This month we shine the spotlight on Guy Seddon in the Fine Wine Buying team.
Q) Tell us a bit about you and your role at Corney & Barrow.
I run the Fine Wine Buying Team at C&B. We are responsible for the relationships with current and prospective Fine Wine suppliers. Broadly speaking, these are producers whose wines are sold via an annual en primeur release. I also sell wine to private customers, many of whom I have known since starting in the sales team here in 2010. Having a foot in both buying and sales gives a full overview of a wine’s journey from vineyard to table (and conveniently allows me to spend time at both ends).
Q) How did you end up working in wine? Did you always have a passion for wine?
A bottle of Latour 1966 opened my eyes to just how good fermented grape juice could be. As an English & Philosophy undergraduate, I read Hugh Johnson’s A Life Uncorked and Jancis Robinson’s Confessions of a Wine Lover and thought, this sounds like a good way to make a living. A short detour into corporate law confirmed that my initial hunch was spot-on.
Q) What has been your favourite wine experience so far and why?
For me, great bottles bring together vineyard and winemaker with the setting in which they are finally opened and enjoyed. So whilst it is undeniably rare and special to have tasted Soldera at Case Basse with Gianfranco Soldera himself, or to get a first glimpse of the newly bottled vintage in the cellars of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, nothing beats the conviviality of a good bottle shared with friends or family.
Q) The 2022 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign will be starting soon; can you tell us more about this and what we can expect from this vintage?
We are off to taste later this month so watch this space. I am expecting great things, notwithstanding a warm summer – unlike 2021, we are back in the modern vein of ‘climate change vintages’ with 2022.
Q) What advice would you offer to someone that is new to the world of fine wine. Where should they start?
For the likes of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Piedmont and the Mosel, pick a few producers whose wines appeal to you and follow them from vintage to vintage. You will gradually build up annual points of reference which, for me, is part of the fun of wine. And more generally – you don’t need to spend a fortune. While prices are now very high at the top end of established regions, there is plenty of excellent wine being made elsewhere. Check out cooler climate new world regions, where vines are scaling the hillsides, creeping towards the coasts and pushing into higher latitudes.
Q) When you are not tasting or selling wine what might we find you doing?
In no particular order – competitive table tennis with my children, cinema, meals with friends, running along the Thames towpath, cycling in the Surrey Hills.