On this episode, we catch up with our in-house correspondent Jonathan Whittley to learn more about his background and hear about his wine travels to France, Spain and beyond.
Full transcript of the episode is below, this was generated by voice recognition software so expect a few errors here and there.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (00:00):
Hi there. Welcome to the Colton boutique show. My name is Daniel Patson international sales director. Uh, today we are joined by a familiar face to many of our clients, uh, who are aware from our newsletters of uh, Mr. Jonathan Whitley. For those who are unaware, this is an opportunity to meet Jonathan for the first time. Um, he’s nicknamed a roving reporter as he likes to travel. I think that’s fair to say. Um, Jonathan, thank you for joining us today and welcome to the show.
Jonathan Whittley (00:31):
Great pleasure. How have you been? I’ve been fine. Thank you very much. Um, Nass week I was, uh, at a, it’s a tasting for big Indies at the RAF [inaudible] you just go off of too good stone.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (00:45):
Yes. I’m what Vincent looked at 2018 vintage
Jonathan Whittley (00:49):
2018. See right across it was, it was Bouchard William fav. Oh, right, right across. I mean, you can’t get much better than that William fav based up in shabbily Bouchard based in bone. Um, and right across it was a horizontal tasting right across the right across the Oh, Oh, Oh, D GAM. Yes. [inaudible]
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (01:11):
yes, yes. And obviously need being one of the hottest regions for wine across the globe. Um, aside from your travels to burgundy, what, where else you’ve been traveling in the last, say 12 to 18 months?
Jonathan Whittley (01:25):
In the last 12, 15 months, I’ve been in Spain. Um, last last a year, uh, in June, July of last year, I decided I was, happened to be on a, on a sunlit square in caddies. And across the, across the way, there was a, there was a building look like a tourist office turned out to be a language school. I picked up a leaflet. I
th my Spanish, I S I’m a fluent French speaker, but my Spanish isn’t quite up to that standard. Um, and I picked up this leaflet and thought, yeah, maybe one day I’ll do it. Went home. Um, and a couple of days, 10 days later I was leafing through a pilot, found this booklet and thought I’ll do this. So I emailed and I went out to Cadiz for two weeks, um, and uh, and, and took part in this Spanish course, um, for, uh, for adults. And, um, I was, I was actually, there were, there were a half a dozen of us, uh, in the classroom and five of them, five of them were German plus me.
Jonathan Whittley (02:29):
Oh, Sarah. I have a little, little bit on the Spanish has to be said. It was more proficient. Uh, so a bit of an uphill struggle, but we got there in the end. Good. And, uh, how, how is your Spanish now? Uh, not, but well I had to say I need, I need more. I need more practice. Um, where I to have, where I too have learned Spanish for as long as my, I’ve learned, I’ve been learning French. Um, that would be my, my would be, we’d be on the same level, but um, as you, as I’ve just explained it, it’s not, um, but some little by little we get there. Yes. My Italian is not bad, however.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (03:09):
Okay. Okay. So if he was to rank your, uh, expertise in languages, first would be French, second Italian, third, third English. Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Jonathan Whittley (03:27):
I was practically born with French, but some people think I am French. I mean when I speak to French people because by accident is pretty good. Uh, but, but I was lucky enough to be taken by my parents, uh, to France on holiday when I was sort of half. So four and a half, three and a half. Very young. Put the car on. Yes. The car went onto the plane. We put the car on the plane at lid and it came off at the two K my father drove down from the two K two to two, uh, the French Riviera. Wow.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (03:57):
I’m with your studying of the French language and French heritage. How long was you studying? Um, I suppose the language or France as a whole.
Jonathan Whittley (04:06):
I was, I was lucky. I, I started learning French formerly, um, when I was seven. And then I went, I did it. I went on to do it in secondary school. I did, uh, I did, uh, a degree in it, which, which, which gave me a year abroad in Dijon. Oh, lovely. Nice applicant. And uh, um, but the trouble was weekends. I was confined to the town. I didn’t get out of town very much. So I didn’t get down into the, into these, the wine villages. Uh, I remembered that about, um, 14 years ago. Um, I w I, I went to the walk from fixer to Sultani, uh, North to South through this lovely, I mean, you visualize, I can’t see one, but I’m visualizing that wonderful map that Boucha have been yard, um, going from, uh, uh, East to West, well West to East [inaudible] on the left, Dijon on the right. And, and it goes through the wonderful PAF sale. Um, burgundy of course, has just been the person of Bergen had recently been given a UNESCO world heritage site, um, title and which they campaigned for, for the last, uh, uh, for several years. And I think it was, it was granted to them finally in, uh, uh, just a few years ago now. Yes. Um, it’s now a world heritage site, so, so the cartoon, it’s, it’s there for good. Oh, brilliant. Brilliant. As a, as a lots of UNESCO sites in France say lucky. Yes.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (05:41):
Osby knows. Well, Jonathan, as well as appreciates and, uh, you know, French culture in your travels, you also enjoy your wine tastings. You also enjoy eating well. If we was to come over to your home of your salon, a, a party, so to speak, what, what was your food and wine pairings B, what are some of your
personal favorites that you feel others should try if they haven’t tried already
Jonathan Whittley (06:06):
these days? Um, the set rules that usually you shouldn’t pair, um, uh, fish with red wine or meat with white wine goes to the window. It all depends on orange. Uh, a white one with cheese, they go out of the window or you can have some very, uh, salty white wine, which goes perfectly with the blue cheese. Um, um, some dry white wine, maybe a while. Um, I mean, I, uh, underwire, I have a cigarette [inaudible] go nicely with a, with a very, with a very salty cheese. Um, and likewise, um, uh, you could have, uh, a fairly meaty fish like sea hake that you could put with, with, with red, with no difficulty.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (07:00):
Yes. And would you say like a more licensed style or read like a, like a Beaujolais, maybe it was that two lights or you could put a budget. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Now, speaking of MC, you know, peculiar pairings like at red wine and
Jonathan Whittley (07:18):
not yet, well, we cannot do that for the podcast. I’ll sex rates to Jonathan. We look around your own tobacco,
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (07:28):
that’s for sure. However, your, your robbers traditional and your TACE ans you know, among your years of something, some, you know, some very good wines and very bad wines for you, for the positive reasons. What would you say has been the biggest eye-opener in terms of a wine or a region or a country?
Jonathan Whittley (07:45):
Well, I’m, I’m, this is not the last time I’m going to come back to burgundy in this, in this chat. Um, I went, um, Oh, must’ve been 20 years ago now. I was working for a hotel marketing company and, and as a, as a, as a private contractor and they w we had a campaign in Paris at, uh, the [inaudible], uh, under contract on town, which is right now, right up to the opera. You know, polygamy. Yes. Right in the center of Paris. And, um, one evening at this hotel, there was a tasting, um, by four, she up to Guam. Okay. Um, and I tasted, I tasted a told shaman what a very, very famous burgundy whites for the very first time. And it blew my socks off. I mean, I, I write, I writes in, in, in, in, in, in, in, uh, my tasting notes for, for [inaudible].
Jonathan Whittley (08:43):
I just, I just wrote, blow your socks off. But this, but this particular, I can’t remember the, it was probably, it would have been if it was 1989, I think it would be 1989. You’d probably bet some 87
vintage would’ve been, uh, uh, 87. Awesome, Sean. Man, it was, it was phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. And I vowed, because I mean, as you will know, of course I’m, Charmaine is not, not, uh, it doesn’t come to a penny. I vote, uh, for my 50th birthday, I will treat myself, uh, to a bottle because [inaudible] ran a hundred palliate bottle. Um, and, um, it hasn’t happened. I, I, I decided something got in the way. I didn’t, but one of these, one of these decades, I’m going to treat myself and just enjoy it. The bucket list one? Yes. It’s a revisit. Once again. There’s also, I’ll tell you, this ties nicely in with, um, with, uh, the, the, the wine tasting.
Jonathan Whittley (09:44):
There’s also a restaurant, uh, very, very close to, uh, the cuttle vineyards. Okay. Lou shout man. Yes. And uh, it’s, it’s a huge, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, um, a Japanese French fusion restaurant. I think the chef is French and his wife had Japanese. Oh wow. And so there is Oriental influence, particularly white wine. Yes. So my, my, my, one of my emissions, not, not, which I soon achieve given in the grand scheme of things is to go to this restaurant and each, they’re looking out over vineyards with a bottle of cultural Shamban. There you go. What could be better?
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (10:26):
Heaven, heaven in the restaurant. Speaking of, I’m going slightly off topic, I suppose. Speaking of, again, going back to the wine pairings and you know, food pairings, et cetera. And you mentioned about Southeast Asian and France, there was an uncommon misconception, may be a common misconception, if you can call to that. That’s if you’re going South, Southeast Asian food, that there is no wines pair with it. However, there are people that would argue if you are going to pair Southeast Asian food, you should have it with reasonings. Why would you stand on that
Jonathan Whittley (11:02):
reasoning? Yeah, off dry off dry reasonings is a good, is it that that’s, uh, I would say that it’s a good pairing with Southeast Asian food. Yes. Um, otherwise the old lot of whole of, um, whole lots of French Alsace wines, um, French wine from the Alsace. Oh, you’ve got your peanut peanut CRE. You have, uh, I mean, [inaudible] is the classic example. Um, that would go and I tell you what else is what, what else is dice with, um, with um, uh, with Asian food? Yes. Um, I’m just trying to think off the top of my head. Um, and it’s, I can see the bottle, sorry. It’ll come back, it’ll come back. Um, but, but certainly certainly grow stronger. Um, Toronto. Yeah. Toronto, Argentina. Yes, we’re going right to the other side of the world. We are, um, amazing. But, but a and Argentinian, this is a, this is a wine, this is a wine that I came across for the first time on.
Jonathan Whittley (12:11):
It was in a, from a newspaper article. I brought it in. Safeways. There you go. It has not been around for a long time. Can I buy you a platter? Silver, silver, silver, silver horse have Kobota plateau talking to this Argentinian and I’d never know what’s this Toronto and he’s really, it is an unusual one. Yes. It’s, it’s, um, from, from, uh, the heart of entre Tina, but great with, uh, an and a wonderful pairing with, with, with, with Asian food. Wow. I must try that. I’ve never tried it. So Ron says with Southeast Asian food, so definitely somebody, I won’t be trying this one. I’ll tell you a restaurant account. Okay. Thank you. But I like it. You can give me a refund as well. Right now. He was recently, um, want to say recently, I would imagine the last couple of years ago within Lebanon. Yes, that’s right. And a lot of people who make consume wine would probably assume Chateau Musar within the Bekaa Valley is the only wines come from Lebanon?
Jonathan Whittley (13:14):
Not a bit, not a bit for are there used to be about two or three. Uh, Chateau Musar was one. Uh, CASARA is another, um, uh, which is in the Bekaa Valley, um, as, as is bizarre. Um, but now there are that, they would, there were only two or three that people were recommend to drink. There are 40, a good 40 plus wineries in the Lebanon all day. At the moment. Yes. 44 zero. Um, Messiah is, uh, eh, it may double this AYA not to be confused with really soft stuff. Yes. But, um, um, Messiah, um, every time she’s another one. Um, these are, these are, these are mostly reds. Um, there is, there is, uh, CASARA to a very nice, uh, blown to belong. Okay. Um, but, but Tim’s by, by all means, if you, if you’re, if you’re looking at a wine list, don’t overlook the Lebanon.
Jonathan Whittley (14:20):
Uh, um, what, what, what I, I won’t name the restaurant, but what, but what annoys me is that there is a, there are a couple of, uh, uh, Lebanese restaurants. I know one is in Kingston and they do not have a Lebanese wine as their house wine and they don’t want to shoot my shit. I mean, I, I go to the IC every time I go there. Uh, they’ve got French wines as their house wine. Uh, but they, they, they have some, they have some, maybe it’s, maybe it’s a markup issue. Um, they have, they have a, uh, a Lebanese wine, but it a very [inaudible] markup. Yes. What they’re producing. They’re producing wonderful Lebanese food in an atmosphere that, you know, you could almost see a belly dancer come through the door. [inaudible] there isn’t one, but you could imagine wishful thinking of course. But they, they don’t, uh, there’s, there’s no liberties one house, but it should happen.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (15:20):
It should, I agree. Because a lot of Lebanese wine, especially when I go out with whether they’re clients or whipping out to a few places ourselves and we’ve gotten some Lebanese restaurants, what I do store Lebanese house wines, they’re really good. Now you don’t, you don’t need to spend 30, 40 pounds on a bottle. Absolutely don’t expend your 20, 25%.
Jonathan Whittley (15:41):
Of course the, the great, the, the, the greater company meant to, to Lebanese Missy. I was, let me think about this half an hour ago cause I was talking, I was talking to a lady as we speak. Um, I was talking to a lady half an hour ago who spends most of her life in that she’s English, but she married a Lebanese and spends most of her life if she has a flat Beirut and lives there. I spread it out. I was talking to only half an hour ago and we were, and a friend of ours had a little tiny bottle of Caseras. This is, this is Eric from co shatter Cosara get it. K S a R a K because Sarah is a, um, in a, in a bit of a bottle. But that’s the, that’s the, um, that’s the, uh, classic accompaniment to Lebanese Missy and, but if you’re not going to drink wine, of course, yes, of course, of course. But, but, but, but Eric of course is made from buying by the Lebanese wineries.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (16:34):
Right. Well, so interest in facts though, for sure. Now, obviously I’m, of all the events you’ve attended and there’ve been a few, so I know I’ve asked you to dig in deep to remember here and these events that you’ve attended on our behalf. What has been the most enjoyable?
Jonathan Whittley (16:53):
I think there’s a, I think there’s a cross a toss up here. Um, we, um, w I lucky enough, uh, once a year, they’re all, they’re both annual events. I’m lucky, lucky enough, once a year to go to the, um, Phil’s portfolio tasting, um, which is normally Hills in, in February, uh, in, uh, in a, in a, um, in a building overlooking the tech conference center overlooking the Thames. And there are the wines from all over the world. I, we have, we have, um, uh, new Zealand’s with those America jr pretty jovial chap runs. It, runs a winery in, in, in, in, in, in California who might see from year to year and we just exchange pleasantries. Um, there is, um, then we come back to, let me come back to burgundy on the, on the other side of the room. I did actually spend too much time with the burgundies, uh, on, on that occasion because I’ve already been to the tasting that I went to this last week.
Jonathan Whittley (18:00):
Um, and it’s a good opportunity to, to, um, to sample wines from, uh, of, of, of, of differing, of differing quality and character, uh, and, and fame friends from, from different areas in the world. Um, I T I, I was put a, um, a glass of a glass of port, uh, uh, last time we went there, the very end of the afternoon, uh, by, um, by, uh, Paul Symington, um, who, um, poured me a glass of, uh, is a very ancient port, which I enjoyed as a, as a, as a, as a kind of finale to the occasion. The other one you asked me while I was torn between the two. Yes. The other one is a, it’s a, it’s an event which is really, uh, a bit of a joke called a Bible live, which takes place in Olympia at Olympian in early July. And it’s, um, for it mainly for the entree. It’s not, we’re not, we’re not, I mean, Colton boutique don’t really have much interest there. Um, uh, although there is, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s more cocktails and, and, and bars and, uh, things to put in, in exotic, exotic [inaudible].
Jonathan Whittley (19:23):
Although there is there that two things, two exceptions I’d like to see. Um, one is that there’s a small wind section and that, but the other is that they have some very, uh, interesting, um, uh, talks and tastings for on, on online. Uh, I attended one a couple of years ago, uh, on Sydney, on English, one given by the, uh, one of the, one of the important people in, uh, the agricultural college, uh, in, in pumpkin and which is in [inaudible], which is in Sussex. And of course, they now run, uh, a, an analogy course, uh, because of course, I mean Ditchling where they’re based is right in the middle of the English [inaudible] growing country. So they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re very little paste are brilliant it to, to, to, to educate up and coming one grows. Wow. Perfect. Okay. And lastly, I think everybody who’s going to be watching this will probably know the answer to the question, but of course answer the questions.
Jonathan Whittley (20:29):
Right. If you could only drink from one region for the rest of your days, where would it be? I’m why in a nutshell, in a nutshell, uh, the, the, the burgundy region that I’m in, I have to say I have no, I have no, uh, knowledge. I don’t [inaudible] the macaroni or the Bush really, but I would say the big Indian region and more specifically, the Kodo is where I would quite like to, in my days. Um, I, they, they do seem much that he’s joyous about that region, um, in, in such a, in such a concentrated area. That’s it. I could, I could easily walk as I have done from vineyard to vineyard, uh, finding exciting things that I could talk about, um, for much longer than we’ve got here.
Cult & Boutique Wine Management (21:26):
Yes. Wonderful. Well, Jonathan, thank you very much for taking time out today. It’s come a four hour show and hopefully next year we can go to burgundy as opposed to Bordeaux for an OnPrem or campaign tender. That would be lovely, excellent company vice versa as well, especially as you can speak the lingo that we are, but, um, that is all for today. So thank you once again for joining us and until next time, all the best. Thank you.