We spoke to Alan Hunter, Sommelier at OTTO Brisbane, after winning Australia’s best wine list at the 2019 Good Food and Wine Awards.

Favourite international holiday destination, and why?

As a wine fanatic it is hard to beat New Zealand. For a peaceful time you can enjoy Hawkes Bay or Martinborough, or if it’s adrenaline and adventure you are after, Queenstown almost always has a buzz.

Ultimate Australian escape, and why?

When I was young I spent a lot of time in Port Douglas with my family — as an adult I still have fond memories and love visiting — I also look forward to sharing it with my daughter one day.

Which do you prefer — country or city living, and why?

I’m torn. Having grown up in a rural town and spent a lot of time travelling to vineyards there’s an undeniable appeal to open spaces, fresh air and quiet of the country. At the same time, I love the buzz of the city which has access to my passion, restaurants.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be, and what would you serve?

Although no longer with us, Anthony Bourdain. An inspirational story teller not only about food but the people and politics that surrounds it. He’s spoken so many truths and connected with so many cultures. Of course, the wine and food would be everything regal and decadent about France.

With OTTO winning the title of the best wine list in the country at the Good Food Guide 2019 Awards, what wine are you drinking at the moment?

Moving into summer will be all about refreshing dry riesling. An amazing grape that communicates its terroir with clarity, and as still not back in vogue, offers outstanding value.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about wine?

Keep an open mind and taste broadly. I rarely drink the same wine twice; life’s too short.  People put their livelihoods and passion into bottles — I always respect that.

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