An Interview with … Robert McIntosh

Robert McIntosh is a wine blogger and online communicator on
WineConversation, a prolific twitterer (@thirstforwine) and an occasional
contributor to wine magazines as well as speaking at wine events. Robert is
co-organiser of the annual European Wine Bloggers Conference and Born Digital
Wine Awards, promoting international online wine communication, and advising
companies about how to engage through social media. Robert also works as Brand
Ambassador for wineries from Rioja in the UK market and generally has some
trouble communicating in the third person.

What, in your opinion, is
the most underrated and overrated Wine in the marketplace?

I have a simply belief: wine, the alcoholic drink itself, is meant to bring people together in a positive social setting – whatever helps us achieve that is good, and what makes it less likely is bad.

I get no pleasure seeing wines sold at stratospheric prices, packaged in diamond-encrusted bottles or other such nonsense – I really
couldn’t care less about top Bordeaux or “fashionable” Champagne for example.

On the other hand, I think that there are tens of thousands ofpassionate small winemakers around the world not just making interesting wines
with a difference, but giving them a story and personality that add to the pleasure of consuming them with friends. Look to social media to find the most innovative of them.

What alcoholic drink do you
most resemble?

I guess I’d have to be a well-aged bottle of Rioja – on the outside the label’s a little worn and dusty but dressed up with a bit of fancy
netting, but the contents are still reasonably elegant, alive and approachable.

After a hard days work,
what drink do you kick back and relax with?

My drinking is as promiscuous as I can get away with, but it is almost exclusively wine. I’m happy to open quite a range of different wines for dinner once the kids are in bed. If I was planning ahead and had the evening to myself, I might try and ensure there was some sherry (after work it would probably have to be Manzanilla) or possibly a dry Riesling to sup.

Whats your earliest Wine

I grew up in Italy for many years and I recall, aged around 5 or 6, the sounds and smells of wine being bottled & corked in our garage when my father returned from trips to his colleagues’ vineyards where he helped them pick grapes and they paid him in big jerry cans of their wine.

Briefly describe the best
Restaurant experience you’ve recently.

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday with a surprise dinner with my parents, sisters and my wife at Galvin at Windows. The food was great as always, the sommelier matched the dishes very well with unusual wines, but what made the meal was the combination of family, the views,
and the great (and relaxing) service that means that all the little details were taken care of.

           What would your Desert Island food and wine pairing be?

If by desert island, you mean the one I could consume regularly as opposed to my last meal before being sent to one, then I would have to go for my favourite dish of Veal Saltimbocca all Romana with a recently re-discovered taste for well aged Barolo or Barbaresco (will you arrange for the cellar to be updated regularly with later vintages while I evade rescue?)

Thanks very much Robert. You can follow Robert through his websites and on Twitter