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Uncorked: Serena Sutcliffe MW

Sotheby’s worldwide head of wine joined the auction house in 1991, as the second ever female MW. She was awarded the Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur for services to French wine and is married to David Peppercorn MW.

What Vintage are you? 


What bottle sparked your love of wine?

A sip of my Grandfather’s Veuve Clicquot, ‘The Widow’, when I was six.  I never looked back.

Ambition or talent – what matters more?

A ‘mélange’ probably. I’m not ambitious, but I am a perfectionist, which is pretty maddening.

What would you be as a wine?

I see myself as Mouton 1945, but I have my Dom Pérignon 2002 moments too!

Where are you happiest?

Swimming all day in the Aegean, followed by watching the sunset with David and a large ouzo.

What’s your greatest vice?

My messy desk, which is a disgrace.  I’m not admitting to anything else.

Best advice you ever got?

Never complain and never explain.

Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?

I would snorkel for Pétrus 1971, but our cellar is not the most organised so, if I found La Tâche 1971 instead, that would be fine.

What’s the best & worst thing about the wine business?

The people who make wine are terrific. The worst thing is the high price of top wines now which makes it difficult for young enthusiasts to experience them.

Personal satisfaction (Parker points – out of 100)

I don’t do points but, thanks to David, 100 for personal life.

Desert island vine?

Pinot Noir, as it makes stunning Burgundy and is pretty useful in Champagne too.

Which wine would you like served at your funeral?

I’m not having a funeral, but my nearest and dearest are welcome to raid the cellar and get blind drunk.



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