Meet the Team – David Smith, Assistant Manager

It’s time to meet another member of our team. This week it’s our Assistant Manager, and fountain of obscure knowledge, David Smith.

How would you sum up your background in a tweet?

I’m a Teesside University Journalism graduate from Peterlee with a work background in e-commerce websites and content creation. I’ve also done my fair share of home brewing and French winery tours on family holidays and in between trips to foreign heavy metal festivals.

What’s the best drink advice you’ve ever received?

Adding a drop of water to whisky. Many whisky drinkers sneer at the idea of watering down your whisky but on every distillery tour I’ve ever been on and at all of the whisky tastings I’ve done I’ve been amazed at the difference in flavour with just a single drop of water. It takes away a lot of the harshness of the spirit and brings out some of my favourite flavours.

What is your favourite food and wine combination?

Steak and Australian Shiraz, particularly the Moonstruck from McPherson. I’m all about big flavours and this wine brings out the best in red meat and vice versa. My favourite thing to do is add a splash of whatever wine I’m drinking to the meat juices and create a peppercorn sauce. By using this instead of brandy, it creates a little culinary bridge between the two.

On your ideal night out, you’re drinking…..?

99% of the time I’ll start with beer, usually an IPA but I’m not one to turn down a premium lager. In the summer, however I’m also partial to a nice cold glass of white wine, preferably a Chenin or Sauvignon Blanc.

What alcohol cliche would you put into room 101 and why?

Wine snobbery at tastings. I like the idea that tastings are there to make things approachable and getting people trying new things. I hate when hosts look down their noses at you for not knowing something, especially if they’re trying to sell to you. Needless to say we won’t stand for it at our tasting events.

Your Pip Stop unsung hero?

The thing that immediately springs to mind is a limited edition beer we had in not so long ago. The Northern Monk Dark Neopolitan Ice Cream Porter. It was absolutely incredible and I was a bit upset when our supplier ran out. I didn’t stockpile as much as I might have liked.

Another thing I want to shine a bit of light on is the Amanti Primitivo. It doesn’t get as much praise as it deserves in the press I feel.

I think that’s, in part, down to the fact that it looks a bit plain but it’s a cracking wine, great value for money and packed with flavour. A really good, easy-drinking bottle of Italian loveliness.

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