Getting to know your neighbours

Getting to know your neighbours

Derek May, chief executive at recruitment agency Brightwork, fills a couple of vacancies in his wine rack.

Sometimes what you’re looking for is right under your nose. Or, when it comes to wine, it’s right under your office.

Brightwork’s Glasgow base is on Bath Street and every day on the way to work I pass by the door to Inverarity One to One, the wine shop in the cellar of our building. I’ve always been meaning to pop my head round the door and have a nose, so the invitation to review two bottles of wine for BQ Scotland was the perfect excuse.

The shop is fantastic and is a bit like Aladdin’s cave. As well as wines, I noticed that they sell whiskies, gins, rums, and cigars too. They even have their own darts board – I’ve not played darts in years, but I thought that was a nice touch. It makes it feel like a fun place to hang out.

I always associate wines with holidays. My wife is a French teacher and so during the school summer holidays we always head for France. It’s a big country, so we’ve slowly been working our way round it, and going on the wine trail to try different wines from different regions has been great fun.

My favourite wines are the famous pinot noirs from Burgundy – or the “Bourgogne” if we’re going to get all French. I love their fresh red fruit flavours – like strawberries, raspberries and red cherries – and I like the really light red wines you get further south in Beaujolais, which are made from a grape called gamay.

I prefer those types of lighter-bodied red wine to the heavier stuff that you get from Bordeaux or the Rhone. Having said that, I do also enjoy Fitou, a red wine from the very south-west of France in Languedoc-Roussillon.

France might be my first love, but I do enjoy wines from other parts of the world too. I like a good Rioja from Spain and I also enjoy New World wines too, including bottles from South Africa, merlot from Chile, and tempranillo when it’s grown in Argentina. Spain is tempranillo’s homeland and it’s used to make Rioja, but it’s really interesting to try the grape when it’s grown in other countries too.

I guess my love of pinot noir and Beaujolais has helped me to get into rosé wines in recent years. But I’ve never been into white wine. I don’t know what it is; they’ve just never done it for me. But it’s good to try new things and so it was interesting to taste the Domaine Haut-Gleon Blanc. It came in a really-attractive, high-shouldered bottle and we tried it with cheese, which was recommended in the tasting notes. Despite me not being a big white wine fan, I thought it was crisp and refreshing.

Saturday night is pizza night in our house and so that’s what we served with the Chateau Des Labourons made by Henry Fessy. This was much more my kind of wine. It’s from Fleurie in Beaujolais and it was packed full of the delicious raspberry red fruit flavours that I enjoy. It was juicy and easy to drink and the acidity in the wine cut right through the rich cheese and tomato sauce on the pizza. Of the two, the red is the one that I’d go back to buy. And now that I know what’s behind the door, I’ll be visiting Inverarity One to One again soon too.

Derek May is chief executive of recruitment agency Brightwork. Find out more at Thanks to Inverarity One to One, 184a Bath Street, Glasgow,
for supplying the Domaine Haut-Gleon Blanc (£12.49) and the Chateau Labourons Fessy (£13.99). More details at