From Oslo to the Mandarin Oriental, our new Brand Ambassador, Andy reflects fondly on two very different wine tasting events he’s hosted in his first month at Rathfinny.
Words by Andy
Piknik I Parken
My first two events as the new Rathfinny Brand Ambassador couldn’t have been any more different. My first was at Picnic in the Park (Picnik I Parken), a Norwegian music and food festival (less Glastonbury, more Soho House – I haven’t been served English Sparkling Wine with oysters at Glastonbury…) where I presented two, forty-minute wine tastings in a tent, on picnic benches. It was pouring down with rain, everybody in attendance was wearing waterproof jackets and listening to me through individual headsets. It was a little like a silent wine tasting disco. The questions I was asked at this event included ‘are you single?’, ‘are you going to watch Jungle later?’ and ‘what is your favourite animal you have seen at the Estate?’. I also ended up doing an impromptu wine tasting in a Spanish restaurant after the event for one of my favourite bands over the last twenty years, Supergrass.
Dinner by Heston Wine Lunch
The second event was at the two-Michelin Stared, Dinner by Heston terrace at the stunning Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge, overlooking Hyde Park. Twenty-five guests, arriving in groups of between two and six, enjoying a specially curated four-course lunch all paired to our Rathfinny sparkling wines. Before the heatwave in early July, it was the hottest day of the year, everyone was wearing their smart-casual jackets and I had some great chats with the guests. The questions were a little more ‘on-topic’ you could say – ‘are all the grapes used in the production Estate-grown?’, ‘what are your thoughts on the new Sussex PDO?’ and ‘do your wines undergo malolactic fermentation’.
English Potato balls & Trout Florentine
& Rathfinny 2018 Classic Cuvée
Fish & Admirals Sauce
& Rathfinny 2018 Blanc de Noirs
White Ice Cream Bar
& Rathfinny 2018 Rosé
There was also a starter of Tomato Sallet paired with the 2017 Blanc de Blancs but it was inhaled before we took a photo! The English Potato Balls (Tunworth, onion vermicelli and burnt leek salt) and our 2018 Classic Cuvée was my favourite pick of the bunch, but having the opportunity to sample the famous White Choc Ice was also an incredible experience.
With these first couple of events under my belt, I’m looking forward to seeing where this already interesting Rathfinny journey will take me next!