‘Wine storage is a problem for almost everyone…’
So say Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson in The World Atlas of Wine, the wine-lovers’ bible. ‘There’s nothing mysterious or difficult about handling wine. But doing it well can add vastly to the pleasure of drinking it - and doing it badly can turn nectar into sludge’.
Wine Cellar Consultants has been set up to help its clients reflect their own individual tastes in both interior design and choice of wines, thus enhancing enjoyment and avoiding potential pitfalls. Nik Boulting and Ben Howkins have a proven track record of working together successfully, complementing each other’s area of expertise.
Nikolaus Boulting came from an academic background: teaching, researching and writing on art, architectural and design history and on the conservation movement. Moving into the world of corporate, brand and interior design in the early 1980s, he was managing partner at Sedley Place, where he worked on a range of projects for major international companies and brands including brewers, vintners and distillers. As well as new product development and re-branding exercises, work included remodelling the elegant Regency headquarters building of International Distillers and Vintners/Diageo. In recent years, as well as working with Ben Howkins developing the branding of Royal Tokaji and on the brand image of Neal’s Yard Remedies, he has worked mainly in the fields of museum and interior design, acquiring invaluable experience of managing small building projects, creating interesting environments using a range of different materials and styles and introducing climate control systems - all essential tools for the creation of bespoke wine cellars.
Ben Howkins has enjoyed vast experience in the wine industry spanning national and international borders. He has been the youngest Vintners Scholar and belongs to the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, the Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc et des Graves, the Confraria do Vinho do Porto and is a founder member of the Tokaji Confreria. He has been Chairman of the Wine Promotion Board and a Trustee of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. He has judged and lectured on wine internationally. He is currently chairman of Brooks's wine committee and past member of the Royal Household wine committee. As wine adviser to Lord Rothschild he was responsible for creating the wine cellars at Waddesdon Manor. He is co founder, with Hugh Johnson, of Royal Tokaji and a director of Last Drop Distillers. His latest book, ‘Real Men Drink Port…and Ladies Do Too!’ was published in 2011. Ben has visited many wine cellars throughout the world. This new business venture is designed to pass these experiences on to those who want more from their wines.