Find out more about the world-renowned names that make up the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards judging line-up in this Q&A series.
Roger Jones owns the Michelin-starred The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, and combines his kitchen duties with a love of wine and frequent visits to Australia to enhance the 350 Australian wines from his 1,000-bin list. He also consults and advises a number of companies, and is a fellow of The Master Chefs of Great Britain.
Read our interview with Roger Jones below…
☆ Which year or decade do you wish you’d been born in and why?
I’m happy with having been born in the 1960s as I have been able to witness the massive changes that have occurred in the wine world.
☆ How old were you when you had your first wine ‘moment’ and what was it?
It was when I was in my late 20s. I was invited to lunch at Château Mouton Rothschild with Baroness Philippine de Rothschild.
☆ How many bottles do you have in your cellar and what is your most recent addition?
Over 1,000 bottles and I’ve recently acquired some decent Gaja Gaia & Rey Chardonnay.
☆ How many years have you been working in the wine industry and what was your first job?
I have been in the trade for nearly 40 years now. I got my first industry job at 16, when I was asked to manage a pub for four days while the owners went on honeymoon.
☆ Which wine do you wish you’d bought a whole case of wine from?
The 1964 Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva – my friends drank my last case at my 50th birthday party.
☆ In the last 12 months, which grape have you drunk the most of?
☆ In the last 12 months, what’s the most exciting region you’ve discovered or re-discovered and why?
Greece and Turkey – the wines are exciting, even those which are made with non-traditional grape varieties for them, such as Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc.
☆ Who’s your wine idol (who has inspired you the most in the wine world)?
☆ What’s your most memorable wine and food moment?
Enjoying abalone, which my nine-year-old son had been diving for off the coast of Tasmania, with an Apsley Gorge Chardonnay.
☆ If you could taste/drink any wine in the world what would it be and who would you drink it with?
Some real top white Bordeaux, such as Smith Haut-Lafitte, with my wife.
☆ What’s the highest number of wines you’d had on one of your wine lists?
☆ What is the oldest bottle of wine you’ve served?
A 1910 Viña Tondonia Tinto Gran Reserva.
☆ What do you enjoy most about judging at the Decanter World Wine Awards?
Meeting people that inspire and educate you, and tasting some of the best wines in the world.
For more information on this year’s competition, including how to enter, visit the Decanter World Wine Awards website
Written by Decanter
Roger Jones ran the award winning restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, for 21 years and now operates his own