Top Recommended Wine Experts
‘I care deeply about, listen to, and politely provoke my clients and appreciate that what I do is ultimately about enjoyment,’ says Douglas Blyde, the endlessly enthusiastic and imaginative wine consultant and Evening Standard wine columnist. He spends much of his time ‘stuffing the cellars and cocktail cabinets of private clients’, he says, speaking to Spear’s while arranging a party at Evgeny Lebedev’s residence.
HNWs tend to pivot around the classics, he says, but Blyde is passionate about challenging his clients with ‘new classics’, from South Africa, Canada, California and China.
He relishes arranging ‘flamboyant private parties a-brim with phallic breadsticks, suckling pigs, fragrant cocktails and mocktails, and Bollinger Grande Année by the magnum’. Recent triumphs include a blind tasting of President Trump’s wines, a UK versus EU drinks and produce ‘Brexit’ tasting, and a sensory banquet in a nightclub where wines were matched with atmospheric sounds, music and light changes. ‘I’m always looking to work with clients who transcend the humdrum and have a sense of fun,’ he explains.
Blyde recommends English still wines, especially Chardonnays such as Kit’s Coty from Chapel Down, as well as top Californian Bordeaux blends ‘for investment and sheer pleasure’. He adds: ‘I am also increasingly enjoying pure whites from Canada.’