I didn't really know what a podcast was when my producer Richard Hemming first suggested "A Glass With …" to interview celebrities. When I realized that it was actually radio-on-demand, I agreed that it was a great way to get celebrities to talk about their favorite drinks – especially since many of them own vineyards. The process is simple: I visit the celebrity who opens a bottle of their favorite drink that we enjoy together while we talk about their lives. I also bring a bottle that I think you'll like and I'll let you drink as you please. On these pages you will find some of the highlights from over 30 podcast chats with stage and screen stars. And I've added something else – a recommendation below that will help you drink like the celebrities, but at high street prices.
1. Sting and Trudie Styler
Sting and Trudie are jubilant. "It's our 26th anniversary," says Sting. When it comes to wine, Trudie remembers the first sip the couple had: Mateus Rosé. "With spagbol," added Sting. Today, the Italian house and winery Il Palagio produces impressive quality thanks to years of investment and hard work. “I think one of the most important elements in wine is the surprise. A good wine has a narrative – a beginning, a middle and an end. Storytelling and empathy are part of my work, and so the wine is interwoven with it. “While I sip their Sister Moon 2015, it is clear that there is a great connection to nature for both of them. For Sting, the connection between wine and music is even closer. "My studio is above the basement and I'm sure the music will drip into the barrels."
Sting and Trudie are jubilant. "It's our 26th anniversary," says Sting. When it comes to wine, Trudie remembers the first sip the couple had: Mateus Rosé
Sting and Trudies bottle Il Palagio, Sister Moon 2015 IGT Toscana, £ 29 – a gorgeous red that's worth the price.
Olly's alternative If you're looking for a Chianti for less than a tenth, The Wine Society offers the Society's Chianti Rufina 2016 (12.5%) for £ 8.95.
2. Mick Hucknall
“I was born in Manchester, so I drank beer most of my life – until I became famous and started drinking champagne. Before I became famous, I was in the mood for fizz, but it was dry cider. “The Simply Red front man has come a long way since then, but his down-to-earth approach to wine is still refreshing. For over a decade, Mick owned a Sicilian winery and vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe's highest active volcano. Il Cantante, which is appropriately translated as The Singer, was the magnificent 18th-century property he would flee to all year round, and he has fond memories of his time there. "What was exciting was that it is an extraordinary tradition that goes back to ancient Greece." His newly acquired love of wine brought him together with an icon, including the late Omar Sharif, who told him: "People say wine is bad for you. I drink a bottle a day and it is very good for me!" Much as he loves Italian wine because of its taste and rich variety, Mick has no favorite. "My passion is to try and experience wines from all over the world. I love the idea of finding a six pound bottle, and it's like – wow, that's fantastic! "
Mick's bottle Micks Roberto Voerzio, La Serra 1999 Barolo (£ 143), made from the Nebbiolo grape in Italy.
Olly's alternative The less well known Greek grape variety Xinomavro has similar aromas to Nebbiolo. So try Thymiopoulos Naoussa Jeunes Vignes de Xinomavro 2017 (13%) from thewinesociety.com for only £ 10.95.
3. Sam Neill
Sam's fragrant tones hide a surprising fact: he stuttered as a child. As a boy, he left Ireland and was isolated due to illness on a ship going to the Antipodes. These days, Sam's wine farm has two paddocks on New Zealand's South Island with cattle, sheep and a vineyard. “I like growing wine in a healthy environment. I think wine should be healthy and we should be healthy, those of us who work under these vines. “For such a relaxed character, he chose the most difficult grapes – Pinot Noir – after buying a disappointing Pinot from France. "I went to some posh friends for dinner and thought I would get a really good bottle of Burgundy." It was £ 98. Our starter wine would be better than that. ”
For such a relaxed character, Sam Neill picked the most difficult grapes – Pinot Noir – after buying a disappointing Pinot from France
Sam's bottle Sam opened The Fusilier in 2016, £ 40, named after his father Major Dermot Neill, who served at the Royal Irish Fusiliers for almost 20 years.
Olly's alternative For Pinot bargains, the German Pinot Noir is the same grape. M&S has a delicious Palataia Pinot Noir 2017 (13%) for £ 9.
4. Sir Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael's first impressions of wine were less than encouraging. "I remember drinking horrible wine at Yates & # 39; Wine Lodge that would scratch the enamel off your teeth. I didn't develop a taste for wine until I got to London." He worked in newspapers and was initially a fish without water. "When I first had champagne, I was at the Daily Express and went to Fleet Street in El Vino. I felt a bit lost because I didn't know anyone. And this horrible man named Frank The Florid Vintner, a terrible snob, said, "What will you have?" And I said "Pint of Bitter" and he started to laugh. Then a voice behind me said, "My friend will have a glass of champagne with me." It was Cyril Aynsley, a Doyenne of the reporting staff, who started Parky's wine education. Later, when Sir Michael started moving with the celebrity set, he often dined with Michael Winner. "And that was an ordeal because the worst thing you could do was choose the bottle of wine. You just couldn't like him! "
Sir Michael's first impressions of wine were less than encouraging. "I remember drinking horrible wine at Yates & # 39; Wine Lodge that would scratch the enamel off your teeth. I didn't develop a taste for wine until I came to London.
Parkys Plonk Embankment Pinot Noir 2014 Martinborough, £ 26.
Olly's alternative Try Asda Extra Special Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016 (13.5%) for £ 10 – it's absolutely brilliant.
5. Alex Jones
When Alex pours me a cool glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, she chats as if The One Show was broadcast from her kitchen. “My husband is New Zealander, but before he came, mom and dad, my sister and I were big fans of New Zealand. We went there in 2005 and saw a lot of vineyards. ”Her husband Charlie started working as a cook – but he cooks everything; That is why I married him because otherwise I would starve. “At home, Alex and Charlie try to stock up on good quality and investment wine with their son Teddy, but he never stays in the house for long. "We keep drinking it!"
Alex Jones: "My husband is New Zealander, but before he came, mom and dad, my sister and I were big fans of New Zealand – we saw a lot of vineyards."
Alex & # 39; bottle Tinpot Hut Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough, £ 11.
Olly's alternative I would buy Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (13%) for £ 17.99 in Majestic. It's about as good as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
6. Clare Balding
The sports presenter is a big wine fan – especially white wine. "Red wine tends to give me a dry mouth and headache the next day, although it can be quantity rather than quality," she says. But never offer to buy her a pint of beer. "I have people telling me I will like it this time, and I really don't." I hate it. Really tastes of urine. “Italy was Clare's favorite country for wine, but a recent visit to New Zealand changed her perspective.
"Red wine tends to give me a dry mouth and headache the next day, although it can be quantity rather than quality," says Clare Balding
Clares bottle Louis Jadot, Les Narvaux 2012 Meursault, £ 39 – a beautiful Chardonnay from Burgundy.
Olly's alternative Try Aldi's Exquisite Collection Macon Villages 2018 (12.5%) for £ 6.99.
It wasn't always wine in Rosa's glass: "I hated growing up wine," says the US singer-songwriter. Fortunately, she has found an infinite fascination for it ever since. "For me, that's the beauty of wine." I have been drinking wine for 15 years and I don't know anything. “These are humble words from the artist, considering that she has had her own vineyard in Barbara County, California since 2013. She also received a qualification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) soon after. "It's been in the works for years," she says. "It's my dirty little secret. We started at 18 acres – now we have 25." One of her favorite jobs is pruning the vines. "I got my brand new Beck album, put my headphones in, and spent days pruning . It's my favorite thing to do. "
One of Pink's favorite tasks is pruning the vines. “I got my brand new Beck album, put my headphones in, and spent days cropping. It is my favorite thing to do. "
Rosa's bottle Pink brought a Pontet Canet in 2010 (almost £ 200 a bottle – "If I were Mariah Carey, I would bathe in it"), a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Olly's alternative Try Haut-Vignoble Bordeaux 2017 (13%) for £ 7 from M&S to get a bargain from the same region.
8. Ian Rankin
Just like John Rebus, the detective he created, Ian Rankin loves the pub – and a glass of wine these days. During the legendary 1982 vintage, he even worked in Bordeaux and harvested grapes. “We celebrated the end of the harvest, so we got all the vines and made them small wreaths around our heads. And then we were hammered. “He was supposed to feed the wine bowls to the two pigs on the farm, but the feeling of being exhausted left it until the next day when the flesh started to ferment. The pigs got drunk and one of them died. (Ian was in a band called The Dancing Pigs in his youth). More recently, together with his colleague and neighbor Alexander McCall Smith, he has founded the Exclusive Gentlemen's Wine Group, in which members have to try to identify the different wines.
Just like John Rebus, the detective he created, Ian Rankin loves the pub – and a glass of wine these days
Ian's bottle Château Brandeau 2010 Côtes de Castillon, £ 11, from the place where he worked in 1982.
Olly's alternative Tesco Finest Medoc 2016 (13%) is a £ 9 winner. E For Olly Smith's podcast "A Glass With …" visit aglasswith.com
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