Simon Berry, head of Britain’s oldest wine shop, has been named the new clerk of the Royal Cellars.
The director of Berry Bros & Rudd was requested by the Queen to take over duties at Buckingham Palace in September 2007. He officially took the post on 1 January 2008.
Berry, whose eponymous shop already holds the royal warrant, takes over from Edward Demery who retired from the post. Demery is chairman of London wine merchants Justerini & Brooks, which also has the warrant.
Berry’s role is pivotal to the royal cellar and includes drawing up the royal wine list, and selecting wines and spirits for the royal cellar. He will not be required to open and serve the wines – roles already assumed by the royal sommelier and the yeoman and deputy yeoman of the Royal cellars.
Berry remains highly discreet concerning his new charge and like many royal office-holders will not divulge insider information regarding the queen’s tastes.
‘We have been described as pathologically private,’ he said.
However, although the Queen is not a fussy drinker – she is known to be fond of gin and Dubonnet – the Royal Cellar has to cater to all tastes, and boasts quality Bordeaux, Burgundy and port, including Chateau Leoville-Barton 1988, Latour a Pomerol 1995, Chasse-Spleen 1990, Volnay Fremiets 1er Cru Marquis d’Angerville 2002, and Quinta do Noval 1963 alongside Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It is reportedly worth around £2m.
Berry, Bros & Rudd has been owned by the Berry family since 1698 and last year sold around 5m bottles of wine and 100,000 bottles of spirits.
Written by Gregoire Salin