Wine, like many of the things we hold dear, offers much provenance. Stories and folklore around its culture exist in part due to the difficulty of bottling it, but also how each bottle is a reflection of a place in time. The great characters within the business of wine, and of course those who passionately enjoy drinking it, help drench it in dramatic intrigue. But two folks feel this intrigue needn’t be elitist anymore.
In 2013 a pair named Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew joined forces to create a magazine centred around wine and its own unique culture, but without the air of exclusivity. Choosing to name themselves after one of the most intrinsic elements of creating wine, ‘Noble Rot’. A phrase used to describe the fungus in the grape that gives wine its increased sugar and flavour. You might argue that Dan and Mark were an unlikely pair, given their backgrounds. With careers spanning from food and drink to record label executive Andrew and Keeling, it’s easy to say certainly understood the culture.
But in this unique pairing, Noble Rot magazine developed a loyal following. Their insight into wine culture, along with its tastemakers, who each help make the landscape of wine what it is today, makes for a refreshing new take on a vintage aged beverage. Previous contributors to the magazine have included the likes of chefs from Pierre Koffmann to Fergus Henderson and Yotam Ottolenghi. Prolific names such as Francis Ford Coppola and Brian Eno have also both contributed to articles within the magazine. Covering subject matter like “Three decades of British food in 30 dishes”, “Wines from the ancient ocean” and “Chef’s Secret Weapons” to name a few.
As with any display of knowledge, the magazine soon spun out a retail endeavour and Noble Rot the wine bar and restaurant, was soon born. Located on Lamb’s Conduit Street in an 18th Century building, it is an ode to yesterday’s wine bar but thoroughly accessible. From the Lincolnshire Smoked Eel to the Lamb Sweetbreads and the Roast Guinea Fowl Andrew and Keeling have assembled something special to even the most educated palette. Housing wines such as Pinot Noir The Heartbreak Grape, Nebbiolo & other Piedmont reds and the Riesling, Gruner Veltliner. Offset by a striking cellar and artwork, inspired by the magazine’s covers, Brian Eno would surely blush.
The magazine is based in London and published every four months.
For more information noblerot.co.uk