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I think, therefore I drink – Chapter 13

I think, therefore I drink – Chapter 13
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Mitch’s Musings

Meetings have taken me to London recently, and with the festive silly season approaching, everywhere is busy and buzzing.

Walking through central London amid the recent cold snap, one does feel like you are on a set of a Richard Curtis movie. I also noticed that many in London walk so very slowly. I appreciate the sights are grand, and the Fortnum and Mason advent calendar shop front was fantastic but, hurry up and get out of my way! I have a bottle to enjoy…

Studies have shown that those who walk quickly are less likely to die of a heart attack (obvious) or get run over (even more obvious). Those who do will also keep my blood pressure down, so it is good for my health if they do not meander three abreast down the pavement when a large Yorkshire Man has a drink to enjoy.

I recently enjoyed two stand-out meetings, with two stand-out bottles to share with the column.

I had the pleasure of company working on our 2024 T35 initiative, a fund designed to back young entrepreneurs under the age of 35, invested into by the next generation of high-net-worth families who are also under the age of 35. The concept of driving family investment capital to those driving forward UK SMEs with innovation is something we champion.

At my dinner, I had the pleasure of the dynamic Tom Henderson and Rowena Orr from Traditum stables. They were building their relationship with Georgie Spurling from ARVRA and Rusha Mondal from Tea2You, introduced by the guiding, mentoring, and inspiring leadership of Hugh Griffiths.

T35 companies will receive mentoring and guidance from Traditum clients who have been there, seen it and learnt many ways to wear a t-shirt, and Hugh is an example. My role was, as usual, to try to intellectually keep up and choose the wine. We had a wonderful evening. The wine was 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet, Vincent & Sophie Morey.

Vincent Morey married Sophie; a marriage made for viticulture. One family ran one side of the hill and one, the other side. Maybe they met picking grapes? The Chassagne-Montrachet Vielles Vignes is made from various plots with vines up to 50 years old. This is a wine to treasure, full of flavour and a story. The wine has a hint of wood texture, which as someone far more knowledgeable than I explained, is due to Vincent stirring the lees less and less. As a result, it may not be the best accompaniment to smoked salmon for example, but better with sea bass or a bisque. Personally, I am not that sophisticated and with great company (and the salmon), it was fantastic. A great bottle of wine always tastes better with the right company, even if I felt old and slow at dinner. Walking into the evening, however, I was faster than the average. The wine is certainly above average and should be tried.

Trident Trust and the wonderful Steve Turner invited me to a tasting at Berry Bros and Rudd, where we enjoyed the company of many mutual advisors to our high-net-worth families using our Family Office service and who also invest on the Private Equity platform. The pick of the wines to share was the Pauillac 2012 Chateau Pichon Longville Comtesse de Lalande.

In a room with people who have brains the size of planets, this wine levelled all who ventured to taste, bringing everyone back to Earth knowing that some things are simple. Offshore tax is not simple, and it was humbling to be in a room with brilliant advisors, drinking a brilliant Claret. What a pleasure. I recommend you buy a bottle to drink and some to hold and retain. It is a new resident in the Littondale cellars and will be enjoyed around the highland table.

The run-up to the Christmas break will have me briskly treading the pavements of London and then returning to the tranquillity and peace of the hills of Littondale, where my working dogs do not meander but cover the ground impressively. Two worlds, but a good glass with friends suits them both. I may try both these bottles on Christmas day.

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