Food & Drink profile - Red & White of Kingsbridge
Award winning wine merchant and Master of Wine Liam Steevenson of Red & White in Kingsbridge talks to us about his prestigious career in the world of wine and creating an outstanding wine list the Beachside Restaurant.
Liam Steevenson was going to become a history teacher, and, whilst his infectious thirst for both obtaining and sharing knowledge, natural enthusiasm and raw passion is undeniably a huge loss to the world of education, it is a fortunate gain for the wine industry.
In 2004 Liam was awarded the most prestigious accolade in the world of wine – the Master of Wine. He was the youngest member to ever have passed the rigorous examination which consists of a theoretical component focussing on such things as wine making and the business of wine, a practical component entailing a number of blind wine tastings and finally a ten-thousand word dissertation. Such an achievement denotes ambition, diligence, unwavering endeavour and, of course, extreme knowledge of the subject.
You only have to take a look at the shelves in Red & White or the wine list at the Beachside restaurant to understand that Liam and his team are not only experts in their field but also exceedingly passionate individuals.
Red & White opened in 2010 and have already been awarded the Regional Wine Merchant of the year 2011, a stellar achievement considering how young the company is in comparison to the well-established and respected competition. Liam proclaims of Red & White that “educating and enlightening people is the most important thing we do. I want people to enjoy wine”. Liam strongly believes in the importance of this but recognises that wine does have a habit of making some people feel a little nervous or intimidated. The wine world is indeed full of loud voices, but are all of these voices talking sense? Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion about wine but stripping away any pretence and offering an entirely honest and educated account of how a wine tastes and where it is from are skills which belong to a minority of people. Liam does his upmost to ensure that each and every member of staff who sells his wine has a thorough knowledge of what they are selling.
Liam has worked extensively with the team at the Beachside Restaurant to produce a unique wine list, constantly changing and evolving, that any member of the restaurant team is happy to talk about with the guests. The unique relationship between the two began when Food and Beverage Manager at the Beachside Restaurant, Gareth Piper, met Liam, thus making Red & White an obvious choice to supply the restaurant. Gareth shares Liam’s passion and excitement for wine, something that has developed gradually over his years in the restaurant trade, and has sought a unique wine list that is not dependent on or dictated entirely by the food menu. The balance works so successfully at the Beachside Restaurant because Gareth truly shares Liam’s vigour and whilst their tastes certainly differ and disagreements inevitably occur, this ultimately enhances the wine list with every wine available being agreed and believed in by the team.
Red & White stock over 80 fine and impressive wines, handpicked from some of the world’s smallest producers. There is always a bottle of wine open and the extremely knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer advice and recommendation. They host regular wine tasting events, and attract customers from throughout the South West, keen to experience a quality range of wines, and learn more about the subject of wine. Visit Red & White's website, where you will find information on the core wine list, Fine Wines and En-Primeur offerings, as well as detailed winery information, wine tourism and forthcoming Wine Tasting events. You can also buy all your favourite wines and spirits online. Click here to visit the website.