Richard Juhlin is the DWWA 2014’s Regional Chair for Champagne. Author of six books on Champagne, Juhlin is a freelance writer, runs The Richard Juhlin Champagne Club, and is currently working on a series about drinks and restaurants in Europe for American and Chinese TV. Through The Richard Juhlin Champagne Club he arranges events and tours to the region, and members have access to his Champagne bars in Sweden and a tasting note database.
Read our interview with Richard Juhlin below…
☆ Which year or decade do you wish you’d been born in and why?
I would love to be born today and have the rest of my life ahead of me. I think in that we live in a very exciting time where fewer people are poor, wars are less frequent and there is better understanding between cultures. I feel very positive about the future.
☆ How old were you when you had your first wine ‘moment’ and what was it?
I think I’d had a few sips already at the age of six but my first real wine moment was when I was eight. I had a small tasting of four lovely Rieslings with my parents in Trittenheim in the Mosel Valley.
☆ How many bottles do you have in your cellar and what is your most recent addition?
It varies, but somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 bottles. My most recent one is a bottle of 1982 Comtes de Champagne.
☆ How many years have you been working in the wine industry and what was your first job?
My interest started in 1986 after a visit to Reims. By 1988 I was already hosting tastings but I only left my job as a sports teacher when I released my first Swedish book about Champagne, which was in 1995.
☆ Which vintage and region (or wine) do you wish you’d bought a whole case of wine from?
A mixed case of 1985 Domaine de la Romanée Conti. I had the chance but thought it was too expensive at the time. I regret that now.
☆ In the last 12 months, which grape have you drunk the most of?
Chardonnay as usual.
☆ In the last 12 months, what’s the most exciting region you’ve discovered or re-discovered and why?
Bolgheri, which for me is the best wine region outside of France. During my long summer holiday at Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina, Sicily, I drank a lot of the big names from Tuscany and rediscovered their greatness. They also tasted better in Southern Italy than at home in Scandinavia.
☆ Who’s your wine idol (who has inspired you the most in the wine world)?
Serena Sutcliffe MW and Anselme Selosse.
☆ What’s your most memorable wine and food moment?
My first gulp of a 1978 Chambertin Rousseau when I was 20 years-old, with a beef of elk.
1928 Pol Roger Grauves with black truffled chicken from Bresse.
Tasting the first German white asparagus with Le Mesnil Champagne each spring.
☆ If you could taste/drink any wine in the world what would it be and who would you drink it with?
1985 Romanée Conti with John Cleese or 1979 Krug ‘Clos du Mesnil’ with Michelle Pfeiffer.
☆ What are you most looking forward to about judging at the Decanter World Wine Awards?
Meeting all the fantastic wine tasters and discussing the beauty of Champagne with people who understand its greatness.