Q&A with Andy Cook, winemaker at Consolation, Roussillon

Posted on November 15, 2018 by Samantha Redmond

What’s the story..? Tell us more about your journey into the world of wine:
My parents first took me on a wine tour when I was 11 years old and we lived in Germany. I was allowed a couple of sips, and the sweet, heady taste of Piesporter transformed my life!

Which wine sparked your love of the grape?
See above. Some years later, my first fine new world wine was Ridge Monte Bello 1985 – I realized you didn’t have to be in Bordeaux or Burgundy to make world class, fantastically complex wine.

What makes your wines unique? What’s your winemaking signature/core ethos?
I believe in letting nature shine through – terroir and vintage are paramount. However, I also believe that man inevitably leaves his mark on the transformation of grape to wine. I want to make wines that are full of character, but retain balance.

What’s in the names (‘Wild Boar Syrah’)? Tell us more about the story behind the Consolation brand name and this bottle…
Consolation is the name of a ‘lieu-dit’, a local area. It is a beautiful place hidden behind the town of Collioure, and it is where I had my first vines when I moved to France. At the old hermitage there, I got married in 2008. Wild Boar is a nod to the bloomin’ animals that eat much of the grapes in our vineyards, especially this plot of Syrah!

What are we eating with the Wild Boar Syrah?
You should of course have a wild boar stew with this wine – we’ve tried it with some of the wild boar from the very vineyard…that’s just perfect!

Who are we with, what’s the occasion? Set the scene!
With people that you love in a nice cozy place, laughing, great music and eating superb food.

Who inspired/inspires you most in wine world?
I’m inspired by any number of people who bust their asses to do their own thing and follow their dream. People like Randall Graham, Bailley Carrodus, Marlene Soria or Angelo Gaja.

Best advice you’ve been given?
Winemaking is 80% cleaning and 20% drinking beer.

What’s your proudest achievement in wine life?
Every time I am in a restaurant and I see people at another table drinking my wine and smiling, it makes me incredibly proud and happy.

Most memorable wine you’ve experienced that’s not your own!?
DRC Le Montrachet 1996 was an experience I will never forget. The wine filled the whole room with perfume.

If you were a wine, what would you be?!
I like to think a would be a taut, wiry Gattinara or a heady, intoxicating Le Musigny…but I would more likely end up a Barossa Shiraz.

What’s your advice for ordering wine in a restaurant?
1) If they do corkage, DO IT! It will always be a better deal. 2) If you know little about wine, tell the somm/waiter what you like and how much you want to spend. 3) If you see Consolation on the list, order it!

What are you drinking when it’s not wine?
Cold beer – it’s hot here in the Roussillon!

What wines getting your attention/ones to watch? Hot tips?
Aromatized wines – Vermouth, Amaro, Quinquina…I love the taste and the balance of bitter/sweet. Currently experimenting with some of our own…

Your locals: let us in on the secret spots for wine and for food in the Roussillon. What should we not miss on a visit?
Beach clubs in the summer in the Roussillon – Biquet, Zaza, Le Robinson – amazing places to eat fresh fish and drink delicious local wines.

If there’s time outside of wine, what are you doing?
Playing guitar too loud.


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