Bleasdale's Paul Hotker Loves Wine - And Bacon!
The Bleasdale Frank Potts Cabernet Blend 2013 is our May Wine of the Month, so we caught up with Bleasdale's senior winemaker Paul Hotker.
Can you recall the first wine you tried?
I can't remember any specific bottle, does Stone's Ginger Wine count? There was always wine at the table growing up, plenty of West Oz Cabernet as I grew up in Perth, and Eden Valley Riesling, I still drink these wines.
When did you fall in love with wine?
I remember drinking some beautiful Rutherglen Muscat in my early 20s, as well as cellared Bordeaux and Margaret River Cab - wines that probably set me on the path to the wine business.
Do you have an all-time favourite wine?
I'm not usually one for favourites, but Hugel 1989 SGN Gewürztraminer was an unexpected gem in a tutored tasting about 15 years ago, and I got to take the leftover bottle home.
What is your all-time favourite wine memory (other than a wine itself)?
Sharing great bottles with friends and family and those who appreciate it is always fun. Most recently, my last bottle of 2001 Semillon made at uni (good but not great) served blind with the mates who made it 16 years ago. We drank far better wine after this prelude to dinner.
Other than your own wine, what is the wine that you like to drink at home?
I drink widely, but also seasonally. Late summer and into autumn usually Pinot Noir, Grenache and blends, mature whites - aged Riesling, Chardonnay and Sancerre. Later autumn and into winter, mature reds and whites. As spring and summer come along, younger whites and reds with vibrancy: Riesling, Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc and blends, younger Shiraz, Cab Merlot blends, etc.
What's your ultimate food + wine match?
Roast chook and Chardonnay, always a favourite, particularly during vintage.
What's your 'signature dish'?
I don't have a signature dish, it depends on the season. Roast pork with redgum smoke I make at all times of the year, I love the challenge of 100% crackle! Very keen on the flame grill, just about anything: beefsteak, lamb chops, butterflied chicken, and I love slow cooked meals in winter: roast chook, osso bucco, boeuf bourguignon are all perfect with mature reds.
What is special about your wine region?
Langhorne Creek is a cool maritime but dry region with beautiful clay and limestone soils. The cool ripening period moderated by Lake Alexandrina and The Southern Ocean maintains the aromatics and natural acidity
How do you relax away from the winery?
I'm a keen reader, I love cycling through the Adelaide Hills, which is on my doorstep. I like playing board games and puzzles with the family: chess, scrabble, UNO, snap, just about anything.
Do you have a favourite holiday destination/memory?
I love Kangaroo Island, easy to get to from here and great to slow the pace down a few notches.
What is your favourite book?
No favourites, but I just finished the Harry Potter series, couldn't put it down.
No favourites, but I prefer independent films, I recently saw Paterson, which was a cracker, as was Drive.
The Fast Show.
Locally, The Olfactory Inn at Strathalbyn is excellent.
Can't go past bacon and eggs, everything tastes better with bacon.
BLT, everything tastes better with bacon.
Roast pork, that's close to bacon, right?