Raphaël Rodriguez

Raphaël Rodriguez

Last March we teamed up with our friends and importers at Vine Trail for a beautiful dinner celebrating Champagne. After the dinner, we had the opportunity to talk about wine with Raphaël Rodriguez, Vine Trail’s co-director and co-owner.

Rodriguez grew up in the Southern Rhône surrounded by vineyards. Despite a few years spent working with the French Air Force, destiny had different plans, leading him to pivot careers and retrain as a sommelier. It turned out to be the winning choice!

The former restaurant & wine director of Fera at Claridge’s, Rodriguez has sourced wines and curated lists for some of London’s most iconic establishments and we’re thrilled to glean insights into his thoughts on wine.

Here is the full interview.

Raphaël Rodriguez
Raphael RodriguezRaphael Rodriguez

1. You're handed a wine list, what do you do?

Say thank you excitingly. Quick check of the design/presentation in case there’s something fresh/interesting. Scan through of the growers represented. Choose wisely (trying).

2. How do you know the wine you're drinking is good?

My body and soul want more – healthy/nourishing element to it with sapidity and digestibility. Usually drunk down to the last sip in a short amount of time.

3. What is something fascinating you’ve been told over lunch?

That I could eat my grilled sardine whole including bones and all, never looked back.

4. In whose company do you most enjoy drinking wine?

My family at home, it’s where it all started …

Raphael RodriguezRaphael Rodriguez

5. Can you describe your ideal combination of wine, music, and setting?

A meditative wine (as described in point 2.) that tells you a story, hanging out in the related vineyard with nature as soundscape.

6. What sort of food would you add to the equation?

Local food and classic match always win.

7. What is the most memorable bottle of wine you’ve drank?

Lafleur 1947 from magnum.

8. Where did you drink it?

At Sketch London – I used to work there, I popped in on my day off and Fred Brugues handed over a glass!

Raphael RodriguezRaphael Rodriguez

9. Is there a characteristic you look for in a wine and in a friend?

Energy (positive).

10. What is your approach to drinking?

Less is more. i.e. Quality

11. Do you apply this approach in other aspects of life?

Defo applied in a few aspects of my life.

12. What shall we open next?

Les Noëls de Montbenault by Richard Leroy. The embodiment of meditative wine that generates uplifting effects on our spirits.

Raphael RodriguezRaphael Rodriguez

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