel Rolland

Michel Rolland is widely regarded as the world’s most influential wine consultant. Based in Bordeaux, he consults for hundreds of properties throughout the wine world and has joint ventures partnerships at Bonne Nouvelle and Remhoogte in South Africa, Clos de Los Siete and Val de Flores in Argentina, and Campo Eliseo and R&G in Spain. This May, he sold his family-owned Pomerol estate, Château Le Bon Pasteur, to Chinese businessman Pan Sutong for an undisclosed sum. Rolland lives in Bordeaux with his wine consultant wife Dany.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Good wine with good friends.

What is your greatest fear? 

Having to drink bad wine.

Who do you most admire?

French novelist Jean D’Ormesson.

What is your greatest extravagance?

To have been lucky enough to have drunk a lot of wine from the 1947 vintage over the years.

What is your current state of mind? 

What is the quality you most like in a woman? 

Beauty and intelligence.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

We can do better.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?


When and where were you happiest?

When I’m at home with the people I love.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be good at everything.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

The road to perfection is long…

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Finally making the wines I like.

Where would you most like to live?

The world is my home.

What is your most treasured possession?

My nose.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My capacity for hard work.

Who are your favorite writers?

Jean D’Ormesson, Isabelle Bunisset and Louis Ferdinand Celine.

Who is your hero of fiction?


What is it that you most dislike?


What is your greatest regret?

I don’t have any.

What is your motto?

Never give up.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what wines would you serve them?

It would be a very wine-focused dinner with Emile Peynaud, Jean Paul Jauffret and Robert Parker. I’d serve them Napa’s Harlan Estate 1994, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche 1959, and La Fleur 1947 from Pomerol.

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