The Wine Host + Delegats, NZ Young Wine Professional 2014
Alexis Robin, also known as The Wine Host, says he was born with wine in is his blood. Hailing from wine Mecca, Anglet, South West France, Alexis moved to New Zealand to improve his English. Fortunately for us, Alexis fell in love with this beautiful country, the wine and most importantly, his Kiwi wife.
Alexis also works at 'Delegat's Wine Estate' as an account manager based in Dunedin, Otago. He has experience as a wine operator, cellar door host, wine educator, sommelier, wine entertainer, and host in both New Zealand and Australia.
Alexis is passionate about developing Kiwis’ awareness of their local wine and unique terroir (combination of soil, climate and human talent) so that they can become ambassadors of their local vineyards.
We sat down with Alexis and asked him some fun questions—here are his answers.
What got you into wine? What is it about wine that excites you?
I love the stories behind the wine: history of the place, philosophy of the winemaker and viticulturist, different climate and soil types, and of course the pleasure each wine gives to us. I like to share good wines with people.
What was your last 'eureka' moment with a wine?
Recently I understood perception is the key word to sell wine in the wine industry. It is not about quality of the wine but perception of the brand; big difference!
How do you fit wine around the remainder of your non-wine lifestyle?
Reading is my best way to keep in touch with wine without being drunk all the time!!
Please tell me something that consumers don't know about your area of the wine industry.
Central Otago Pinot Noir are not the best Pinots of New Zealand. Kasuda and Greystone are two of the best in my opinion.
What is your favourite indicator of wine quality? (A certain taste? Or a texture?)
Minerality for the White wine is always a good indicator of quality and terroir centric. For the Reds I look for elegance and complexity, with a long finish.
What would be your 'desert island' drink? - and you can only pick one!
Hard question but I will go for a bottle of Egon Muller Scharzhof Riesling Qualitatswein, 2011 - Pfalz, Germany. This wine is an introduction to the house style. Fragrant, crisp green apple with a touch of sweetness on the palate, minerality and finesse makes this wine unforgettable.
Please tell us something that troubles you about the New Zealand wine industry.
85% of restaurants and bars in New Zealand have the same wines on their lists because they are contracted by big alcohol firms. This is a shame for the wine lovers and in general for NZ customers.