The Royal Family must have been treated to a few glasses of something special in their time, yet that doesn’t automatically make them connoisseurs. Prince Charles noted this on his recent visit to Europe with his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, acknowledging that she has a far better knowledge than him when it comes to wine.
The Duchess of Cornwall understands terminology used by industry experts and tasters, but the Prince of Wales confessed that he is left struggling to keep up at times. The admission came on a visit to a vineyard during a stopover in Vienna. After the sampling, the royal couple was also given some select bottles to take home with them.
The couple is known for their interest in food and drink and especially its provenance, and they likely enjoyed the chance to meet local producers. The trip to Austria was rounded off with a tour of the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna and a visit to the Jewish Museum, where they met survivors of the Holocaust. There they listened to stories about the early lives of some of the Jewish community prior to World War II.
Before heading home via Rome, Charles and Camilla called in to watch a Vienna Philharmonic orchestra rehearsal in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein.
Of course, Camilla is no stranger to the industry given the fact that her father, Major Bruce Shand, was a wine merchant. It is possible that the Duchess inherited her love of red wine, or at least some of her knowledge, from him. Earlier this year, she was given an honour from the Worshipful Company of Vintners – the spiritual home of the trade – and the Duchess is now a liveryman.
The Independent explains how you can find some really interesting and delicious wines through a specialist merchant that the bigger retailers simple don’t stock.
There are specialist online wine merchants in Northern Ireland, like The Wine Company NI http://thewinecompanyni.com/, and around the country. Because they do so much of their business online, you can have access to some very unusual wines without having to be on their doorstep.
Find an expert you trust and enjoy trying some new wines just like the Royal Family!