Talking Wine with...

Talking Wine with...

Goswijn Simons, The Story of my Wine 

In our interview series Talking Wine with..., we are talking to interesting people from the international world of wine about their love of wine.

How did they become wine lovers? What are their favorite wines? And what was their most disappointing bottle ever?

We kick off with an interview with wine blogger and Instagrammer The Story of My Wine, a man who actually goes by the name Goswijn Simons. Simons is living in the Netherlands, but has more than 88,000 international followers on his Instagram account The Story of my Wine. On his blog and Instagram page he posts reviews of the wines he is tasting and shares the interesting stories behind those wines.

WINE PASSPORT GOSWIJN SIMONS

Favorite wine
Tenuta San Guido, SASSICAIA

Favorite region
Tuscany

Favorite music to drink wine to
"Generally easy listening, but occasionally metal as well"

Best of Wines favorites
"That’s a tough one! It’s like being a kid in a candy store!
I would go for Tuscan wines"

Soldera – Brunello di Montalcino
Le Macchiole – Messorio
Montevertine – Le Pergole Torte

Talking wine with... The Story of my Wine

The wine world has become to know you as The Story of My Wine. You have 88k followers on Instagram, which makes you one of the top global Instagrammers in the field of wine. What are you doing better than the rest?

Honestly, I don’t think that I’m necessarily better at something compared to others. I can only tell you how I’ve managed to get this far. To start, you need to be prepared to invest a good deal of time into it. I initially dedicated at least 3 to 4 hours to Instagram per day for posts, responses and to establish a network. Instagram is first and foremost about the pictures, which means that great photos are essential. So, I do think that you need to have an affinity with photography and a feel for design. I myself am a graphic designer, which is convenient. A good camera is - of course - vital. I shoot all of my photos with the camera of my Samsung S10 telephone. Lastly, I also try to add a good story to every picture. After all, it's called The story of my Wine.

"I dedicated at least 3 to 4 hours to Instagram per day for posts, responses and establishing a network. Instagram is first and foremost about the pictures: great photos are essential"

Who do you suggest we follow on Instagram? Why are they so good?
There are, of course, loads of great and impressive accounts. Just to name a few: @Winememoir @Drinkinmoderation for beautiful photography, @Vino2travel for the diversity in reviews (countries, wines) and @Wineterroir for good, elaborate wine descriptions.

You use your own scoring system on your website and Instagram page. What sets your system apart from the existing rating systems?
I started writing wine reviews on Vivino and that is also where my system originated. It really isn’t much different from the others; I award wines between 70 and 100 points. It is actually just my personal score and provides me with an understanding of my favorite wines. However, I’ve stopped reviewing on Vivino. I was the number 1 reviewer in the Netherlands for two years and I placed a total of some 4,500 reviews. It took up a good deal of time and I was happy to wrap things up after two years.

When and where did your love of wine start? 
My love of wine truly began when I was invited to the local wine club in my home town (a small village in Limburg in the Netherlands). The club consisted of eight members and we got together on a montly base for a themed tasting evening with delicious food pairings. These evenings motivated me to deepen my knowledge of wine. I wasn’t surrounded by wine enthusiasts at home, though my parents now do enjoy sharing a great wine together!

Can you remember your first wow moment with a bottle of wine?
That would certainly be a bottle of Vega Sicilia Unico. Such a beautiful wine!

Can you tell us about your finest wine memory?
That must have been one of my first wine trips. My girlfriend and I were invited to the estate of Gagliole in Tuscany. After a day of travel, traversing unlit winding roads, we arrived at the winery in the evening. We entered the estate via a beautiful driveway and were welcomed as VIPs. Once we had freshened up, we joined an elaborate dinner party, where we enjoyed a Tuscan meal abd their exquisite wines. When I woke up the next day and went for a swim in the infinity pool, I truly felt like a king.

What is the most special bottle you currently have in your cellar and when will you open it?

I have so many great wines, but I think the most special one is a Château Haut-Brion 2005. When I am going to open it? I’m not sure yet, but certainly on a special occasion and with people who will enjoy such a treat.

And what about the most disappointing bottle you’ve ever opened?
I remember an evening where I had organized a Merlot battle with a group of wine friends. Everyone brought along one bottle. I was immediately quite confident that I would win with my Château Troplong Mondot (Saint-Émillion 1er Grand Cru Classé B 2005 and 100 Parker points). It turned out, however, that the wine was corked…such bad luck!

 

Do you recall an embarrassing wine moment?
I was recently invited to a Penfolds tasting in Amsterdam where the famed Grange was being poured. During my train journey, I managed to lose my phone and arrived in Amsterdam without my mobile - a complete disaster for a wine blogger! So no photos, no jotting down notes and, of course, no Instagram stories or posts. I immediately ordered a new phone the next day.

Would you rather drink an outstanding bottle once a week or a supermarket wine every day?
I would absolutely choose a great bottle once a week. Throughout the years, I’ve become somewhat ‘spoiled’ by drinking good wine that I can no longer appreciate supermarket wines. I don’t mean to say that there aren’t gems in their midst, but I would still prefer that one great bottle per week.

Who is your wine hero?
One of my Dutch wine heroes would have to be Master of Wine Cees van Casteren, one of the instructors during my WSET3 course. He manages to speak so simply yet elegantly about wine. You truly hang on to each word he says when he is speaking.

If you had to choose… never again a bottle of French wine or never again an Italian wine?
The choice is actually simple! People who follow me on Instagram know that I go for Italian wines. Though while my heart lies with wines from Italy, I can, of course, still very much appreciate French and Spanish wines.

Finally, which wine book do you recommend?
I really like ‘The World Atlas of Wine’ by Jancis Robinson, a book bursting with facts about every wine region in the world. I also enjoy The Wine Bible and use it often. The Wine-Food Bible by Victoria Moore is another favorite and is very handy when creating pairings.

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