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When I came up with the idea of asking wine professionals for mini interviews, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting a reply.
Now, going by the intellectual questions I posed below, this is sure fire proof of my previous statement. Nevertheless I sent Matthew Jukes these questions. Fair play to the man, he responded.
This is genuine. I’ve not made this up.
1- Full name and inside leg measurement? Matthew Shaw Jukes. 32 inches
2- Where did you grow up? Old Basing in Hampshire and Brussels
3- Favourite sport and sports team? Rugby, England
4- Your favourite grape variety? Pinot Noir
5- Your favourite style of wine? Burgundies
6- How did you become a world renowned wine writer? Am I?
7- What is your connection with Australia or why do you focus on Australia? The value is incredible and the variety is amazing.
Since I received these answers I have put together a far more formulaic set of questions, which I may put to him in the future. A lot more professional than asking for a dudes inside leg measurement.
What I did find out later, during an exchange of emails with Matthew, was, like me, he is a Harlequins fan. Not only a Quins fan but 24 years ago, before the wine trade got him, he used to train with the Mighty Quins. Carrying former Quins and Grand Slam Winning England Captain, Will Carling, on his back.
I’m sure the training schedule has changed somewhat since then but it does evoke quite an amusing image in my mind.
In all sincerity I do appreciate the answers. Let this be a lesson to all. Show a bit more faith.
With over 9 million Daily Mail readers a week, Matthew has the most keenly followed wine column in the UK. He also writes a weekly piece for MoneyWeek and occasional features for Decanter. He has won the highly prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition’s Trophy for Wine Communicator of the Year and he is the wine buyer for Bibendum Restaurant & Oyster Bar, the Masala World group of Indian Restaurants (Chutney Mary, Amaya and Veeraswamy), all in London, and the exclusive, private wine club Quintessentially Wine worldwide.
He lectures and judges all over the world, most recently in Canberra for the National Wine Show of Australia and at Pinot 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand. Earlier this year he was asked to sit on the inaugural panel of the London version of the Stonier International Pinot Noir Tasting after having done so twice in the same event in Melbourne. Matthew is the creator of a handful of ground-breaking, annual, wine releases – the 100 Best Australian Wines (every May) and the Essential & Exquisite New Zealand Wines 2011 (designed to take over from the old 60 Best format, which will be launched in Summer 2011 on this website). The 100 Best Australian Wines Roadshow kicks off again this autumn. The Great Australian Red competition – the quest to find the finest red blends that ‘define Australia’. TGAR is an unique Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignon tasting (held every November, with Tyson Stelzer) and The Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification (each March, again with Tyson Stelzer) is the first New World Classification of its kind.
Matthew’s thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
Matthew launched the ’Hall of Fame’ of the 100 Best Australian Wines in May 2011 in London.
Matthew is also the Patron and Founder of Touch Wine – raising money for the Hutt St Centre in Adelaide and other homeless refuges around the world. Wine Rules, a brand new initiative, used the Touch Wine template for the first time in Melbourne last November. This event was, once again, an incredible celebration of fine wine, delicous food, loud music and deft ‘touch footy’ skills! It raised over $35,000AUD for St Mary’s House of Welcome in Melbourne. To date his various initiatives have raised over $600,000AUD for charity. For more information see www.winerules.com.au and www.touchwine.com.au. The next Touch Wine event will be held in Adelaide on the 13th November 2011 and the next Wine Rules will be held in Melbourne on the 20th November 2011. I hope to see you there.
Ok. Thats enough shmoozing. Got to accommodate Sam Neill next.