When I started doing a blog and I started getting invited to trade tastings I remember being a bit floored by some of the cynicism and jadedness of some of the proper wine journalists. I was coming out of nearly 10 years of office work that didn’t suit me and that on the whole I hadn’t enjoyed, so was amazed that wandering round and tasting wine for a living could leave you feeling so fed up.
But sadly there are times, I have to admit, that I felt that sometimes creeping into my own head in recent months. So it was doubly glorious yesterday morning to catch up with Tom Holt of Paso Primero in Somontano in Northern Spain. Meeting people like that restores the faith!
I’d met up with him to talk about his Vermouth. Two reasons, one cos I love Vermouth and fancy offering Spanish-style Vermouth at the new restaurant, but also I thought I’d do my bit for Vermouth in the UK and wrote it up for The Buyer, a drink’s magazine I write for, to tell whoever bothered to read it that it’s great stuff and we should take it a bit more seriously than a bit of Martini Rosso.
But chatting with Tom just perked me up. He’s got an infectious enthusiasm for what he’s doing. He’s a winemaker that clearly loves this part of Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrenees about 2 hours north-west-ish of Barcelona, loves eating good food and drinking nice wine. Clearly proud as punch of his wife and baby boy. And…the “pièce de la resistance”, now makes the official wine for his beloved Shrewsbury Town, spending some of the home matches in the director’s box quaffing away with the owner watching the lads.
I’ll talk more about the wine in The Buyer piece but what a lovely fella. People like that are why I wanted to start promoting top wine and top winemakers. It was a timely reminder for me about the top people the “wine calling” attracts.