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Meet the Members: Szaki1974



In the second of our member interviews, we meet @szaki1974 who has quickly become one of the most frequent contributors, and has also been active in helping to develop the community by drafting How To … articles and sending feedback on the site.

Here we learn a bit more about the family man behind the wine drinker with a penchant for Rhone wines

As always, the format is to ask a short set of standard questions, and to get an answer to some other ‘fun’ questions that give us an insight into them particularly.

I’d love to hear from all of you at some point, and I will be in touch, but if you have a burning desire to introduce yourself, please send me a message to let me know.

Thank you!

Tell us very briefly about yourself, and what fills your average day

Get up, play with my son (1 year old) so my wife can sleep, let my daughter (3 years old) watch a little tv, take my daughter to nursery, travel to the city to do some accountancy, go home, play with the kids either side of dinner, help get the kids ready for bed… then at half seven it is me time nowadays and I do any combination of the following: (1) try and control the mess in the living room and the kitchen (2) cook (3) watch tv (4) drink wine.

How long have you been a member of The Wine Society and what made you join?

My first en primeur campaign was 2014 Burgundy, so I must have joined as recently as the autumn of 2015. I just kept bumping into mentions of TWS everywhere and I thought I must try it for myself.

What would you say is your favourite wine style or region, and what do you pair it with?

Very difficult question to answer, it was Rhone that made me an interested party, but if I have to pick one favourite wine region then I will have to say Burgundy despite my love for Barolo. The reds with lamb and the whites with fish… I would not go any more specific on the pairing. In fact wine and food pairing is one thing I am quite uncomfortable with. I do not see why I cannot have a slightly chilled young chinon or spatburgunder with a delicate fish course…

If you had to list your major NON WINE-RELATED hobby, what would that be?

Contrary to what I said about pairing food and wine, cooking is a massive hobby. I do sometimes follow recipes, but then evolve them and a lot of the time improvise.

What was the last gift that you gave someone (that YOU chose and bought)?

I bought a book, a picture atlas, for my daughter today lunchtime at work. She loved it.

Tell us something that you’ve done that you are pretty sure no-one else in the community has done (yet)?

I am not sure there is anything like that, I am quite boring this way. I do enjoy whale watching and I have seen a blue whale off the coast of Iceland emerging scarily close to our boat.

Your house is on fire – which bottle would you save from the burning building?

(no cheating - this must be a bottle in your possession at the moment)

This has to be my bottle of 1974 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon an actually drinkable wine from my birth year… I seriously hope it is not an off bottle.

Your questions wanted

I’ve only ever had 1 bottle from my birth year (a little before yours), a Gattinara, and it was delicious. I hope you get the same experience from yours :slight_smile:

Unlike you, my cooking was not quite up to the task, so we convinced a local restaurant to allow us to bring it along for a special occasion, so we had their great food, and our great wine. It was perfect … other than the bit of lead-shot I accidentally bit, hidden in my grouse :confused:


1974 is one of the worst years on record in Europe. Believe it or not I did own a bottle of DRC from the same year at one point… probably undrinkable, I rather sensibly sold that bottle at a very healthy markup, when I acquired the Heitz bottle. I do also own a barolo from the same year, let’s just say that was cheap enough not to worry about drinkability.