Whisky, beer and Irn Bru. These three are Scotland's famous drinks and it was unlikely to change any time soon. Certainly wine was never on the forefront of anyone's mind when discussing Scotland's national drinks but chef Christopher Trotter is rethinking this and has laid down some vines in the Kingdom of Fife.
A dozen or so miles south of the home of golf, St Andrews, Trotter planted Siegerrebe, Rondo and Solaris vines - all early ripening - in early 2011 with the hope to plant more this year and, in a few years from now be able to produce a Scottish wine. He is relying on global warming to get the sunlight needed for ripening the grapes, so the attempts may be a bit fruitless if that doesn't happen, but only time will tell. I for one am excited by the prospect of Scottish vineyards and hope to pay him a few visits this year to see how he is getting on. In the meantime, I asked him six questions.
You have planted vines in Scotland - a simple question really, why?
I was in a conversation ten years ago with a farmer friend who said that "in 20 years time you will have the climate of the Loire valley in the East Neuk (of Fife), so plant your Sauvignon Blanc now!" It took another ten years to persuade another friend to help me do it!
You are a chef, so what is the greatest food and wine pairing that you have ever had?
Too many to remember - Foie gras & Chateau Giraud. Chateau Musar & Blue Cheese.
What do you like drinking at home?
Describe yourself in three words.
Curious, irritable, intollerant.
What is the best wine you have ever tried?
Vega Sicilia, probably because of the occasion. Cheval Blanc is amazing, and Petrus was disappointing as it was too young.
Name three people, real or fictional, living or dead, that would be guests at your dream dinner party, and what would you be drinking?
Queen Elizabeth the First, Johann Sebastian Bach and my wife, Caroline. We'd be drinking Nytimber, Meursault and Musar.