Q&A – Andy Humphreys
Founder, The Perfect Wine List, UK
Andy Humphreys left a job in advertising to set up a wine subscription service offering a to-your-door delivery of bottles by underrepresented and interesting global makers.
Why start the company?
When touring the wineries around Mornington Peninsula in Australia, it struck me just how few of these New World wines actually reach the UK market. People were missing out.
How do you choose the wine?
All our wines have a story behind them. It could be about the place it’s made, the people that make it or the grapes used. For example, our Albariño is produced by Tohu, the world’s first Maori owned wine company.
Future plans? The ambition is to expand to the Far East. It makes sense because wine is newer there so it will be exciting to help shape people’s views.
California is not just the US’s wine country: it is also the epicentre of a daring new dairy scene. The Golden State’s verdant acres and smallholdings produce 20 per cent of all cheese made in the US. Pick from some 100 different cow, sheep, goat and water-buffalo-milk cheeses, as well as fermented foods including yoghurt and crème fraîche. Here are three to try.
Seascape, Paso Robles
The Central Coast creamery in Paso Robles produces seascape, a semi-hard cheese made from a mix of cow and goat’s milk. The moreish cheddar-style affair has a crumbly texture and caramel undertones.
Goldette tommette, Tomales
Goldette tommette hails from Bleating Heart creamery. A single herd of Jersey cows that graze on the rolling hills near Tomales Bay provide the milk for this golden cheese; it’s creamy and has an earthy aroma.
Bay blue, Point Reyes Station
Bay blue, by Point Reyes, has a thin rind and a dense texture that smacks of stilton. The blue-green veins offer balanced flavours of fruit and nuts and a peppery finish. It’s perfect with a glass of full-bodied Californian cabernet sauvignon.
All cheeses available at the Cowgirl Creamery, San Francisco.
Onsite restaurant Spontan, headed by chef Christian Gadient, is certainly worth a visit but the real star here is craft brewery To Øl, which recently converted an old iron foundry into snug pub Brus in Copenhagen’s hip Nørrebro. Indigenous oak was used to make the bar, booths, stools and tables (plus the barrels), granting the space an easy feel. There are hoppy ipas, barrel-aged beers, organic sodas, tonics, kegged cocktails, kombucha tea and even mead (made with fermented honey).
Chef Nandu Jubany and design firm Lagranja bring a taste of their native Barcelona to Singapore with two new openings: the foc Sentosa and Pim Pam by FOC. The former, a chiringuito (tapas beach bar) on Sentosa island, is our favourite with its barbecue of fresh-caught fish and wide tapas menu. The views towards Palawan Beach are tasty too.
“Getting tasty coffee in cafés is a given but now people want it at home,” says owner Eiichi Kunitomo, who sells beans alongside takeaway brews at his new venture. Try those from Tokado in Fukuoka or Code Black in Melbourne, or pop in to a free daily coffee workshop.
Bilder & De Clercq
By offering seasonal products not by type but by recipe – with ingredients portioned to avoid waste – this grocery shop simplifies shopping and cooking while addressing food’s provenance.
New restaurant Luca (from the team behind the Clove Club) is sure to be added to your favourites list. Mixing British ingredients and Italian cooking, it has a large dining room at the back, a lovely bar-cum-food spot up front and the staff look great, too. Even if you just sit in the window with a Montgomery cheddar and Wiltshire truffle toast you’ll leave happier.
Belfast’s first craft-beer co-operative brewery threw open its doors in 2014 and now has more than 1,000 members. Boundary co-founder Matthew Dick (pictured) draws on experience from the microbrewing scene of the American West Coast, as well as traditions gleaned from Belgium and France, to produce his small batches of hoppy beers and brassy stouts.
Meanwhile the bold branding is courtesy of artist John Robinson, who has been given workspace in the brewery in exchange for the artwork on the bottles.
Ten years after the first inklings of the now ubiquitous New Nordic food movement, Stockholm’s eating options are continuing to grow – but with a heartening tendency towards smaller, less formal bars and restaurants. Jonas Wigert’s new space, 1 Ilse in Vasastan, may appear formal at first glance but the atmosphere is more that of an unfussy neighbourhood joint. Head chef Linus Enström serves modern European plates and though Ilse sits on the site of Wigert’s former favourite, Bon Bon, the quality of the new restaurant has overshadowed any nostalgia for its forebear. A short walk away, furniture designer Johan Edvardsson’s restaurant 2 Woodstockholm serves a constantly changing menu that draws on themes as diverse as the recipes of American chef Julia Child one month to the notion of a forest the next (think foraged goodies and game). The furniture and lighting is Johan’s own and you can browse his furniture next door in a space that doubles as a bar during the summer months. The hip southern island of Södermalm welcomed 3 Folii wine bar in January whose owner (and sommelier) Jonas Sandberg serves some 250 wines by the glass, alongside a mean charcuterie selection.