Pulling the crackers, lighting the candles and eyeing up the mince pies for our Christmas special is none other than the super talented jazz musician – Jamie Cullum.
Jamie, who has just released his ninth studio album, ‘The Pianoman at Christmas’, recorded where else, but at the at the temple of music recording – Abbey Road, is not only an interested wine lover but also an old friend of Miquita’s, so it’s a very happy table at our Christmas get together.
The jazz route has taken Jamie to some spectacular venues which at times have coincided with the wine trail, such as the music festival held in the northern Rhône.
Jazz à Vienne takes place just a short distance from one of the most famous white wine producing villages in France, Condrieu, home to the heady white made from viognier, a wine that can smell of anything from apricot to May blossom. It was the scent of this wine which first opened the singer’s eyes to the complexities and layers of flavour that can be achieved in a glass of wine.
More from Wine Times Podcast
He says it’s wines ability, like reading great literature or listening to beautiful music, to open another world and expand your imagination which appeals. ‘When you taste a beautifully made wine, you are tasting thousands of years of developed expertise,’ he says. The analogy is with music, where you are taking in ‘hundreds of years of culture.’
Jamie is of course married to the model Sophie Dahl and they both share a love of food and cooking, so we start Christmas Day with what else? A glass of bubbles, not from Champagne but from the Limoux in the South of France and a club favourite the 2019 Roche Lacour.
This was soon followed by the classic 2020 Julien Bouchard Bourgogne Chardonnay, before finishing in Tuscany, a region where Jamie first experienced a sophisticated foreign holiday experiencing not only how delicious food can be but also what a ceremony there is surrounding the meal.
‘It was a time of coming of age,’ he says. ‘Where I started reading Kerouac, Hemingway. Getting into art and starting to love jazz … going off into a sort of private world.’
We sip our Governo and think of the ordered landscape of Tuscany with its perfect hills and tended rows of vines. ‘It feels like there should be a part 2 to this podcast,’ he says taking a sip. ‘Recorded in Tuscany…’ I’m already persuaded.
To listen to Wine Times download it from wherever you get your podcasts.