Irish talk show host Graham Norton loves wine, so much so he didn’t hesitate when New Zealand’s Invivo wines asked him to help them blend his own range.
When guests come on the Graham Norton Show they are always offered a chilled glass of white wine. “When I come out and see three or four glasses of water, I think, ‘What a shame you don’t think this is going to be fun, and that you’re not thinking, “Oh, how nice! I can sit and chat with people over a drink.”’ It generally oils the wheels of conversation.”
Wine is a passion for Norton. “I always enjoyed drinking wine and had visited vineyards in France and South Africa, but it had never crossed my mind to actually make my own until the boys from Invivo asked. Of course, it might be in my blood, my mother made a very potent rice and raison wine from a kit when I was a student!”
Norton and Invivo are releasing a new prosecco in time for Summer. “I love a good prosecco so it just seemed like a very natural next step. We had white, red and rose, so sparkling completes the set!” Norton blended the wine with the Invivo winemakers, Rob and Tim and he found the blending process to be fascinating. “It is like a wine tasting but with this extra twist of discovering how those wines react with each other. I have no idea how the alchemy works – it is real trial and error stuff – but so far we seem to have got it right”. Norton says the prosecco works perfectly for the Aperol spritz cocktail, “What was our summer drink before Aperol Spritz took over the world? I love it. Last year some friends and I rented a villa in Italy, where it turned out the access was so steep, it was closer to a cliff than a drive way. We were more or less trapped in the house for the entirety of our stay. I have never consumed so much prosecco in my entire life!”
Invovo’s Graham Norton Wines have gone on to win over 50 accolades, including gold at the Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters.
Don’t miss the December issue of MiNDFOOD which features an exclusive interview with Graham Norton on what it’s like to interview the superstars of the world and why he is still going strong after 24 seasons.