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My Cellar: The Arts

Publish Date: 17 May 2016

Authored by: Sarah Gamboni

Film stars and acclaimed directors share their love of wine.


Sam Neill, actor and winemaker
“What a shame that all that Blue Nun and Liebfraumilch that went with the failed fumbling seductions and the chicken Kievs back in the day almost irreparably damaged the reputation of riesling (if that is what it was). It’s really only in the past 10 years I have become an avid fan. Downstairs, I always have some Alsace (say Hugel or Trimbach), some South Australian (Peter Lehmann, Grosset), German (Dr Loosen), Austrian and, of course ours as well, plus Mt Edward from around the corner here. All astoundingly underpriced for the quality. Riesling, as a rule of thumb, is today’s great bargain.”

Fred Schepisi, director and vineyard owner
“With wine, you start with something small, see it grow and the nature of it exists as soon as it’s picked and crushed. A good winemaker can sense where it has to go and what it has to be, and only does what it takes to maximize it, rather than fiddle with it. That kind of prediction of where it’s going to end up is what you do in films and then it’s a matter of doing what it takes – but only what it takes.”

Dan Aykroyd, actor, wine ambassador and vodka creator
“A typical go-to wine is a Rhone with cheese and crackers. And if we’re sitting around and nobody’s sure what to drink, I like to open a bottle of Laurent Perrier Rosé or Dom. I like roast chicken with Corton-Charlemagne, but what I do is pick the wine first. Some people pick the wine to complement the food, but I choose the food to complement the wine.”

Read about top chefs' favourite food and wine matches, or the cellars of Australian sports stars.

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