19 Apr A cool character from a cool climate
Meet Raul. He’s from Chile, and our resident – and expert – wine trainer.
‘Education is a wonderful thing,’ says Raul. ‘Wine is highly enjoyable but it’s so much more rewarding when you know a bit about what you are drinking. It also helps you find more of the wines that appeal to you too. That’s why we started the Wine Flights on the first Tuesday of every month. It means people can have fun and learn a little. I find these wine-tastings really get the conversation flowing. People start talking – and thinking – about wine in a way they never thought they would.’
Raul started his career as a sommelier back in 2004 working in a luxury hotel, and later in the Michelin-starred restaurants of Michel Roux Jr. and Gary Rhodes in London. He has a real passion for teaching and through his consultancy business, runs tailored in-house training programs to help businesses run their wine operations more successfully.
If he looks familiar then you might have caught him presenting on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. He often participates in wine panels for Harper’s, Drinks Business and hosts Masterclasses at Taste of London and Imbibe Live.
‘I have, I suppose become highly educated in wine over the years. It’s never-ending, I never stop. There is so much to learn. If you simply take my home country of Chile for example. We have inland valleys bordered by the Pacific coast on one side and the Andes on the other. Wines from this Central Valley region feature elegant red Bordeaux blends high in red fruit and acidity. Up in the foothills of the high Andes you’ll find red wines with a developed tannin structure. Back on the coast where it’s cooler you get citrussy whites and refreshing Pinot Noir. But this is an area that runs vertically for about 1,200 miles and there are of course many subtleties and variances along the way. There’s the climate that’s midway between France and California, there’s the history that started with the conquistadores in the 16th century, there’s the world-famous wineries and there’s the ancient and new varieties. There’s so much to discuss just here…I could go on and on!’
Meet Raul, grab a glass and experience the passion, first hand and any night of the week, at OAK N4.